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The Obama Ohana

Apryl Richard Collects I'm In Cards at Hair Salon_12-16-11

Apryl R., a fall fellow in Chicago, has been fortunate enough to have encountered the Obama family while they ran their errands.

When then-state Senator Obama walked into a local Hyde Park grocery store with his daughters, Apryl was first to wave hello.

A few years later, in November 2007, when Michelle Obama walked into Apryl’s hair stylist’s salon, she expressed her support for then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential bid.

“These warm, personal encounters deepened my desire and inspiration to become an active participant in this great endeavor. I signed up on to receive information about how I could support President Obama and his initiatives.”

This past summer, when Apryl received an email from National Field Director Jeremy Bird to become a Summer Organizer, she jumped at the opportunity.

While working as a summer organizer, Apryl also interned at campaign headquarters in both the Correspondence and Operation VOTE departments.

“The combination was truly a blessing because I continued to learn about political affairs and enhance my grassroots campaigning skills.”

When the Summer Organizers program ended in August, she was told she would always be a part of the “Obama ohana,” or the Obama family in Hawaiian.

This fall, Apryl applied to the Fall Fellows program, so she could continue to organize Chicagoland neighborhoods and connect with the “Obama ohana” nationwide.

“I became a Fall Fellow because I wanted to enhance my community outreach skills and grassroots campaigning. I enjoy the work that I do. I wanted to continue being a force in the 2012 Obama campaign all the way through to its victory on November 6, 2012.”

Apryl and other organizers will be working hard these next few months to continue to build up a grassroots organization across Illinois, and they need your help! Find a local event or sign up to volunteer.

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