That Ah-Hah Moment

July 30, 2013

Our trainers spend every day winning the Wellstone Way. They are campaign managers, elected officials, nonprofit executives, and highly sought-after strategists. They spend well over 40 hours a week at their “real” job, fighting for progressive causes and effecting change. Yet, they keep up the energy and travel across the country for us, to train you and develop more progressive leaders.

Who needs sleep when you have Wellstone energy?

It’s that passion and tireless commitment that make our trainers the best in the business. They take their real-world experience and translate it to be world-class trainers who inspire others to become a vital part of the progressive movement.

At her “real” job, Prairie Rose Seminole, an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota, is the Native Vote Director for North Dakota. But most weeks, you can also find her boarding a plane at Hector International Airport in Fargo on her way to yet another part of the country to empower activists, campaigners, and candidates as one of our Wellstone trainers. What keeps her going one long week after another? The work keeps Prairie Rose fired up:

"As a trainer, my job is to elevate political savvy at the grassroots. We have something to say about the political process and there’s something we can do about it. We can change the dynamics of the power struggle between those who are profiting and those whose backs are breaking for that profit. But we have to take our frustrations and create constructive tools in organizing. So I love it when we have 'Ah-hah' moments at trainings when folks see that they are prepared and equipped to take ownership and really make a big change in their community."

Prairie Rose started training with our Native American Leadership Program in early 2009. Since then, she’s been crisscrossing the country, first with NALP and now across many of our programs. Most recently, she headed to San Jose to lead two sessions at Netroots Nation, an annual gathering of digitally connected progressives. One session focused on empowering the Native American vote, “I had a lot of fun at Netroots Nation. I love those moments where people are grasping every word that we say and making it personal because we have a shared story. I try humanizing that experience of being left out of the process, and feeling anger, frustration, and apathy. But then we focus on organizing, surfacing people’s stories, giving them tools, empowering them to be part of the process.”

After four years as a trainer for us, Prairie Rose is still energized every time she heads to a Wellstone Action training. It’s the type of passion and energy that we love about our trainers and it’s one of the key reasons that folks who go through our trainings report back so positively about them. But for Prairie Rose, the work inspires her to keep going, keep fighting:

"Wellstone has taken me out of a comfort zone. Before Wellstone I thought that I wanted to do this fight alone. Now, I feel like a weight is off my back, when I am in a room of people picking up the baton, reigniting that flame. That’s what keeps me coming back. We all have a role to play: trainer, candidate, activist. I find myself wanting more. I feel responsible to protect the legacy of Paul and Sheila and to empower more people to share in that. I feel blessed to be a part of that work."

Weekend after weekend, in state after state, Prairie Rose works towards that ah-hah moment when people understand their power to make change. Whether it’s Native American communities working to stop domestic violence, or prospective candidates in Seattle who a hungry to make change statewide, winning the Wellstone Way is all about empowering the grassroots, developing a message that sticks, and having authentic conversations about improving people’s lives.

If you’re ready for an ah-hah moment, or thinking that it might be time to pick up that baton and step into the progressive change race, we’ve got Prairie Rose and dozens more skilled, savvy trainers to stand alongside you and show you how to win. Check out our upcoming training calendar and be a part of the Wellstone Way.