<p>Note: There are probably a few typos here and there as I haven't thoroughly proofread this essay.</p>
<p>Prompt: Relate one event/experience that has contributed significantly to your personal and academic development. </p>
<p>My experiences as a volunteer for a number of progressive causes over the past year have had a significant impact on my personal development. Despite the fact that my late November birthday will prevent me from voting in this upcoming Presidential Election, I have not let this technicality inhibit my ability to make a difference on this campaign. Being a news junkie, I've always followed politics but never felt impelled to make a difference. Most teens are apathetic towards politics in general and I could be considered one of those teens. That changed when I witnessed first-hand the poor policies of the Bush Administration and their adverse impact on both the domestic and foreign policy fronts. Whether it be the millions of lost jobs coupled with the astronomical rise in health insurance costs over the past four years or the ill-fated invasion of Iraq, I felt impelled to do something because these colossal blunders have had a negative impact on the American people and will likely have a negative impact on my future endeavors. As a result of these poor policies I decided to do something about it by volunteering for a number of progressive causes including: John Kerrys Presidential Campaign, The Democratic National Committee, Moveon.org, America Coming Together, and Democracy for America! The volunteer work has really made me feel like Im an integral component of this campaign despite the fact that I wont be able to cast my ballot and help deliver the swing state of Pennsylvania to the Democrats this November 2nd! The experiences Ive had working on this campaign have had a substantial impact on my personal development, my academic development, and have stimulated my interest in the political field.
The volunteer work that I have done has had a profound impact on my personal development. Whether I'm making phone calls exhorting people get out the vote on November 2nd or writing editors to my local newspapers promoting progressive causes and candidates, I believe that the volunteer work that I have done has had a palpable impact on this campaign. My vote may not be counted in this election, but I believe that my contributions as well as the contributions of my fellow volunteers will be apparent on election day. The volunteer work has taught me that I don't have to take the most direct route to make a contribution. I can contribute in other ways by making significant contributions in other areas.
My experiences as a volunteer have had a salutary impact on my academic development as well. My work on the campaign has taught me that its not how you start, its how you finish. When I volunteered for my first progressive organization known as MoveOn.org last December; President Bush was riding high with approval ratings above 60 percent and a number of auspicious news events to accentuate. During that time, the Democratic Party was in shambles and we were really without a defining message to combat the redoubtable "War President." The Republicans were able to take control of Congress by impugning the patriotism of the Democratic Party and looked unbeatable at the time. However, the hard work of volunteers like myself over the past year have turned the race into a dead heat and we now have a good shot at winning the Presidential Election as well as picking up a number of House and Senate Seats to put us into better position to retake Congress. A similar analogy can be made in regards to my high school career. My high school career got off to a rocky start with a dismal performance early on. Just like the Democrats couldn't go back in time and atone for the mistakes they made during the 2002 Senatorial Campaigns which allowed the Republicans to take a substantial lead on issues regarding terrorism by attacking the Democrat's patriotism; I couldn't go back in time and atone for my dismal performance that occurred early in my high school career. Instead of dreaming of what could have been, I applied a lesson I learned from the campaign trail, which was to finish strong. I put forth my best effort to finish strong in my junior year and my grades improved dramatically.
My interest in politics has been stimulated as a result of my volunteer work. Before I volunteered, I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to major in. Now after experiencing first-hand what a campaign is all about, I hope to work on future progressive campaigns by choosing political science as my major. By choosing political science as my major, I hope to make an even bigger impact on future campaigns and elections. </p>
<h2> Most teens are apathetic towards politics in general. At one time I was one of those teens. However, the experiences I've had as a volunteer have taken me out of that category and have put me into the category of one of the few teens who have taken a profound interest in the political field. The work that I've done for progressive causes over the past year have had a palpable impact on my personal development, academic development, and my interest in the political field. By majoring in political science I hope to once again relive the experiences of this campaign and make an even larger impact on the political landscape in the future.</h2>