This summer, I had the privilege of working as an intern for James Maroney. I first met James through my younger brother’s baseball team. When I found out about the internship, I figured my growing interest in politics and journalism paired with my endless summer boredom would combine to create experiences I would never forget. Not long after, I made one of the best decisions in my high school career and signed up to canvass for Mr. Maroney one fateful Saturday morning. Along with learning more about the inner workings of Connecticut’s politics, I learned how to canvass. Most importantly, I learned how to best communicate with others.
While canvassing for James, I had some of the most memorable conversations and saw some of the strangest sights in Milford, including a mailbox shaped like a fish. I wasn’t the only one this summer who gained experiences to remember. One intern, Giuseppe, began canvassing even before I did. When asked his favorite part about walking doors, he replied, “Everyone has a different story to tell. Learning people’s different views and perspectives can ultimately decipher what needs to be done in our community.” I originally started volunteering for the campaign because of my love of writing and interest in politics, but I stayed because of the changes I think Mr. Maroney is capable of making.
He places a high priority on higher level education in Connecticut, evidenced through his business First Choice College. As a student that plans on continuing my education at a college or university, I am in full support of this plan and intend on helping anyway I can. He also plans on expanding job growth through improving the climate of small businesses.
This internship has been an invaluable opportunity as well as a learning experience. Each week, Mr. Maroney would bring in a speaker from local or federal politics in an effort to expose us to potential future careers. Each speaker would give a brief presentation about their background and current jobs, while the rest of the time would be reserved for a question and answer session, which I found particularly informative. I couldn’t help but wonder why James was providing so much information and many opportunities to the interns. He replied, “Over my years, I have seen many great students contribute and help on campaigns. I wanted to offer a program so that these students weren’t just helping me, that as a campaign we could give something to them as well. When I was in high school, the only job in government I thought of was to be an elected official, so I wanted to offer a program to show students that there are a variety of ways to be involved with local, state, and federal government. The interns have been a great boost to the campaign, in both talking with voters and also in terms of offering fresh ideas.”
I have certainly gained priceless experience this summer, and I plan on volunteering for Mr. Maroney through election day.