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MESSAGE FROM THE CEO Dear Friends, It’s my honor to introduce the first issue of our newsletter. When Leading Women of Tomorrow was founded nearly one year ago, we envisioned building gatherings for undergraduate women to share their frustrations, hopes, and aspirations pertaining to advocacy and governance. The amazing work our Chapters have done thus far, from panels with candidates to pre-professional workshops, has transformed this mission into a tangible, concrete service for communities throughout the nation. Your curiosity and innovation have created discussions and programming that have empowered countless other young women. In the theme of “being first,” our members regularly break down glass ceilings; many of you are the first in your family to go to college, vote, or run for office. You are setting precedents, leading by example, and undoubtedly serving as a role model to others. We applaud you. It is not an easy journey, but remember, a national network of Leading Women stands by you. In the coming months, we hope to create more opportunities to interact with other members from across the country using our brand-new social media pages, online features/forums on the barriers to women’s advocacy in the global community, and regional events. Stay on the look out for more information in the coming weeks! Sincerely, Medha Reddy Founder and CEO

NATIONAL BOARD Medha Reddy: Founder, CEO, DMV Coordinator Kathryn Urban: COO, Midwest Coordinator Kaila Davis: Head of Media Michaela Dowdy: Head of International Outreach Nicole Cennamo: Head of Chapter Development Anna Hirsch: Head of International Development Meenu Mathews: Director of Media Relations Jane Roschen: West Coast Coordinator Sophia Ramcharitar: New York Coordinator

Table of Contents Thoughts from our Members...............................1 Representation in an Era of Uncertainty......1 That Which Binds Us Together......................3 Lessons from my First Year of College........5 The Centerfold: Medha Reddy...........................8 Professional Development Spotlight: Capsule Wardrobes..............................................................11 Women to Watch................................................15 Angelica Vega..................................................15 Elizabeth Pratt..................................................16 Sophia Ramcharitar.........................................17 Rachel Windsor................................................18 Anny Arroyo Pena...........................................19 Seh Yeon Park................................................20 Chapter Listing.....................................................22

Thoughts from our Members Representation in an Era of Uncertainty Under the Donald Trump Administration, the American women’s rights movement has experienced a surge in activism not seen since the bra-burnings of the late 1960s. From the Women’s March to #MeToo, women and men alike are challenging long-held norms surrounding the pay gap, sexual harassment in the workplace, and the skewed coverage of female public officials. The fight for these issues has been heralded as the Fourth Wave of Feminism, ending the fight for women's rights with total equality in the home, the workplace, and in representation. However, just as the feminist cause seems to be advancing, Third Wave issues of women’s bodily autonomy may be in jeopardy. Kathryn Urban National Board

Fourth Wave of Feminism

Should Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s July 2018 nomination to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) be confirmed, conservatives will enjoy a clear majority on the nation’s highest court, giving them the opportunity to overturn or rollback Roe v. Wade. Conservative pundits and politicians at the state level have long advocated limiting women’s ability to obtain a legal abortion, but a SCOTUS reversal on Roe v. Wade would implement such laws on a national scale. While Kavanaugh’s position on the bench is not yet a done deal, US women are


proactively mobilizing to defend their pro-choice positions. Groups such as the National Organization for Women have organized protests on Capitol Hill and in front of the Supreme Court building, and pro-choice politicians have pledged to oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the Senate. But it’s not only American women who are battling for their rights. Just as Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched social reforms giving women the right to drive and scaling-back traditional guardianship laws, Iranian women organized high-profile protests of their own country’s strict laws surrounding women’s garb and behavior, agitating for Saudi-style reforms throughout the conservative Islamic world. Beginning in December 2017, Iranian women publically removed their headscarves, affixing them to sticks and waving them over public squares. With dozens of women detained for the protests, the hashtag, #GirlsofRevolutionStreet circulated throughout the country, eliciting responses from politicians, celebrities, and international figures. In July 2018, Iranian teen Maedeh Hojabri was arrested after she uploaded to Instagram a video of her dancing alone in her bedroom. Citing laws against women dancing in front of men, Iranian officials defended the arrests of women who posted subsequent videos, following Hojabri’s example with the hashtag, #dancing_isnt_a_crime.

