HAMMOND | At 15, Attia Gray isn't old enough to vote but she instinctively understood how important the 2012 presidential election was going to be to her future.
Gray, of Hammond, has been an Obama campaign volunteer throughout the election season and has gone door-to-door campaigning in Northwest Indiana and Chicago. On Monday, Gray, a sophomore at the Hammond Academy of Science and Technology, took the day off from school to campaign for Obama in Wisconsin.
"I know that I want to see change in the economy and the environment," Gray said Wednesday.
"I volunteered with my mother for his campaign four years ago when I was 11," she said. "I didn't understand the Electoral College then, but I understand it now. We've talked about it in class. When I went door-to-door talking to voters, I talked to them about the president and how he can make America a better place for the future."
Gray's U.S. history teacher, Joshua Rowinski, said he talked to his students about how the Electoral College works. He said the students created campaign videos and discussed the different campaign strategies candidates use. Students also discussed how candidates can use celebrities to get their points across.
Rowinski said Gray did a video of her experience in Wisconsin and showed it to the class.
"The kids really enjoyed it," he said. "She's a wonderful student, well behaved and very involved. Attia is a very good writer, and she's an honor roll student."
Gray's work, along with other volunteers in Wisconsin, paid off. President Obama carried the state of Wisconsin and won its 10 electoral votes.
Gray and her mother also were at Team Obama headquarters Tuesday and had an opportunity to sit in the VIP section at McCormick Place in Chicago, among the thousands of supporters wildly waving American flags.
Although Gray said she wants to be a marine biologist when she grows up, she is excited about politics and plans to remain active.
"I think politics is interesting. I enjoyed listening to the debates and hearing what the candidates had to say," she said.