My name is Davis. I’m spending a year reaching out to my role models. Here’s why.
Love him or hate him, there is no denying that President Barack Obama’s speeches are oratory art.
While Obama brainstorms and edits his own speeches, the bulk of the writing belongs to his speechwriter, Jon Favreau.
Jon met Obama in 2004 (when Obama was still a State Senator running for the U.S. Senate) backstage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention as Obama was rehearsing his keynote address. Jon, then only 23, interrupted Obama’s rehearsal and offered advice on rewrites.
After Obama’s election to the Senate, Jon went on to work for Obama’s campaign and in 2008, at the age of 27, became the President’s Director of Speechwriting.
In high school, I read, listened to, and studied Jon’s speeches. When I was writing speeches for competitions or my own graduation, Jon Favreau was my standard.
When it came to writing speeches, he was my role model.
This week I wanted to reach out to him.
The Most Important Question
One of the questions that I like to ask is “what is the most exciting project you’re working on?” When I know the answer, I ask myself “how can I help this person with the project they’re most passionately working on my right?” Finding the answers to these two questions helps me find a way to help my role model and most of the time connect with them.
Looking at where Jon is traveling these days: between Washington DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, I won’t have a chance to meet him in person to ask him about the most exciting project he is working on.
I decide to take it on Twitter.
Taking it on Twitter
I realize asking on Twitter has a slim chance of working, but a slim chance is better than a zero chance.
We’ll see what happens.
This week I will be reaching out to Adam Braun, the Founder & CEO of Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases access to education for children in the developing world.