Lydia Cox

Roanoke College '16

Throughout my college career, I have dedicated much of my time working with at-risk children at a local after-school program. It became quickly apparent to me that outside of the program, these children were not going to be treated with the respect they deserved due to their socioeconomic statuses. It was discouraging to realize how often voices go unheard for this reason. In our society, the value of our voices is reflected by how much wealth and status we have. 

While I was looking locally in the Portland area for a summer internship, I became familiar with this nonprofit, nonpartisan grassroots organization, that I believe clearly has the right idea. Maine Citizens for Clean Elections (MCCE) is passionate about putting our government back into the hands of everyday people and out of the hands of politicians, whose opinions are too often influenced and bought by large, wealthy corporations. 

Interning with MCCE and its Mainers for Accountable Elections campaign helped me to shape a completely new understanding of politics. I learned how the fight to get dark money out of politics is a foundational issue that affects all other political issues in turn. The campaign team did a wonderful job educating us and helping us understand the initiative in its entirety. I felt so comfortable in the workplace knowing that everyone was so sincere and willing to answer any questions we had. I even had an editorial published in a local Maine newspaper calling on my fellow Mainers to vote to remove money's corrupting influence in our elections. I am truly grateful to have had such a positive experience as an intern, surrounded by people who fight for what they believe in.