“Making an Impact”: OFA Summer Organizer Program
For Becca Siegel, being an OFA summer organizer was so rewarding that she took part in the program two years in a row. This summer, OFA is recruiting hard working and dedicated folks like Becca to be summer organizers. You can find out more about the program here.
Q. Why did you apply to be a summer organizer?
A. As a student, deciding how to spend your summer is always a balancing act between what you want to do and what opportunity will be the best resume builder. For the past two summers I’ve found an experience that allowed me to strike that balance—as a summer organizer in Colorado.
Q. What did you do each summer?
A. I built neighborhood teams, organized volunteers, and planned events centered around issues like health reform, and in support of Democratic candidates during the 2010 midterm elections. Each day brought new opportunities and challenges: a meeting with a local activist followed by voter registration at an outdoor concert; a conference call to share best practices with other organizers from around the country followed by volunteering at a community health clinic; a morning canvass in support of a senatorial candidate followed by a rally or an organizational meeting.
Q. What did you learn?
A. During the school year, I am a student at Stanford University. My experience as a summer organizer has served me incredibly well as both a student and a public servant. I helped coordinate voter registration on my own college campus and in surrounding areas, organized workshops for young leaders, and arranged policy events.
My experiences personally empowered me in ways I never could have imagined. I learned how to interact with people of all different backgrounds, I am more focused on individual tasks yet have a better sense of the big picture, and I know how to work as a team player. Most importantly, I now understand that with a lot of hard work, patience, creativity and passion, even the biggest tasks that once seemed impossible to overcome can be accomplished.
Q. Would you recommend the Summer Organizer Program to folks thinking of applying?
A. Absolutely. While most of my friends were sweating away their summers as interns in faceless office buildings, dreading each day that they had to make coffee and file papers, I was out on the field making real connections within communities. I was working with the most talented organizers I know, and making changes that I actually cared about.
As a summer organizer with Organizing for America I had the unique opportunity to develop skills for the future while making a truly meaningful impact on my community and my country. The work was often challenging, but the results were incredibly rewarding.
To have the chance to spend your summer working with folks like Becca and making a difference in your community, apply to take part in OFA's Summer Organizer Program here.