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OSSMA Goes Stateside

Posted on: August 3, 2016

Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds given the chance to kick-start a career in politics

A group of British students have been chosen to work as campaign interns in the run-up to the US election.

Sixth-formers from five UK schools will travel across the pond to the swing-state of Florida this autumn to work with campaigners for Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton in the final two weeks of the presidential race.

They will learn campaign skills and will also work on a number of Republican congressional races, before visiting Washington DC on their way home.

Twenty students were selected for the Inspire US 2016 programme, run by the Transformation Trust, an education charity which offers opportunities to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them develop new employability skills and grow in confidence.

The sixth-formers – from Kingsmead School, North London; Lampton School, West London; Leith Academy, Edinburgh; Mulberry School for Girls, East London; and Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, Staffordshire – beat off competition from more than 50 other secondary schools to secure places on the programme.

As part of the application process, students were asked to nominate their dream presidential tickets, explain what their first executive order would be if they were in office, and say what grassroots campaign they would run to improve their community on returning home.

Among the suggested dream presidential tickets were:

  • Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn
  • Nelson Mandela and Emmeline Pankhurst
  • Jesus Christ and Nicola Sturgeon
  • David Lloyd George and Frank Zappa
  • Simone de Beauvoir and John Lennon
  • Harold Macmillan and Steve Jobs
  • Ban Ki-moon and Laura Kuenssberg

Matt Smart, assistant principal at Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, said: “This is such a fantastic opportunity for the students. They have put so much time and effort into their application, and they fully deserve their place on the trip.

“It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them. I have no doubt that the experience will change their outlook on life and set them firmly on the path to success in the future.”

Amy Leonard, chief executive of the Transformation Trust, said: “Each of them has already demonstrated their genuine passion for politics, with many of them wanting to go on and read politics at university.

“The programme will help them to hone their campaigning skills in what promises to be an extremely exciting election – and perhaps kick-start their own careers in politics. Who knows, amongst the group, there might even be a future prime minister or cabinet minister or two!”


Article taken from 3/08/16
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