Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

As a young female growing up in a fair-sized city of Colorado, I have found myself struggling with the freedom to express my views and stand up for what I believe in. I have explicitly chosen to associate myself with the Republican Party. I registered to vote when I was 16 and knew that choosing to register Republican was the best decision for me. The 2016 election took off shortly after I began to acknowledge my ideology. I had taken a course of AP American Government and Politics, and attended Girls State; a program for incoming high school senior girls that teaches them the legislative process, how to run for office, and several other government related material. It was during my junior year of high school that I began to feel comfortable expressing my views but it was not much later that I was treated differently because of them.
Thank you for running for office and representing the personality of a true American. You express your ideas and opinions in such a way that it is easy to relate and connect with. I looked to you for confidence when I struggled to express my views amongst my peers. I felt so inspired and motivated by your campaign that I decided to show up at the local Republican headquarters in September of 2016 and ask how I could help. I got a position as an intern and my passion took off! I made over 5,000 calls on your behalf with the hope of impressing other American citizens with your platform. I went door to door several afternoons seeking information and data from my community. I worked at your rally in my hometown where I stood ten feet away from you. I was even daring enough to ask you to sign my hat before you exited the stage. Instead of ignoring me, you graciously turned around and acknowledged my request. Thank you. I wanted to turn my county Red! By spending over 20 hours a week for 7 weeks, I did just that. 
I left my hometown the week before November 8th to spend Election Week in Washington D.C. along with about 20 other kids from my high school. Throughout the week I had been nervous that somehow my work would not pay off and our country would still be in doubt. I was blown away the evening of the 8th when I gathered in a peer’s hotel room to watch the election. Out of all the students who had traveled with us there were 4 supporters of the Republican Party. Needless to say, I was kicked out of that girl’s hotel room quickly after you won Pennsylvania and Florida. They knew it was over. I fell asleep shortly after you got a significant lead but was woken up at 2 a.m. to the news caption reading “President Elect Donald Trump.” I jumped for joy. 
Your campaign gave me reassurance and hope for this country. I felt grounded in my principles and knew that it was okay to express my opinions in a respectful manner. Your perseverance throughout your journey to becoming elected showed me what it meant to stay strong and only feed my energy into those who deserve it. You empower me. You believed in yourself, and because of that, I now believe in myself. I no longer fear rejection or hate because of who I am. You showed me what it was like to face challenges and to overcome them. 
I will be starting college at the University of Denver in Colorado in the fall. I am excited to begin this new journey. People keep asking me if I am nervous to be a Republican on a college campus but I assure them that I will be okay. As an American I believe in the freedom of speech, and because of this freedom we are bound to present different ideals. I want to make an impact on my college campus and break the stigma of Republicans. I will make a difference. 

Thank you for empowering me. 

Addison Puffer