Volunteer Stories: Katherine and Henry
Katherine Wilkerson is a lawyer from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her son, Henry, is 15 years old and will start 10th grade at Broughton High School later this month. The two attended their first campaign phone bank last week.
“Henry has always been interested in politics,” Katherine said. “When I got the email about volunteering, I thought it would be a great opportunity for him.’”
Henry hopes to run for president one day. But, if that doesn’t work out, he says he would be happy to serve in any political office. Or play in the NBA.
“If the NBA comes knocking, he may have to put the presidential thing on hold for awhile,” Katherine laughs.
Because of his political ambition, Henry was ecstatic about the phone bank. “My mom sent me the email three days ago. I was like, ‘Sweet, that’s a great chance to get involved!’”
Henry had done phone-a-thons for the YMCA before, but says this phone bank was different. While his previous experiences were fundraising oriented, this phone bank had implications for the state’s future.
“One of the big things that people don’t understand is that state-level politics are so important to daily life. President Obama can’t decide how much money my school gets every year.”
For their first phone bank, Katherine and Henry did well — talking to four people each throughout the night. But this was just a taste of politics for the dynamic duo, who plan to help register voters in the fall.
“It seems to me we are at a point in time in our history that good people cannot sit by and be quiet,” Katherine says. She wants to help out all that she can, and that has the added benefit of helping Henry learn about politics.
“It’s an opportunity for us to hang out, and I can show him what kind of work goes on on the ground to make things happen,” Katherine says.
Henry says by volunteering, he can make a difference in this election and in the state. By getting Roy Cooper elected, Henry says he can help people across North Carolina.
“I just want to make a difference in the world.”