Palmetto High School senior Eric Dusseau bears a striking resemblance to his father, former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Charles Dusseau. He also shares an interest in politics. This summer, Dusseau interned for the Joe Garcia for Congress campaign
“I did a variety of things,” Dusseau says. “A lot of it was making phone calls and going door to door. I also did research, spread sheets and data entry.”
Dusseau chose to intern at the campaign because he wanted to do something that he liked over the summer.
“One thing I was interested in was politics,” he says. “I thought about volunteering with the Obama campaign. My dad kind of knew Joe (Biden).”
He says working at the campaign was fun and hectic, but also time consuming. Once school started, he had to concentrate on school activities, so he cut back on his time commitment to the campaign.
“I’ll go when I can; on Election Day I’ll go and help out, whatever they need me to do,” he says.
Working on the campaign taught him a few things.
“I guess I learned that I enjoy the political process,” Dusseau says. “It helped build my skills in communicating with people — making a lot of phone calls and going door to door, conveying a message, which I think I got a lot better at.”
Going into politics in future is a possibility for Dusseau.
“I’m not fully committed to a career or an area of study yet, but I’m thinking about it,” he says.
One of the reasons he had to cut back his time at the campaign was because he is captain of the track and cross-country teams.
“That’s a big part of my life and what I do at school,” Dusseau says.”In addition to practices at the school, I do a lot of running on my own. I enjoy running, it pushes you; but at the same time, it’s relaxing.”
Dusseau says running is a sport that lets you get out of it what you put into it.
“If you don’t train in cross country, you’re out of luck,” he says.
He runs the mile and the two-mile races for the track team.
“I’m better at the two-mile than the onemile,” he says. “I qualified for regionals three times.”
He finished seventh in the regional meet as a junior. “I’ve gotten better every year,” he says.
“I’ve been working at it a lot harder this year, with a lot of training on my own this summer.”
His enjoyment of sports is likely one of the things that led him to volunteer as a camp aide at the University of Miami Mini-Canes Summer Camp between his sophomore and junior year.
“I had fun interacting with the kids,” he says. “It gave me new experience because I didn’t have experience interacting with little kids before. It was fun doing that.”
At Palmetto High School, Dusseau is vice president of the Debate Club and a member of the Model United Nations team. He is also in Future Business Leaders of American and takes part in competitions. He has done well in FBLA competition.
“I ended up going to nationals,” he says, adding that his topic was economics.
While he didn’t place at the national level, he learned a lot about economics.
“I found out that I really enjoyed economics and I’m considering a major in economics,” he says. Dusseau is looking at a diverse list of universities for his college career, including the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, USC and Harvard.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld