South students pursue political interests

Taylor Everson, staff reporter

According to an unscientific Oracle conducted survey, 33 percent of students surveyed are interested in politics. With the upcoming election season in full swing, students at South are exploring their political passions both inside and outside of school through clubs and internships.

Incoming senior Yoana Sidzhimova participates in Model United Nations and debate at South.  According to Sidzhimova, she has been interested in politics since the 2008 election.

“I remember the night of the [2008] election…I really wanted Romney to win because I liked him as a person,” Sidzhimova said. “He didn’t win… and I was so upset but at the same time I was so interested in [the election] I didn’t really care. Ever since then I’ve been really interested in seeing how both parties are going to react… and watching the debates.”

According to Sidzhimvoa, politics are important to her because she believes looking into politics what the United States does on a global level is important to advancing people’s knowledge. She also believes people need to be more aware of what is going on outside of Glenview.

“[Because of politics] I’ve been more involved with what’s going on globally, and I just think it’s important that we make ourselves global citizens rather than just citizens of the community,” Sidzhimvoa said. “Even though we live in Glenview and we’re a very affluent community, there’s people in Indonesia that have disabilities and are institutionalized, and people don’t realize that.”

According to Sidzhimvoa, she holds an internship with Congressman Bob Dold, who is currently the congressman of the tenth district. According to Sidzhimvoa, she got the internship through Model UN with the help of the current president and vice presidents of the club.

“It’s a really good opportunity for communicating and getting involved with people in that atmosphere,” Sidzhimvoa said. “Regardless of what political association you have, making those connections are so helpful.”

According to Sidzhimova, she decided she wanted to go into international relations in the future over political science at the beginning of this year.

“I think [international relations and political science is] that balance of doing something on a political level, but at the same time helping out the people in that region that need the help that we give them,” Sidzhimova said.

Incoming senior Max Shapiro, president of the Young Democrat’s Club, also has an upcoming internship with State Representative Tammy Duckworth this summer. According to Shapiro, he is looking forward to the internship.

“I hope to learn more about running a campaign so that I, too, can run for office some day in the future,” Shapiro said.

According to Shapiro, he started the Young Democrat’s Club in February, and the goal of the club is to expand and help spread Democratic principles. Shapiro said that he wanted to establish a community where he could interact with people who shared the same beliefs.

“While most of us may be too young to vote, we hope to campaign for Democratic candidates up and down the ticket,” Shapiro said.

According to Shapiro, his biggest political influence is his father, who has been talking to him about politics since he was little.

“[My father] taught me about all the issues since I was a little kid so by the time I was in middle school, I was debating people,” Shapiro said. “I love it, I still love it and it’s really fun, I think that’s part of my influence for joining debate in high school.”

According to Shapiro, in the future he hopes to go into politics and aspires to be a senator.

“I love the way politics work, I love the whole dynamic of it, I love debating people, and I love doing things for what I feel is right,” Shapiro said. “I’ve always felt very passionate about politics, and actually doing things on the hill and being an influential person is the one true way to actually have influence and exercise my opinions and get things done.”

Shapiro, along with Sidzhimova, believes that their internships will help them in the future and give them experience.

“I think i’m going to learn a lot about [running a successful campaign] and a lot of tips I can use in 10, 20 years when I do want to run for office one day,” Shapiro said.

State Representative Laura Fine also agrees that internships will help students in the future.  According to Fine, she has had many students that have interned for her in the past.

“[We] look for students who are hardworking, who have an interest in the political system, who are strong writers…and who are enthusiastic about participating and getting that experience,” Fine said.

According to Fine, students who intern for her do many things, including going door to door in the summer, helping with outreach programs and researching for different bills. Fine said that internships are a good way to decide if it is something someone wants to pursue or not.

“It opens your eyes to different opportunities that are out there for you,” Fine said.