By Allison Lee, Blue Future Fall and Winter Progress for Change organizer
When my brother graduated high school in 2016, I had just finished middle school. I went to my first high school graduation and watched all the seniors get their 10 seconds of fame — walking on, shaking the principal’s hand, walking off. It wasn’t quite like High School Musical 3, but to middle-school-graduate-me, the glamour of the indelible 10-seconds was identical to the movie’s last number “High School Musical.”
Of course, millions of high school and college graduates around the world didn’t get the graduation they imagined. All plans, vacations, and celebrations for 2020 were canceled or indefinitely postponed, including mine. No glamorous graduation, no award ceremonies, no summer celebrating. And no attending Yale in the fall. I had already lost my High School Musical moment and couldn’t fathom not having the complete Gilmore Girls 4-year college experience. So I took a gap year.
I applied to Blue Future’s Fall for Progress and Change campaign as part of my plans to continue my political involvement during the year. In 2020, where everything was uncertain, Blue Future gave me some clarity and certainty. They were kind, understanding, and supportive when I explained how I would be in South Korea for the duration of the program. They paid for my Skype number and calling subscription so I could phone-bank and participate. They made it possible for me to be a part of the movement that changed the direction of our country on November 3rd.
Through Blue Future, I joined a cohort of inspired (and inspiring) young leaders fighting against the racism, sexism, islamophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, and elitism that plagues our country. We empowered ourselves and each other, taking a step towards eradicating the inequities and injustices that exist at all levels of government and in our everyday lives. I loved witnessing how many of us showed up for the work that needed to be done.
When asked to continue working in Georgia for the January 5th run-off, I jumped in with no hesitation. Being in South Korea and dealing with the 14–17 hour time difference (depending on which time zone I was working within America) was difficult. I woke up at 4–5 AM (6 AM if I was lucky!) to join zoom meetings, make calls, and talk to voters. But still, it was easy to accept as the trainings and opportunities were invaluable. I am grateful for being given the chance to be a part of this organization and this movement. So while I didn’t get my High School Musical graduation and my Gilmore Girls adventure still awaits, I got to make the future just a little bit bluer in the meantime.
About Allison: Allison Lee was born in Maryland and now lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is attending Yale University, Class of 2025. During the fall program, she was excited to devote her time and effort to advance the progressive agenda and advocate for progressives up and down the ballot!