All women should work to increase female representation in politics to ensure that our voices are heard

In the midst of these battles going on around the world, the central question is not one of democracy versus authoritarianism or of pro-life versus pro-choice. It is a question of women’s issues being decided by men in positions of power. Regardless of politics or geography, all women should work to increase female representation in politics to ensure that our voices are heard in all arenas, but particularly in those which affect us most intimately.


That Which Binds Us Together In the summer of 2016, I graduated from high school and was getting ready for my first year studying Political Science at Ohio State. This major was unknown to my family, friends and the immigrant community of Ghanaians to which I belong. This made my journey in political science very desolate, until I figured out I was not alone in the quest to attain a career in politics/ law. In fact, this pattern of loneliness is very common among women and young girls like me across political spectrum. In fact, this loneliness is that which binds us together in this political journey. Thus, I will explore this phenom that brings us together, the resources that can help eliminate this pattern and how Leading Women of Tomorrow plays a role in bringing women from all spectrums of the political sphere together. Kezia Ofosu Atta Treasurer, Ohio State University

In fact, this common feeling can be a catalyst to a paradigm shift in the political atmosphere in terms of representation for women. From women like Kamala Harris, Hilary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Joyce Beatty, Maxine Waters to Nikky Haley, Mia Love, Carly Fiorina, and Condoleezza Rice to name a few, this pattern of loneliness stands out in their day to day encounter in the political world, regardless of their political affiliation. As Michelle Obama once said, “When you’ve worked hard, and done well and walked through the doorway of opportunity, you don’t slam it behind you. You reach back”. This quote emphasizes the role for the few women occupying high places in the field of public policy to “reach back” to other women seeking such opportunities in order for more women to be included in the field of public policy.

This pattern of loneliness is very common among women and young girls like me

How do we as women come together to eliminate this? Female politicians can come together to eliminate this sense of loneliness by standing up for and helping one another through professional networks, political platforms, and media establishments by acknowledging and recognizing each


other’s accomplishments, and being great examples for the upcoming females interested in public policy, such as myself. We must avoid bringing each other down through commentaries on social media or through the news, and we need to celebrate one another’s successes, even though jealousy can make that hard to do. One major advantage of groups like Leading Women of Tomorrow is that it brings all aspiring young females interested in the field of public policy such as politics, military and civil service, government, political communication together under one roof to encourage each other and build one another up. It also connects these aspiring young females to women in their local and governmental political fields and allows then to garner encouragement and a sense of support from these established female politicians. With Leading Women of Tomorrow, the outlook of the public policy sphere is sure to change in the near future, and that which binds us together will become a force that will break Washington’s glass ceiling.

We need to celebrate one another's successes, even though jealousy can make that hard to do


Lessons from my First Year of College During my first week of college at the University of Pittsburgh, I (barely) found my way to the office of Pitt’s community engagement advisor. I had taken a gap year between graduating high school and starting my undergraduate studies in order to serve as the president of a non-profit organization, and upon beginning my collegiate career I found myself overwhelmed by an unrelenting urge to get involved in social justice work in my new community. Though I had only been at Pitt for a few days, I knew that I would best find my place on campus by jumping, headfirst, into serving the community. Kathryn Fleisher President, University of Pittsburgh

After having a few conversations with the community engagement advisor and finding a few organizations to join, I started asking questions about the leadership structures and power dynamics that these organizations were operating within. As I began lifting up my head from the work that I had buried myself in, I started noticing the lack of women in leadership positions, particularly women of color and differently-abled women. Acknowledging that the issue of unbalanced leadership extends far beyond any one organization or community, I decided to dedicate myself to further exploring the root causes of the issue, instead of blindly attempting to find a solution.

She enabled me to ask original questions, and, for the first time ever, to draw my own conclusions.

