Three months into Obama presidency, Abington students still optimistic

As the country neared the 100 day mark of the Obama administration, a select group of Penn State Abington students met with Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and a reporter from the Intelligencer on Thursday, April 16, to discuss their opinions on the progress of the new administration. This diverse group of students was chosen to represent a cross-section of young people from the United States. They first met in January, prior to President Barack Obama’s inauguration, and will meet one final time in the fall to continue the discussion.

Many topics were covered — from international issues, to healthcare, to the economic crisis, to education — and how these issues affect the members of the group personally. The students were cautiously optimistic in regards to the first three months of the Obama administration.

As far as international issues are concerned, Cynthia Estremera, senior English major, believes the nations overseas have a better impression of the United States now then they did before, due to the President’s recent European tour. "He just really went over there to keep it real and to engage in some type of diplomacy that will make us more respectable in the eyes of all the other nations that have not necessarily been respectful of us these past couple of years. He’s putting us in a different perspective and different light. They’re getting to see us for who we really are."

Health care was also a major area of interest to Estremera, an uninsured adult, as it was to the rest of the group. "I was just turned down for Medicare because I make too much money … $200 a week instead of $200 a month. In order for me to have coverage I have to have a baby. I have to be in poverty to be covered … that’s just perpetuating the system. I’m trying to rise out of that poverty level and nothing is helping me. I’d like to see more strides in health care. I need to see some type of results because it’s not just an issue with me, but for millions of people."

Michael Ucci, 2010 corporate communication major from Rockledge, contributed to the afternoon event with his positive opinion that the Obama administration is making the country a better place. "I believe the foundation has been laid and that’s what I was hoping for (since January meeting). We weren’t expecting immediate change but hoping for small significant changes that would be more significant in the future, for example, health care reform and educational reform. Obama would like to invest more money into funding financial aid for science and math majors so that we can get those engineering and science jobs back to the U.S. That’s something that Obama is focusing on in order to turn the country back around to where we once were—better than where we once were."

"I do have faith that he gets it, that he understands the issues and that’s why we, as college students have so much faith in him," concluded Ucci.

 

Contacts: 
Last Updated May 04, 2009