From grocery stock boy to popular TV interviewee, University of Hawai'i student Zachary Ellison made history last month by becoming the 1,000,000th person to contribute to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign on Feb. 27.
"I did not deliberately donate thinking I really want to be the millionth donor," he says. Instead, he did it to show his family he could put his money where his mouth is.
Believing that it is his civic duty to support the candidate that represents him best, Ellison said that the 2008 presidential election is an important one, with many major issues on the table, such as the war in Iraq, environmental concerns and student aid.
With all of the attention Ellison is getting, he remains modest about his good fortune. "I have made sure to acknowledge that the people who worked hard in this campaign and the other donors are more important than I am in every interview," he said.
From his donation, Ellison was offered an opportunity to observe the March 4 primary results with Obama's Hawai'i campaign supporters.
Ellison said what he really likes about Obama is his apparent willingness to do the right thing, and that Obama voted against entering the United States into the Iraq War when others favored the popular opinion. He believes Obama speaks to our generation and understands what we dislike about politics.
Ellison also feels that Obama understands that hard work will be necessary to find success, and admires that he and his wife have just finished paying off their student loans within the past 10 years. Ellison believes these traits make Obama very relatable to the average working-class college student and graduate.
Though he firmly supports Barack Obama, Ellison feels that others should research who is the most worthy candidate for their vote. "I think students should look for a proven record of improving the everyday lives of Americans."
© 2008 Ka Leo O Hawaii via U-WIRE