Whether observing sessions in the Maine Senate or marching in parades to hand out flags and brochures, seven PCC students realized the potential to have a positive influence in politics. The internships were part of the Maine Senate Republicans’ program offered by Senator Garrett Mason (’06) who founded the program for young people to get a start in politics.
The best part of the internship for Ben Daggett (Sr.) was meeting people from all walks of life. “I enjoyed meeting and talking to senators from both parties and seeing the work that they do,” he said. “I have also enjoyed being able to sit in on meetings on the Senate floor and listen to arguments in a few committee sessions.” Thanks to these experiences, Ben now aspires to someday return to Maine, his home state, to run for office.
Joining the internship program helped Hunter Trout (Sr., ID) learn firsthand what goes into being a politician. “What tended to draw me towards politics was a severe lack of solid Christian politicians. I believe that an active Christian walk is a solid foundation for a successful and honest political career,” he said.
For Victoria Deperno (Jr., NY), the program allowed her to apply what she had learned in classes. “It's one thing to sit through lectures and study to pass the tests, but another to take what you learn and apply it,” she said. “The hard work at PCC is paying off as God has given me this great opportunity.” Although Victoria didn’t see politics in her future at first, she now hopes to return to help Senator Mason next year with his campaign to win a supermajority in the Senate.
Like Victoria, M.B.A. student Michael Bandaru (India) never planned to pursue politics as a career. “I have a wide background in IT and now business,” he said. “Politics is not something I had closely considered in the past. However, since the last presidential race, I became interested and started following politics more closely. I would be very interested in helping run a campaign, using technology to be more efficient in targeting groups.” During the internship, Michael helped with campaign planning by creating contact lists for phone polls and surveys and then updating the information database.
Senator Mason looks forward to having more PCC students join his internship program and potentially work fulltime in politics.