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Meeting the President

Matt P. Fall Fellow

My name is Matthew, I am nineteen years old, and I met President Obama.

When Peggy, the California Political Director asked me to help with the President’s fundraiser luncheon in San Francisco, I could not believe it. Thoroughly excited, I pulled out my suit, ironed my favorite tie, and planned the quickest bus route to San Francisco’s W Hotel.

I met up with a few other volunteers at the W where we registered patrons alongside the hotel staff. After ushering in the final guests, we entered the darkened dining room to join the crowd.

President Obama’s speech addressed various issues, summarized current events, and thanked the donors and volunteers for their support. President Obama discussed our all-important future when he said, “Change is hard, change takes time, but change is possible.” That line resonated with me. The greatest changes in our nation’s history were always met with great resistance, and by overcoming those challenges we have turned them into our greatest victories. “Change” is more than a campaign slogan—it is a mantra that embodies the essence of our country, our world, and our lives.

After the President finished his speech, the crowd raced to the stage to shake his hand. As supporters greeted the President and faded back to their seats, it became clear that he intended to greet everyone in the room. After eyeing my “volunteer” name tag, he leaned toward me.

The President looked me in the eye and said, “Thank you for all your hard work.” He smiled as I gaped embarrassingly. “Th-th-thank you, Mr. President, Sir,” I stammered hastily. I had intended to greet our President with poise and dignity. But, in actuality, I found myself paralyzed with awe and gratitude.

Looking back, my brief experience with President Obama and Obama for America has already changed my life in indescribable ways. Had I not been so tongue-tied, I would like to have replied, “Thank you for all your hard work, Mr. President. We’re with you.”

How would you react to meeting the President? Join Matt and volunteer today.

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