On Tuesday, September 13, Patrick Houston ‘17 introduced President Barack Obama at a rally for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton in Center City Philadelphia. He began his speech with the clause, “I’m especially thrilled to be here because so much about my story says I should not be here today.”
Houston is a special major in political science and environmental policy at the college and a member of Swatties for Hillary, an officially recognized group under the Clinton Campaign. He spoke throughout his speech about the many obstacles he has overcome to make it to this point in his life, mentioning the loss of his parents and the struggles of being low-income alongside his eleven siblings. He also spoke of his experiences attending both the Community College of Philadelphia and Swarthmore College as hugely impactful on his life.
Vinita Davey ‘17, a close friend of Houston’s, attested to the amazing personal character and achievements that lead him to the podium and to shake hands with the President of the United States.
“Patrick has worked incredibly hard to not only be here at Swat, but to have been on that stage today. Behind the scenes, Patrick puts in more dedication and passion to everything he does than anyone I know,” she said.
“It’s amazing — I see him in Sharples on Monday, he’s bear-hugging the president on Tuesday,” said Nate Urban ’18, a board member of Swatties for Hillary.
When asked how he was feeling in the wake of the big day, Houston was filled with nothing but relief and gratitude.
Houston said that meeting President Obama on stage at the rally was particularly fulfilling for him.
“… I had just given my speech [when I met him onstage] but beyond that, I felt like i had that opportunity to pay some tribute to him. I was able to have that opportunity to do the least I could to pay tribute that all that he’s done for me, the role model he’s been for me, and beyond that the role model he’s been for various different people around the country and around the world,” Houston said.