Cree McNulty dropped out of high school at age 15, had an epiphany at age 21, went back to school, got involved in activist politics and is now out to make the world a better place.
How did you get from being a high school drop out to becoming gainfully employed and nearing completion of your BA?
I grew up in the Ball Park area of Salt Lake and went to school in Glendale. My grandparents raised me half the time because my parents worked hard. We're Chicano, an Hispanic Native-American culture. My school was refugee youth. I grew up with Muslim friends, Christian friends, everything you can think of. Dad passed away unexpectedly from a workplace safety accident when I was 15 and I stopped going to school. I started working at 16 to do whatever I could to get by. Turning 21, I thought I should do something. Getting a GED worked out well, so I enrolled at Salt Lake Community College. That high school paper [GED] gave me confidence. Then I met a professor who made me feel as though the individual choices I make could be part of something bigger.
So, have your choices made you part of something bigger?
Yes. With my SLCC associates degree, I enrolled at the U of U, majoring in political science. I come from a family of strong women with a progressive background. One night in 2014, I called the County Dems and ended up at Rep. Angela Romero's. She was welcoming and she said, "Let's do something." They haven't been able to get rid of me since.
What have you been doing in politics?
The U of U Hinkley Institite of Politics sent me to Bedford, UK, just outside of London, where I worked for the Conservative Party in their last election. It was insane—so fun. In Utah, I moved into County Democratic Party leadership, became legislative chair for my district and Angela's campaign manager. I am Secretary of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party and chair of the technology committee.
How has your experience been as the chair of the technology committee?
It's been really great to see how Social Media can be positive for the world, other than how people can be really shitty to each other. Some of the most useful stuff in controlling a social media platform is that you learn to double check your work and not immediately post in the heat of the moment. I am learning from Donald Trump. I hope children learn from him how not to behave in public. It's better being nice to other people and make their lives a little easier.
What's next for you?
I got engaged in London. It was really cool. Like everyone in their 20s, I want to make the world a better place. I want to be a functioning adult in the world, doing good things for other people.