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Not Your Typical High School Student

Emily Gold, one of our great Manchester team members, was featured in the Union Leader last week for her incredible work connecting with local voters. Take a look:

Emily Gold, like a lot of 17-year-olds, spends a lot of time on the phone.

But the topics do not include typical teenager talk. There’s no discussion about such things as “American Idol,” Justin Bieber or the Twilight movies.

Gold, a senior at Manchester Central High School, is trying to get prospective voters to support President Barack Obama as part of her volunteer efforts with Obama’s reelection campaign.

“Volunteering has been one of the best things I’ve ever done,” Gold said. “Getting involved and feeling like I’m making a difference has really been worth everything.”

Gold, who turns 18 in May, and is the daughter of Ellen and Samuel Gold, said she had some interest in politics — she’s going to major in political science when she attends the University of New Hampshire in the fall — and was planning to vote in November’s elections, but hadn’t gotten involved until attending Obama’s speech at her high school in November. “What he said really made sense,” she said. “I decided I wanted to fight for the cause and not just vote in November.”

She said she knows her decision to volunteer in politics isn’t typical among high school students.

“I really haven’t seen any of my classmates at volunteer activities,” she said. “I guess they’re not really interested in the political world.”

Her volunteer work has led to some fun moments, including meeting Vice President Joseph Biden and national Democratic Committee Chairwoman and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.

Gold’s involvement should serve as an inspiration to others, said state Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, who said he similarly began his political involvement at an early age, campaigning for Edmund Muskie when he was 11 and 12 years old and campaigning for Jimmy Carter when he was 15 and 16 years old.

“Certainly, they’ve got a lot of energy,” Buckley said. “It’s always very exciting when young people get involved.

"Gold’s duties include some of the more mundane campaign tasks — stuffing envelopes, canvassing and those phone calls, something that Gold said “terrified” her before she did it.

“I thought everybody would be mean and hang up on me,” she said.

The tasks “can be tedious at times. But just knowing that I’m doing all I can to help the cause makes it all worthwhile,” she said.

Holly Shulman, spokesman for Obama’s campaign in New Hampshire, said Gold has been a welcome presence.

“Emily has been a great volunteer for the campaign,” she said. “She has shown a great commitment to the campaign.”

Gold said she plans to continue trying to work for political campaigns, but only behind the scenes.

“I still don’t think I could run for office or anything,” she said. “I’m still young. I could change my mind a million times during college.”

Are you as excited as Emily to get involved with the Obama campaign in your neighborhood? Whether you’re in high school, wanting to get involved on your campus, or a veteran volunteer looking for an event close by, we have a place for you.

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