Calhoun Times

Ogelsby takes southern principles to D.C.

- KCaulder@CalhounTim­ By Kelcey Caulder

Integrity, honesty, respect, responsibi­lity and kindness — these are the southern principles that Dalton State College student Cody Ogelsby has taken with him to Washington, D.C.

“Before attending Dalton State, I went from K-12 at Canaanland Christian School in Chatsworth. That’s where I was taught all of the important principles like integrity and honesty that guide me as a person now,” Ogelsby said, the son of Dr. Joseph and Timie Oglesby of ABC Pediatrics. “Once people get a touch of power, which tends to happen in Washington, they can sometimes lose those principles. I don’t want that. It’s very important to me to stick to my principles and have good character.”

Ogelsby is in Washington as a Republican lobbying and political consultanc­y intern with the Fund for American Studies program. As an intern, he gathers data, completes write ups on political hearings, and works with others at the firm to do work that he views as both meaningful and impactful. When he isn’t at work, he can be found attending lectures on topics like economics and leadership or taking classes with professors like former Virginia Congressma­n Glenn Nye.

Getting into the Fund for American Studies program was, according to Ogelsby, “extremely rigorous and very competitiv­e, but worth the work.”

To be accepted, he participat­ed in several rounds of interviews with both the Fund for American Studies and the Ronald Reagan President Foundation and Institute. After completing the program, he will be an official Reagan Fellow.

“A lot of internship­s can be more administra­tive, so it’s really cool to see my work being used and having a real impact,” Ogelsby said. “I am really blessed to be here, doing the work I feel God

has called me to do at this time. It’s also great to leave the classroom and go see things like Mount Vernon and Monticello.”

His passion for politics, which he says is very real despite his decision to major in business, stemmed from a meeting of the Gordon County Republican Party he attended with his father when he was just 12 years old.

“I can’t remember what the event was exactly, but I went with my dad and I was really impressed. They were talking to him a little more because I was young at the time, but it was enough to get me hooked,” Ogelsby said. “I started helping with little things like putting out yard signs and canvassing neighborho­ods. Things like that. I love the local level of politics. You get to really see how government can help people.”

In addition to learning the basics of local government, Ogelsby said that the Gordon County Republican Party gave him the ability to build a strong network of mentors and develop the calling to public service that God placed in his heart as a child.

“The two months I’ve spent here in D.C. have reiterated that calling in me,” he said. “I’m definitely thinking of more actionable steps I can take now that I’m getting closer to graduating with my bachelors. I’m thinking of how to better our community and state as a whole. Those thoughts are more present in my mind than ever.”

To local students interested in pursuing political careers, Ogelsby suggests getting involved locally and building a strong network of connection­s while also taking actionable steps to further their political goals.

“Meet people and learn from them and learn about your community. That makes you a more informed citizen and voter, and that makes you a better leader,” Ogelsby said. “Ask questions. Be bold, even if you are young. Everyone has something to offer, even if it’s just asking a question that no one else is brave enough to ask. Showing up is the best way to get involved.”

 ?? Contribute­d ?? Cody Ogelsby poses in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
Contribute­d Cody Ogelsby poses in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

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