Fortunately for me, the University of Pittsburgh is a top-tier research institution, and I am not shy about pursuing any opportunity that might allow me to somehow better the world. After spending a few late nights in the library, reading through the research that various professors in the political science department had published, I took a deep breath and clicked “send� on an email to the academics whose work felt important, blindly asking if they would be willing to have me join their research teams. Two weeks later, I was working with a brilliant professor who would impact my understanding of the world far more than I could have imagined. Dr. Emily West took a chance on me, a random freshman


whom she had never worked with before, and gave me both the guidance and the space to be able to independently explore the intersections between gender, political power, and representation. Dr. West didn’t simply allot me the opportunity to work as a research assistant, she enabled me to ask original questions and, for the first time ever, to draw my own conclusions. It is at this point in my story that I must pause and thank three people for what would come next in my journey. Those three people include a professor from American University whom I have never met, a lawyer in Pittsburgh who graciously agreed to have coffee with her cousin’s friend, and a patient advisor with a love of white boards. What do all of these people have in common? They are intelligent and driven women who made it a part of what they do to empower the next generation of women to become visionaries, academics, change makers, and leaders -- not despite their status as a woman, but because of the opportunity that comes along with being such. The professor from American University, Dr. Jennifer Lawless, authored one of the most influential pieces of research that I have ever read, entitled "Women on the Run," which prompted me to begin seeing the issue of female underrepresentation in government as a solvable challenge rather than an inherent and unmovable part of the system. The lawyer from Pittsburgh, Jill Beck, agreed to meet me for coffee to discuss my personal and professional goals, taking an hour out of her busy work day to help me identify organizations I could intern with, programs I could apply to, and other women I could network with in order to break into my fields of interest. The community engagement advisor, Holly Hickling, led me through the arduous process of turning my various ideas into a tangible plan of action. Because of these women and the experiences they were able to provide for another ambitious young woman with determination in her heart and a fire to repair the world in her soul, the idea for a program, “Undergraduate Women in Government and Politics”, was born. The vision for this program involves creating a space wherein young women can nurture their political ambitions, connect to relevant research opportunities, meaningfully engage with the wider community, expand their networks, and normalize perceptions of women in leadership through building a cohort of female leaders.


In a country where civic engagement is troublingly low, it has become clear that we, as a society, have an obligation to foster and nurture the next generation of passionate American leaders. In fostering those leaders, however, we must notforget about the importance of diversifying the leadership that will one day represent our incredibly diverse nation. Central to this diversification of leadership is the election of women to public offices. While phenomenal female candidate training programs do exist, there is still a vital demographic of women that remains untouched by conventional programs: undergraduate women. Though undergraduate women are typically not the ones running for office, we know that one of the most effective barriers to women taking leadership roles in the political world is their belief that compared to others (especially compared to men) they are not qualified, connected, nor prepared enough to do so. But what if we could mitigate the effects of the socalled “confidence gap� by reaching politically ambitious women when they are younger, engaging with them directly, and giving them the tools they need to pursue their ambitions in the political world? We have every reason to step up and do our part to close the gendered confidence gap in politics and government, one undergraduate woman at a time. By providing undergraduate women with the right mentors, and by connecting them with the right partners in academia and politics, we have the ability to give more young women the opportunity to one day hold office, influence policy, and enact positive change in the United States.

We must not forget about the importance of diversifying the leadership that will one day represent our incredibly diverse nation.

I feel very fortunate to have stumbled into circumstances that have allowed me to formulate these ideas and view myself as being able to make this kind of change. But being lucky (or having enough money, or being a certain race, or growing up in a certain place, etc..) isn’t an acceptable strategy for building a generation of strong female leaders. We must be unsatisfied with the status quo. We must build up the women around us. It is up to the leaders of today to prepare the (female) leaders of tomorrow.


The "Centerfold" MEDHA REDDY Kathryn Urban National Board

Meet Medha Reddy, LWT's Founder and CEO. Originally from Maryland, she first became interested in government in 2009 when President Bush invited her to the White House in recognition of her volunteer efforts. She went on to become involved in regional student government, work with the Governor's Youth Advisory Council, and found the Maryland Youth Legislative Councils. It was in high school that she decided she wanted to run for office, following in the footsteps of her uncle, who also dreamed of public service through elected office. But it was also in her own home that Medha faced the first challenges to her dream. "When I first decided I would pursue a career in public policy, I anticipated excitement. Instead, the announcement was met with a barrage of questions and confusion. Who would raise my family while I was in DC? How would the stress affect my kids? How would I make it in a boy's club? I was taken aback. I was raised in a house where I was

I was raised in a house where I was told I could be anything I wanted, but these questions made me realize the unspoken subtext: I could be anything I wanted as long as it didn't interfere with my 8 domesticity.

