Young Democrats Club attends “A Conversation with Anderson Cooper”


Photo courtesy of the Young Democrats Club.

Maddie Hess, News Editor

On the rooftop of the nation’s largest synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, students of the Young Democrats Club were anxiously waiting, eating pizza, and talking amongst themselves. In a few minutes, they would get to be in the presence of someone they deeply admired. 

Recently, club advisor Jonathan Zolomij led a trip to New York City to allow students to attend “A Conversation with Anderson Cooper” regarding Cooper’s new book, Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty. 

Photo courtesy of the Young Democrats Club.

At the time, the students were unaware they would get to personally make the acquaintance of Cooper. However, around 5:30 pm, Cooper waltzed out onto the rooftop deck, taking the students by surprise. He proceeded to hold a long conversation with the students — answering their questions, discussing his career, and offering personal advice.

“The country is so polarized, it is more important than ever to understand people who may have a different point of view than you, and walk in their shoes,” Cooper told Emmaus students. 

Olivia Pinocci-Wrightsman, the president of Young Democrats said, “It was one of the best experiences of my entire life.”

One theme appeared to be common between student attendees; their admiration for his candidacy.
“You expect someone to be nice, but to hold that level of respect for a group of students they’ve never met is pretty incredible,” said Pinocci-Wrightsman. 

Sydné Clarke, the vice president of Young Democrats, shared similar opinions to Pinocci-Wrightsman, expressing how excited she was to meet Mr. Cooper and giving details on her experience.

“He was just so down to earth,” said Clarke. 

Zolomij, a world studies teacher at EHS, coordinates and runs field trips taken by the Young Democrats. He was thrilled with the turn of events and the opportunity given to students. 

“A lot of times people have a persona of what they say and how they act on TV,” Zolomij said. “He was thoughtful and careful, it seemed as if he had nothing to hide.”

Photo courtesy of the Young Democrats Club.

Zolomij is committed to offering experiences to the students at Emmaus, he just announced the next field trip for January of 2022, the Young Democrats Club will again be making their way to New York City, this time to see Trevor Noah.