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A political pursuit

By Hidaya Fatao

Weeks of preparation. Hours of research. And then, the final debate. Attending Model UN conferences are just one of the several activities rising senior Olivia Metelo commits her time to.

Metelo said that her love for politics started at a young age.

“I can’t exactly pinpoint when I got into politics,” Metelo said. “I’ve always had an interest, and unlike everyone else whose interests end up changing, mine never did.”

Metelo is confident in her political viewpoints. As a young progressive Democrat, Metelo finds inspiration in her mother, who was tasked with raising Metelo and her sister on her own.

“She was always working,” Metelo said. “Always doing something, whether that was taking care of us, working, or trying to balance her social life. Because of that, I’ve grown up in an environment where women excelling in their field and maintaining a jam-packed schedule is normal and achievable.”

With her mother as inspiration, Metelo fills her schedule with several clubs and activities centered around female empowerment, women’s rights and politics.

Throughout Metelo’s high school career, she has participated in clubs such as Model UN, Mock Trial and National Honor Society, while being the news editor for her school newspaper.

“I’ve always been interested in amplifying the voices of the unheard, especially groups that have been traditionally marginalized,” Metelo said. “I think voting, especially, is one of the most critical ways you can have your voice heard.”

Outside of school, Metelo has volunteered at various political organizations, including an internship with the North Carolina Democratic Party and a fellowship with a nonpartisan voter registration organization called You Can Vote.

During one of these volunteer experiences, Metelo said she helped a homeless man register to vote.

“I just remember being out at different markets, getting people to register to vote.” Meteo said. “It was one of the most meaningful experiences I had because I helped other people realize that ‘you can vote’, despite your income or background.”

Metelo dreams of becoming a political correspondent and a life bound to politics.

“Say you’re a DC correspondent,” Meteo said. “You’re the one in front of the White House, delivering the news to the world. I want to be at the heart of where politics are. ”