Griffin Poutre was born in Lewiston, Maine on March 5, 1997, to two loving parents, Tim & Wendy. His mother is also from Lewiston, and his father hails from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Both sides of his family have French Canadian roots. Griffin has one brother, Chase, who works in supply chain management. Griffin grew up in Stratham, New Hampshire and is proud to call the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire home. He attended Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire, where he was elected President of his class during his Junior year. In this role, Griffin oversaw fundraising and the procurement of donations for his class’ activities, including Junior Prom. He saw great success in reaching out to the community and local businesses for support, which helped save large amounts of money. Griffin was also active in Track & Field and the EHS Swimming & Diving team, the latter of which won its first ever state title in 2013 (during Griffin’s Sophomore year). He graduated in 2015. Griffin is now a Senior at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, where he studies Political Science.

In his spare time, Griffin enjoys hiking, reading history books, and writing. He enjoys learning about the history of politics and power, from the Code of Hammurabi up to the present day. He is also quite interested in military strategy and how wars are won and lost, because many of the same principles can also be applied to modern campaign strategy. Griffin regards Hannibal Barca as one of the greatest strategic and logistical minds to ever walk the Earth.

Throughout his life, Griffin has been very involved and invested in the U.S. political system, first gaining noteworthy experience in 2014 when he interned for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee and former U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA). Brown was making a run for Jeanne Shaheen’s Senate seat in New Hampshire, but he lost the closely fought race. Griffin has also worked for Young Americans for Liberty and has lent his hand volunteering for Rand Paul’s Presidential campaign in New Hampshire and Andy Sanborn’s congressional campaign in New Hampshire’s First Congressional District. Recently, Griffin completed an internship with Eric Brakey’s campaign for Congress in Maine’s Second District, where he gained experience reaching out to rural voters, who are frequently ignored by political campaigns. Through these jobs and volunteer activities, Griffin gained a large amount of experience in canvassing, coalition building, retail politics, voter contact and get-out-the-vote efforts. Griffin also has some limited experience in fundraising and list building.

Griffin’s passion for politics stems from his commitment to his community, his state, and his country. From his perspective, his community is what made him what he is today, and involvement in public affairs is a great way to give back to the community that raised him up. Griffin strongly believes in civic engagement and responsible stewardship of one’s country.

In the last few years, what lifestyle, habit, or behavior change has had the biggest positive impact on your life?

Finding a good balance between work and exercise has worked wonders for me. It helps me stay focused, in shape, and helps my sleep patterns. I have lost a decent amount of weight as well. I also abstain from drugs and alcohol, as it is detrimental to one’s health and productivity.

When you feel unfocused, what do you do?

I simply remind myself of the end goal – the reason I’m completing the task. This is usually enough. I think about the consequences of remaining unfocused, and that is a good motivator.

What advice would you give a high school senior? What advice should they ignore?

Don’t listen to people when they tell you that you “need” to do x, y, and z in order to accomplish your goals. Don’t follow the path of others simply because others have taken it – blaze your own trail and do whatever feels right for you. Don’t feel pressured to attend college. I know plenty of people who have spent tens of thousands of dollars getting degrees that they will not use. Many of them are already regretting it, and they’re only two years in. I would also remind them, if they are to attend college, that their academic career is not over, and that college is not a giant party or a time to slack off. I’d ask them to think about the price they are paying for a semester of college, and calculate the cost of each individual class session. Usually it adds up to hundreds of dollars per lecture – so don’t skip class!

What is one lifestyle trend that excites you?

I’m a sauna connoisseur – I use dry saunas as often as possible, usually 2-3 times per week. It’s invigorating and it helps deal with stress and muscle aches. Stepping into a sauna for just 10-15 minutes makes you feel like a million bucks. Studies have also shown that regular sauna use decreases one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. And all you have to do is sit in a hot room for a few minutes – it does not take much effort. I would highly recommend it!

Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?

Congressman Ron Paul has been my biggest inspiration and influence. He inspired me to get interested in politics, and to always fight for what’s right, no matter the odds you face. He is a champion of liberty that I admire greatly. The 2012 Presidential campaign was when I began paying attention to politics, and Ron Paul was the only candidate who resonated with me. Even though he was unlikely to win and was being largely ignored, he still fought on and got his message out to millions of people who otherwise would have never heard it.

What’s one of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned?

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to always show gratitude to those who have helped you along the way and got you to where you are now. It goes a long way. Don’t burn your bridges.

What do you think it is that makes you/someone successful?

Hustle. The people who succeed are the ones who are always willing to go the extra mile in order to achieve their goals, and to make sacrifices to that end. A quick mind is also a great asset, and a willingness to take calculated risks. As a student of history, I understand that many of the decisions that altered the course of world history were made in the moment during a crisis, often with incomplete information. This is especially true in both politics and military strategy. For example, I would argue that the American Civil War was decided by a series of split-second decisions by both generals and statesmen in the heat of the moment. To keep your cool under intense pressure and to weigh the risks and rewards of your potential actions is crucial to success.

How do you stay motivated?

I stay motivated by keeping the big picture in mind – my goals for how I want my life to be in 5, 10, 15 years, and so on. This helps me break down my major goals into much smaller, more manageable ones. One can easily be overwhelmed when they think about their “life goals.” You can overcome this stress by thinking about what you can do today to help achieve those goals. These smaller goals are much easier to tackle.

What legacy do you hope to leave behind?

I hope to leave behind a legacy of hard work, dedication, and commitment to the wellbeing and liberty of my country and community. I want to have a positive effect on the world and to leave it better than I found it. I want human beings in my country and around the world to be freer and more prosperous than they were at the time I was born. If I can contribute towards that goal, then my life was a life well-lived.