My Experience Meeting Hillary Clinton

When I first got the news that I would be meeting former first lady, secretary of state, and senator of NY, Hillary Clinton, I was ecstatic! She has been a voice for girls, and an advocate for women’s rights in the workforce and in health care. During her time as first lady, she proclaimed that “women’s rights are human rights,” advocated for the Family and Medical Leave Act, and helped start the national campaign to end teen and unplanned pregnancies. She has advocated for fair pay and paid parental leave in the workplace. Overall she was, and still is, a champion for women. That’s why when I heard that she was hosting public book signings near me for her new memoir, What Happened, I jumped at the chance. 

My family and I booked our tickets in advance, and waited anxiously for the day to come. Because we were going to be in contact with a public figure, we could not have any bags, liquids, or metal on us once we entered the bookstore. We waited on line outside the bookstore for four hours, but it was all worth it once we had the chance to meet our idol, a natural born leader, and hero for women! It was a pleasure to meet Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

When I got to the table where she was shaking hands and signing books, I panicked. I didn’t know what I was going to say to her, regardless of the fact that I had four hours of waiting on line to think about it. Should I have told her that I wish she had won the presidency? That she was my role model? I didn’t want to waste the 15 seconds that I had with her. Finally I got to the table, and her face lit up, I think she was inspired to see a young person at her book signing, because the crowd was mostly older women and some men. 

When I first saw her, I stared in shock as she said, “Hi, how are you?” Then my mouth uttered out what I really had on my mind. “You are such an inspiration for young girls,” I said. She then responded, “Thank you, and thank you for being here with me today.” 

 Throughout all of my middle school and High School career, I had looked up to successful musicians and actors like Emma Watson and P!nk who preached women’s rights in their songs and movies. But to have a woman who had experience in politics, family, volunteer organizations, military, education, women’s rights, and municipal and public affairs, inspired me beyond compare. I was inspired to be the best version of myself that I could be, and to be a strong, independent, successful female. 

I have always had it in me to challenge the boys and break gender stereotypes. But when I really got to know and what Hillary Clinton stood for, and heard her many speeches at UN and women’s conferences, I had a new idol and role model. She believed in everything I believed in growing up. I just didn’t know that that was called women’s rights. As I grew into adolescence and adulthood, I joined Hillary and millions of other women to call themselves feminists.

For me, meeting Hillary Clinton was an all time high. I never imagined that I would shake the hand of a politician that genuinely cared for women’s healthcare, education, opportunities and overall quality of life. I will cherish that moment deep in my heart forever.