By Annie Doyle, Blue Future Spring for Progress and Change organizer
I created a youth initiative with the Alexandra Hunt for Congress Campaign, who is running in Pennsylvania’s Third Congressional District. I was very intimidated starting out this project since I was doing it individually. This is something I have never done before and it is something I didn’t even know I could start. Before joining the Spring for Progress and Change program, I had little to no organizing experiences which only made me feel more intimidated. But as I worked on this project with guidance from the leadership team at Blue Future I soon realized I did not have anything to be worried about.
Working on creating a youth coalition individually has been and continues to be an incredibly rewarding experience. Seeing such a small idea expand into an actual youth coalition still feels unbelievable. Working on Youth For Alexandra feels like the little project that could. It felt like a shot in the dark emailing the Alexandra Hunt for Congress campaign and kept my fingers crossed I would even get a response. I also was not ready at all for the eager and quick response I received. In all honesty, it still does not feel real that I get to work directly with a campaign to create a youth initiative.
I gained valuable skills over the duration of the program; one of these skills being the ability to work on my own in a capacity I did not know I could. The confidence I have in myself as well as in the work I am doing and hope to continue to do has soared over these past ten weeks at Blue Future. With that confidence in my work, I also learned the importance of reaching out to help. When I started out I had no idea what I was doing but took that initiative to ask for help and was able to put my project on a better track. Without the guidance of Blue Future, I would not have been able to create a project like this.
Blue Future is truly one of the most supportive places I have worked with and I knew that they value creating a safe space for people to unlock their fullest potential. My time with Blue Future was life-changing and transformative, Blue Future gave me access to resources and networking opportunities that I never thought imaginable. I never thought that I was going to find an internship in politics since leaving college in D.C for my local community college.
One of the most important takeaways I got from the Blue Future Spring for Progress and Change program was the importance of young people participating in our democracy. Young people can be a true force for change in this country, in a way I did not think was possible before starting at Blue Future. Each week we got to hear from people across the nation advocating for a multitude of issues from D.C statehood to immigration. Getting to hear about these issues from people that are affected the most by them was eye-opening. Time and time again I left the weekly training sessions feeling hopeful and fired up to create change. Which is refreshing after feeling down and out and like there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
The Spring for Progress and Change Program allowed me to see that a better world can be possible. I am ecstatic to continue to use my power as a young person using the tools and resources I gained from Blue Future to continue to organize and create change starting in my own community.
About Annie: Annie Doyle (she/her) is born and raised in the city of Philadelphia and is a Liberal Arts student at the Community College of Philadelphia. She is passionate about voting rights, accessibility to affordable healthcare, and free college.