Volunteers for Obama discuss inspiration

January 19, 2009 1:28:50 PM PST
Many of America's young have been inspired by Pesident-Elect Barack Obama to do more for their country. Some even hit the road as campaign volunteers, like these 20-somethings from the Tri-State area. Faina Ibragimova is getting her Master's Degree at Bank Street College.

Sara Haile-Mariam is a senior at NYU.

Lamont Carolina works for Brooklyn Councilman Charles Baron.

A little over a year ago, their paths came together as volunteers for the Obama campaign.

"I did my little part. I think we all did out little parts, " Carolina said. "It's amazing. I've never had some much ownership of anything at any other time of my life."

When Obama gave a speech in Washington Square Park in 2007, Faina was there and knew she had to get involved.

"There were 24,000 people there, all ages, all walks of life," Faina said. "And that's one of the things that made me say this is what I want to work for, the kind of unity I hadn't seen up until that point."

Sara says she was turned off by politics until she heard the president-elect speak at Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan.

Soon after, she packed her bags and traveled the country to get out the vote.

"If you had told me three years ago I would be knocking on the doors of strangers, asking for votes for a presidential candidate, I wouldn' t have believed you," Haile-Mariam said.

"We've shown the next generation if you come together and you speak up, you will see results," Faina said.

The election of the country's soon-to-be first African-American president has given them hope for the future, his victory inspiring them to follow his lead and become public servants.

"I definately can see myself running for office at some point," Carolina said.

"I definately feel empowered right now," Haile-Mariam said. "I'm committed into going into public service in some capacity."

As for the immediate future, these lucky three have tickets to the inauguration and inaugural balls, a campaign thank you for their hard work.

They also hope that while in Washington, they'll get to meet the man who made them want to change their lives.