I truly hope that LWT will empower more women with the skills, mentorship, and training to also champion this mission. told I could be anything I wanted, but these questions made me realize the unspoken subtext: I could be anything I wanted as long as it didn't interfere with my domesticity." A self-described "triple minority" as a young woman of color, Medha has drawn encouragement from her own challenges as a forum for helping other young women with political aspirations. "I'm incredibly fortunate: I've had a strong network of role models, mentors, and allies to encourage me to pursue my passion. But I've realized that this discouragement was just enough to convince some others not to consider running for office...I truly hope that LWT will empower more women with the skills, mentorships, and training to also champion this mission." Thus far, Medha's public policy career has focused on human rights and equity, working to make government more accessible for women, racial and ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, and other underrepresented groups. But as she has gained more clinical experience in healthcare, she's also looking towards public health, and is working with the National Marrow Donor Program's "Be the Match" campaign. Throughout her studies and professional experience, Medha has enjoyed the support of other women. She counts among her mentors then-Maryland Delegate Aruna Miller, NOW organizer Jerin Afira, and Ravesa Bajo and Meghan Schneider, who helped make LWT a reality. In discussing her "Feminist Force Field," as Ms. Afira put it, Medha recounts, "There have been countless times I almost took another, easier professional path; but I had mentors who guided me, reminded me of my passions, and encouraged me to persevere in the face of obstacles. I

Feminist Force Field.


wouldn't be where I am today without their support, and hope to pay-it-forward in the coming years as they so kindly did for me." Medha recounted to me the best advice she's ever been given: "Keep your nose to the grindstone, and let your work speak for itself. Be the role model that shows your community anything is possible." But in addition to personal success, it is imperative to support other women in their ambitions. As Medha counseled, "Ask your friends and colleagues two questions: (1) What do you dream of doing, and (2) How can I help? There's so much we can do to support each other, and sometimes offering a supporting hand makes all the difference."

Ask your friends and colleagues two questions: (1) What do you dream of doing, and (2) How can I help? 10

Professional Development Spotlight CAPSULE WARDROBES Kathryn Urban National Board

Dressing professionally can be a daunting task for all women, faced with making decisions about appropriate hemlines, neck lines, and cuts, but building a professional wardrobe is particularly difficult for young and cash-strapped women. For women who are just beginning to break out of the Junior’s section, here’s some tips on assembling a wardrobe that is professional, affordable, and makes you feel great! The idea of a capsule wardrobe has lately been popularized online, as women pare down their closets to forty or fewer items. The catch – every single item in their wardrobes match, and they love wearing each piece. Adopting this capsule mentality is a great way to approach office dress. When it comes to slacks and blazers, quality really does matter. The $25 blazer from Forever 21 might appeal to you more than the $150 one, but it will quickly lose its shape, and will sit awkwardly on your body. If you plan on working in a professional environment long-term, invest in good clothing as much as you can. If you have the means to do so, or if you or a friend or family member is handy with a needle and thread, get your clothes tailored as well. Making sure that your clothes fit YOU makes them more flattering, and you’ll notice a difference in how you feel.


Like any investment, buying professional clothes will be easier on your wallet if you start early. While you’re still in school, try to anticipate what kinds of clothes will be appropriate for the field in which you want to work, and begin to invest in a few key pieces. When you start doing internships and job applications, they will come in handy. Once you’ve started creating your capsule wardrobe, commit to adding one piece (and only one) every month, six weeks, or six months as you’re able to. Limiting how many garments you buy gives you the opportunity to save up, so that when you do buy that blouse, pencil skirt, or pair of pumps, you’ll be more willing and able to get the really good pair that will last you for years to come. Here’s a good list to get you started on your professional capsule wardrobe. You should absolutely customize it to your personal tastes, but remember to look for clothing with simple cuts, neutral colors, and little to no patterns. This isn’t to say that you should stay away from color and fun details, but those are the things you should buy seasonally and at lower costs (even thrift stores can be a great way to add spice to your wardrobe for little money). Think of this capsule as the core of your wardrobe, the thing that you build off of to develop your personal style, even in a professional setting.

















