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Chris' Story of Why He's In

Chris O.

I was born and raised in ruby-red east Tennessee in a politically indifferent family. Growing up I had no care for politics and honestly I couldn’t have told you the difference between a Republican and Democrat as recently as two years ago. During my first year of college, when I was 18, my parents got divorced. My father made the majority of our family’s income working as a factory manager, while my mother worked as a teacher’s assistant. As a result of the divorce, custody of my younger sister was given to my mother (my sister was still in high school). My mom struggled to get by and make ends meet for a few months and my grades began declining from the stress of the situation. I decided the best thing for my family was for me to take time off from school so I could work and help my mom get back on her feet. What I’d forgotten was that by leaving school I lost my health insurance. The passing of the Affordable Care Act now makes keeping health insurance a reality for other young people trying to balance the pressures of college and adult life. As of now I am back in school and working towards my degree, my mom completed her Associates Degree, and my sister has just started college. Ultimately I decided to join the Obama campaign as a Summer Organizer because no family should struggle the way mine did, having to worry about whether or not their college aged children should choose between school and work to solve their healthcare needs. My parents’ divorce caused enough emotional and social turmoil and stress without having to complicate life further by worrying about a lack of adequate healthcare and attacks on our public education system.
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