She’s a sophomore studying journalism at Keene State College. She’s the campus leader for Keene State for Obama. And she’s featured on BarackObama.com.
Kay Montplaisir is 19 years old and working alongside six other KSC students and the local Keene office located on 294 West St. towards the re-election of President Obama on Nov. 6, 2012.
The Press Secretary for the state of N.H. Harrell Kirstein stated she and Montplaisir are working on the President’s campaign to ensure his re-election.
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Kirstein said of Montplaisir, “At Keene State College Kay is a phenomenal volunteer for the President’s campaign and has built a really solid group of volunteers who along with her are working incredibly hard to rally students to vote and then talking to them about what’s at stake for students.” As a freshman at Central High School in Manchester, N.H. Montplaisir started hearing about “this senator from Illinois,” Barack Obama. She said she found Obama to be extremely relatable and likeable. In August of 2007 Montplaisir began volunteering at her high school and in the Manchester office advocating for Obama during the primaries.
In October of 2007 Barack Obama’s campaign trail stopped in Manchester to promote the democratic party at a luncheon, ironically held by 14-year-old Montplaisir and her friend who was also working on the campaign at her friend’s house. It was then that Montplaisir’s concentration in the Obama campaign really generated.
“That’s when I started realizing, I’m 14 years old but look at all the things I can do. My big thing was that I couldn’t vote, I didn’t have that kind of voice but I could show people why I was a supporter of Barack Obama and that in turn would get other people to vote for him. I think that I did a lot at such a young age,” Montplaisir said.
Campaigning on campus wasn’t as easy of an adjustment as Montplaisir anticipated. She went from working alongside people between the ages of 30-50 in her old Manchester to a college campus.
As Montplaisir said it best, “You have to be a college student to understand a college student.”
Montplaisir decided to ditch her “professional campaigner” mindset and opt for a more fun and casual approach towards gaining students interest in the campaign.
“When I first got here we didn’t know how to get these students to care. Once I got to campus I realized it’s a completely different scene because a lot of these kids haven’t had a lot of background in politics and usually have the same views as their parents and haven’t developed their own political views,” Montplaisir stated. Montplaisir’s mother Deb Soares described her daughter as a kind, smart and strong individual.
“Kay, when she puts her mind to something she goes full force. So I think that’s what she’s doing right now, she doesn’t go in it half way. If she believes in something she’s going to go all the way and do it,” Soares said.
Montplaisir can be credited for bringing John Cho and Kal Penn, also known as “Harold and Kumar” to KSC. Montplaisir is bringing influential celebrities to campus to help educate students on the Obama campaign.
While holding these types of events, Montplaisir tries to get students to fill out a “commit to vote” form, signifying that these students will be voting for Obama come election day. She said, “Students sign their name, phone number and the dorm that they live in and then on Election Day, we’re going to call them and make sure they get out and vote. We are going to have transportation coming from the campus to the polling locations and just making sure that these students get out there and vote.”
Montplaisir is working towards a goal of 1200 commit to vote cards from KSC students – which is just one-fifth of the college, the number of votes that NH needs from KSC in order for Obama to win the election. Montplaisir’s sister, also a former KSC student, Emily Montplaisir is thankful for her sister’s contribution and hard work efforts in educating students on campus. “Kay has given me and so many students and peers her age such a great example of what you can do at a young age and even for me, being older than her, I know that for this election my rights are on the line so I think that’s really cool that she’s done that for me and other people our age,” Emily said. At the end of the day Montplaisir is campaigning first for our generation to vote and second for Obama.
“It’s just really important that students at KSC know how important they are. They wouldn’t know unless they had someone there telling them the facts, and that’s really what I’m here for so people understand how important their vote is to our generation, that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Montplaisir said.
Megan Markus can be contacted at