Student to Student |

Student to Student

With the convention winding to a close, the overwhelming theme that can be taken from it all is most easily summed up in the words of Senator Barack Obama, "In defining times like these, change doesn’t come from Washington, it comes to Washington."

The sense of excitement that everyone here feels for the upcoming election is because of the importance of families and the younger generation to the future of this country. As the time drew near for Obama’s acceptance speech on Thursday night the more people couldn’t stop talking about it.

The Lead-America group I was with spent Tuesday and Wednesday night at various convention watch parties around the city of Denver. At each watch party, there was no shortage of excitement but the tone at each one was different, in a way.

Tuesday night we went to a more grassroots event in Denver’s City Park. The night was filled with local musical talent and guest speakers and wrapped up with a projection of Senator Hillary Clinton’s speech onto a sheet hanging from the side of a building. With the smell of barbecue lingering in the air around us, it felt as if the energy of that group was of more raw excitement that resonated with a younger generation. Even when the early Denver night sky began to pelt us with rain, very few ran for cover or for shelter, everyone wasd clinging to Clinton’s every word.

Wednesday night we attended the Democratic National Convention Committee’s (DNCC) watch party at the Wells Fargo Theatre in downtown Denver. The audience at the DNCC watch party, while they reacted in a similar fashion to the speeches given by the party members, I would have had a hard time picturing them standing in the rain to hear the same speeches. It was interesting to see how well the message of the Obama-Biden campaign, resonates with so many different ages, races, and backgrounds.

Finally, on Thursday evening the rest of the students and I had the privilege to attend Senator Obama’s acceptance speech at Invesco Field. Just being able to get in was nearly impossible and I have to thank the incredible staff at my conference and Carolyn Boller, the secretary of the Democratic Party, for making it all possible. Just by the sheer number of people lining up to get into the stadium, you could tell how monumental the night was going to be. At 2 o’clock, lines stretched literally for miles to get into the stadium and took our group close to two and a half hours to get through security.

Once inside the stadium, the excitement and anticipation overwhelmed you. Everyone had an Obama teeshirt or pin and no one could keep from smiling. Musical artists like Will.I.Am, John Legend, and Stevie Wonder keep the crowd entertained while speakers like Bill Richardson and Al Gore talked about how incredibly important this election was.

But this night was about Barack Obama and he did not disappoint. His speech touched on all the important issues and reminded us all that on the 45th anniversary of the March on Washington, this all would not be possible without Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday night’s festivities were a fitting way to end an incredible convention and, for me, world-changing and life-altering experience.

Adam Laufer is a senior at Park City High School who plans to major in engineering and one day run for public office. He missed the first week of school to be in Denver with the Lead America program.

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