A Graduation Gift

July 11, 2013

Camp Wellstone alumna, Megan Arsenault, first caught our attention on Twitter. Just a few days before we were kicking off our annual Madison training, Megan tweeted her excitement to be headed to the cheese head state to attend the campaign track. Thanks to Twitter, we learned that Megan’s attendance at the camp was her college graduation gift from her aunt and cousin. So after graduation, she flew to Wisconsin to attend our camp and hone her campaigner chops.

Although Megan graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and Media Arts, politics was always a passion and interest for her. She wanted to cut her teeth on campaigns, so she got involved with the Manchester City Democrats while a student at Southern New Hampshire University.

Along with her work with local campaigns in Manchester, Megan also got involved with the national presidential campaign in 2012. After meeting the regional Organizing for America field director, she learned about their internship program. “I did a lot of campus organizing through OFA,” Megan told us. “I volunteered during winter break and went back for the primary. The internship program began in January, and I volunteered all the way through the election.”

Beyond the Obama campaign, the main way Megan was active and involved in the Wellstone goal of “improving people’s lives” was on her own campus; her peers weren’t as politically active before Megan began to mobilize them. “We created a bi-partisan politics club. I really wanted to make sure that people got involved because it was such an important election. We wrote a constitution and got a lot of students involved. We did a lot with Get Out the Vote and other organizing events to make sure that students knew what was going on. I wanted to make sure that students that wanted to be politically active could be.”

With her passion and drive, Megan is living up to what Paul Wellstone used to say, “"The future will not belong to those who sit on the sidelines. The future will not belong to the cynics. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." With her work on progressive campaigns, and the experience she gained at Camp Wellstone, Megan is sure to have a big role in shaping the future of her community.

Megan described her experience at Camp Wellstone as “fantastic!” She took away a lot from the training, including learning about the components and skills of other staffers on campaigns. She found it most interesting to learn more about field organizing and some of the financial aspects that she was not previously focused on during her emphasis on direct voter contact efforts.

Megan has her eyes set on working on a campaign for the upcoming governor’s election in her home state of Maine:

“I just took away so much from Camp Wellstone,” she shared, “I would love to do campus organizing or digital media or work on field on an upcoming campaign. Camp Wellstone helped me refine my skills to make sure I know how to work on campaigns effectively.”

Good luck, Megan! We can’t wait to hear more about your campaign work ahead.