Derenoncourt chose Suffolk for its close proximity to his internship at the Massachusetts State House. After graduation he became director of constituent affairs for a state senator, helping to resolve issues and connecting residents with services. Running for office was a natural next step in his mission to better the community that had embraced him.
“This is a wonderful country,” says Derenoncourt. “We have a solemn obligation to not just live here, but to serve, protect, and improve.”
So what does it take to win that first race, and where does a prospective candidate even start?
Clara Sandrin, who is completing her accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program in political science, was bitten by the political bug as a 16-year-old volunteering on Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. “I couldn’t even vote yet, but I loved managing, producing, and being behind the scenes,” she says.
Sandrin and Derenoncourt met in Professor Brian Conley’s Ready, Set, Run course. A year later they were working together on Derenoncourt’s successful run for Brockton City Council.