Canes for Obama leader rallies students, dines with president

Junior Emily Young assists with ticketing as thousands line the streets before President Barack Obama’s rally last Thursday. Monica Herndon // Assistant Photo Editor 

Emily Young will always remember where she ate lunch on Sept. 20. But it’s not the meal that stands out, it’s the company.  Young sat down at OMG! Burgers with President Barack Obama.

She is a campus team leader for Canes for Obama and Organizing for America, which supports his legislative agenda. Young built a core team of volunteers with different jobs, oversees how it runs and fixes any problems that arise.

Through her affiliation with those organizations, she was one of two UM students who were invited to eat with Obama after he appeared on a Univision-sponsored show in the Fieldhouse. She recalled being screened twice by the Obama campaign for reasons she did not understand at the time.

Originally from Jacksonville, Young decided to attend UM because she sought an internationally-recognized university with a competitive sports program, small class sizes and a top academic curriculum.

The 20 year-old is a junior studying public relations and political science with aspirations to become a campaign manager someday.

“Public relations and political science are going to work together and will hopefully help me achieve my goals,” Young said.

Young has been interested in politics from an early age. The earliest presidential contest she can remember was the 2000 election, in which Florida played a decisive role in helping Republican George W. Bush defeat Democrat Al Gore. Although she was only 8 at the time,  Young wanted to know why her friends and family liked one candidate more than the other, which sparked her interest in politics.

In addition to the Democratic organizations, Young is active in several campus groups, including the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

“I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself,” Young said.

Sophomore Peri Diamond is Young’s “little sister” in ZTA and looks up to her as a role model.

“She takes on so much responsibility and handles everything with poise,” Diamond said. “She always keeps her  cool.”

Young is also a member of  the President’s 100 and is a fitness supervisor at the Wellness Center.

“She is constantly taking on new responsibilities and earning the respect of her peers and superiors, which are some of the reasons why I admire her,” said UM graduate Andrew Blumenthal, a close friend of Young’s.

Young said her hectic schedule gets to her sometimes. But after talking to Obama, she said she doesn’t have it so bad.

“Seeing how hard he works for an entire country made me realize that some things that I stress about are nothing in comparison,” Young said.