Daphne Bradford, Trestan Fairweather, Assemblymember Holly J. Mitchell, Mia Henry
California DNC delegate Mia Henry shaking hands with First Lady Michelle Obama
The 2012 presidential election is sure to be one heated and historical political event in the Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney battle for the white house. Representing California at the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) was one of the most amazing experiences of my lifetime. As one of the first educators to implement President Obama’s 2008 Blueprint for Change in the classroom at Crenshaw high school, I was overwhelmed with accomplishing joy to have two of my then freshman students Mia Henry and Trestan Fairweather, join me four years later as 2012 delegate members at the Democratic National Committee convention in Charlotte, NC. Never in our wildest political dreams did we ever imagine this as a result of a digital media and technology class. Both college bound students were chosen by Mary Jane Stevenson, CA State Director for President Barack Obama’s grass roots campaign Organizing for America.
The excitement behind my joy is the fact that 17-year-old Crenshaw high school graduate, Trestan Fairweather, was the youngest California delegation member to journey to Charlotte, NC. According to CNN Fairweather, who will turn 18 the day before the November 6th election, was the youngest delegate to attend the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
It’s moments like this that makes an educator and school feel good about investing in our future leaders. “I thought it was going to be more political and boring but it’s actually political and fun… I want to give my advise to young people this year. I want to tell them to get out and vote because it is imperative that we get someone elected into office that is going to help them better their lives and for me that’s President Barack Obama,” states Trestan Fairweather.
The highlight of the convention for Mia Henry, a freshman at Cal State Dominguez Hills, was getting the opportunity to shake First Lady Michelle Obama’s hand at the Latino Caucus event. “It was very exciting to be in the same room with Mrs. Obama and shake her hand. I’ll cherish this historical moment for the rest of my life.”
The only 2012 DNC educator/student delegate team of it’s kind to represent President Obama at the convention we received lots of compliments from many of the political representatives from across the United States. Congresswoman Karen Bass, Assembly member Holly Mitchell, CA Attorney General Kamala Harris, Valerie Jarrett (Sr. White House Advisor to President Obama), Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Congressman John Lewis, San Antonio, TX Mayor and DNC Keynote Speaker Julian Castro took time to congratulate us, take photos and share how proud they were to see young leaders like Mia and Trestan representing the youth voice and vote.
Although I was disappointed about the lack of a DNC sponsored education caucus event, education was a major highlight at the convention. During President Obama’s acceptance speech he asked all of the democratic delegates from around the country to help him recruit 100,000 math and science teachers over the next 10 years, a call to action that the Los Angels Sentinel and I will support in partnership during President Obama’s second term as commander-in-chief of the United States and beyond.