Big Cats on Campus: Danielle Templeton

By: Daphne Becker

A crisp silence settles in the air as Danielle Templeton stands up to the podium smiling and ready to do her introduction speech for none other then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Templeton, a current freshman at the University of Northern Iowa and a graduate from Cedar Falls High School class of 2015, volunteer’s for Clinton’s campaign in the Cedar Valley and also works as a full time student.

During her time at the high school, she participated in many groups like women’s leadership, sophomore/junior/senior leadership and MVP, and she also worked with administration to help develop some of the school’s guidelines. “She is a hardworking girl who just gets how the world works,” English teacher Diane Flaherty said. Templeton said her time in women’s leadership truly helped prepare her for the future.

Templeton was also a hardworking CFHS student, taking AP and college courses. She is a loud, vibrant person who could not so easily be ignored — especially when it is something she feels passionate about like feminism and minority rights.

Some days the Tigers Den feels a little less alive without her fiery presence capturing the people in the room.  “Danielle is like a ray of sunshine. She really is. While she was here I saw her help so many different levels of kids at the school,” Flaherty said.

In her opinion, Cedar Falls High School, or at least her experience here, truly prepared her for college. She remembers Cedar Falls High School as very vigilant. “It definitely makes you more academically ready for what is to come,” Templeton said. She said coming in that she was more academically ready than some of her fellow classmates at the University of Northern Iowa, but she advises students to make sure they check their email. “In college just because the professor didn’t say it in class doesn’t mean you can whine and cry about not knowing. You have to step up your game and check for yourself,” Templeton said.

Over the summer is when she started working with the Clinton campaign. “As soon as she announced her candidacy, I wanted to hop on board right away because I didn’t want to just sit on the sidelines and watch history happen,” Templeton said. She started small, working with the organization, and now she works it into her daily life. She holds meetups to discuss Clinton’s campaign, helps students learn how to register to vote and shares her opinion about why Clinton is the right choice with anyone she can.

She supports Clinton’s campaign because Clinton supports women’s rights, which is a big issue for her. “I don’t believe Hillary is the choice for women because she is a woman. I think Hillary is the choice for women because she supports women,” Templeton said.

Through her work in volunteering and her passion of working on women’s rights issues, she was able to get to a point where her mentor felt she was the natural fit to be the one who got to introduce Clinton.

“My mentor knew that women’s rights is my issue and that was what the event was centered towards, so he suggested me, and then I got approved with the people higher up to speak,” Templeton said.

She actually didn’t know she was speaking until the Friday before Clinton came to Cedar Falls on a Monday. “Things like this aren’t supposed to happen to people like me. These things happen to other people, people who get more involved with politics and have more experience. I would have never dreamed this would happen to me,” Templeton said.

Templeton said she believes the best way to give yourself experiences is to just put yourself out there. “Follow your passions, and if something sparks your interests, just go for it because you never know what will come of it if you don’t,” she said.

If Templeton would have never gotten involved when she heard her call to Clinton’s campaign, she would not be where she is today and never would have received the opportunity she had.

She is not quite sure what she wants to do with her future. She is currently going to school to teach elementary education, but she said she thinks she might want to consider politics as well. Frankly, anyone who knows her probably feels the same way. “I believe that Danielle can write her own ticket on anything she wants to do,” Flaherty said.

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