NEW ORLEANS — At age 23, Sierra Blanchard is several years away from being eligible to run for President of the United States — but that's not stopping the Loyola Law student from getting a head start.
Blanchard was one of 65 people participating in an advocacy and campaign training workshop on Saturday hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. The first stop on the institute's four-city tour: New Orleans.
"One of the things they've been mentioning throughout the weekend is making sure you know why you are doing this and that it's not about you, it's about the people," Blanchard said.
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Vanessa Griddine-Jones, Executive Director of the institute, said New Orleans was a clear choice for the tour.
"You all are always in an election cycle here in Louisiana and so we figured anytime we train here would be a good time for y'all to have people highly trained and ready to go out," Griddine-Jones said.
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Ranging in ages from 22 to 65 , different races and genders, participants attended the workshop to learn the skills needed to be a part of a politician campaign.
Bennie Thompson (D-MS), one of the 55 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, said trainees were taught skills like budgeting and community organization.
"We will work on those things that people who are interested in making their communities better will have to have as skills sets," Thompson said.
Currently, there are no Republican members part of the Congressional Black Caucus, but the organization is recognized as being non-partisan. Organizers like Thompson said the workshops are no different.
"American is made of Democrats, Republicans Independents, but at the end of the day we are all Americans and we want our community to be a better place," Thompson said.
Blanchard said she hopes to use what's she learned towards her goal of being president some day.
"So keeping that in the forefront of my mind, and the forefront of my thinking and making sure once I am elected — I am keeping my fingers crossed on that — that I do not how to continue to work with people and not lose sight of what I really did it for," Blanchard said.