(Written by Gabriella Thomas)
My name is Gabriela Thomas and I am currently a 7th grade student at MS 126 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I am an active member in my community and a self-motivated, dedicated scholar. In recent months, I have been selected to be Dr. Christopher Hazeltine’s Jr. Campaign Manager, as he prepares to run for State Committee in Assembly District 72.
I met Dr. Hazeltine when I was a student in his technology class in the 6th grade. Dr. Hazeltine took notice of my commitment to the community when I announced to the class that I created my own food pantry for community members that were struggling during the pandemic. Along with activism in the community, I kept Dr. Hazeltine on his toes, constantly emailing him about my grades, making sure everything was up to par. Dr. Hazeltine recognized I was destined for greatness. Dr. Hazeltine encouraged me to always stand up for myself and for my community. He has made this even more possible by selecting me to be the Jr. Campaign Manager of his 2022 campaign.
This opportunity allows me to share and support the goal of his campaign, which is to “Engage and Empower Our Youth.” This is an ideal I hold near and dear to my heart. I strongly believe the youth needs to be heard. Our ideas need to be taken into consideration. We are the leaders of the future and having the opportunity to work on a campaign is building my political work experience. It has shown me that with action, change is possible. I have worked on several projects as Dr. Hazeltine’s Jr. Campaign Manager. I was in charge of college volunteer outreach. I contacted college students in need of volunteer hours to join the campaign team. I also joined the team in obtaining signatures to get Dr.Hazeltine on the ballot. I worked with other team leaders to break all our volunteers into groups to go out into the community and spread the word about Dr. Hazeltine. We were able to collect enough signatures to get Dr. Hazeltine on the ballot! I had the opportunity to attend virtual meetings with Democratic leaders. During the meetings, I was able to introduce myself and speak on behalf of Dr. Hazeltine.
Along with running for State Committee, Dr. Hazeltine is running for Judicial Delegate and County Committee Member. As stated before, Dr. Hazeltine’s platform goals is to engage and empower our youth. He plans to work closely with his community on positive engagement, creating more year-round youth programs. He also strives to build positive relationships with law enforcement and his community.