And remember these rules of thumb, to select and care for your workplace clothes: Skirts and dresses should fall no higher than two to three inches above your knee. Your neckline shouldn't be too low -- a good rule is no lower than one fist length below your collarbone. If you’re wearing a button-down, make sure there are no gaps between the buttons. You should always wear a white or nude bra with a light-colored blouse. When buying shoes, avoid patent leather – it shows scuffs very easily. Purchase shoe polish, and learn how to use it. Buffing your shoes is inexpensive, and makes them look so much better! If you live somewhere cold, be sure to invest in good-quality outerwear. Wool pea-coats are good for the winter, and trench coats work well for cool weather. Keep in mind that many of the high-quality pieces you buy for your capsule wardrobe will have to be dry cleaned. As a general rule, you should get things dry cleaned every three to four wears (every five to six for items like blazers that you wear over another garment). If you find a dry cleaner that you work with regularly, they might be able to give you discounts when you bring in more than one piece at a time.


Women to Watch What is something you’ve done in your community lately that you’re proud of? Education is a right, not a privilege, and most important, it is for all people, not just a few. My passion in life is to help students receive quality education. Last summer, I helped my public library form the Pop-Up Library, designed to bring the library to the student community and serve as a Name: Angelica Vega free-to-access library at the mall during the Hometown: Port Reading, NJ LWT Position: Secretary, American summer. I served as the art coordinator and assembled a team of artistic individuals from the University community to help construct inviting and engaging Major: Political Science decorations for the library. I learned a lot about public service just by leading this group as we worked to design the Pop-Up Library in a way that would both represent our community and engage its students. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given? “Do not be afraid to speak up for what you believe in. Your voice has the ability to shake mountains.” What has been the most interesting class you’ve taken and why? At American University, I am a part of the College of Arts & Sciences Leadership and Ethical Development Program (CAS LEAD). It is a selective four-year program designed to help cultivate student leadership capabilities. For an entire semester, we crafted research projects on topics we selected. Along with the guidance of the director of the program, I was able to research the significance of libraries in the United States, the ways they are being redefined, and the reasons why it is important to support them. I discovered that libraries are often the heart of community engagement and that strong libraries are evidence of a healthy community. We presented these projects at an


Interdisciplinary Symposium at the end of the semester. This research project has made me become invested in learning more about the impact libraries have on communities around the United States and the world and look into ways they can be strengthened and made more available to all.

Name: Elizabeth Pratt Hometown: Haslett, MI LWT Position: President, University of Michigan Major: History and English

What has been the most interesting class you've taken and why? The most interesting class I have ever taken was a colonial and revolutionary North America class that I took while studying in London, England. Taking this class in England made me think differently about the American Revolution and prompted me to consider how it is viewed outside of the United States, especially in England. I was the only American student in my discussion, so I often was the one providing alternative views to those of the British students. What's something you've done in your community lately that you're proud of? Something I have done in my community recently that I am proud of is the work I do for the organization Turn Up

Turnout at the University of Michigan. For the past year, my fellow members and I have worked tirelessly to improve high school and college voter turnout among local and state elections. This has included initiating workshops in college programs and in high schools that teach students how and why it is important to vote. We have seen very encouraging results, including the kick off of the Big Ten Voting Challenge. Who is a woman that you look up to? The woman I look up to most is my mother. She has devoted her career to public policy in the state of Michigan and I aspire to accomplish even half as much of what she has accomplished. She is the most intelligent, creative, versatile, kind, encouraging, and fair person I know and she has brought all of these skills and many more to her various jobs. She has taught me by example what it means to be a hard worker and her constant encouragement and love have enabled me to pursue my dreams.


What is something you've done in your community lately that you're proud of? During my first year at American University, I was a member of the Community-Based Research Scholars (CBRS) program, which is a selective, first-year livinglearning community that emphasizes responsible and meaningful service learning through research opportunities in Washington, D.C. After learning Name: Sophia Ramcharitar about the District of Columbia’s history and acquiring Hometown: Floral Park, NY foundational research methods in our first semester, LWT Position: Northeast my fellow scholars and I began a semester-long Coordinator research project on food security in Washington, D.C. School: American University We partnered with the Latin American Youth Center – Major: International Studies Career Academy (LAYCCA) and conducted focus groups and surveys, observing students’ feedback towards to the school’s nutrition education program and its impact on their overall eating habits. At the end of the semester, we presented our research to the administration of LAYCCA and AU professors. Doing this research was such a meaningful experience because there were tangible changes made to the program based on our recommendations. What is your favorite book and why? Although English literature is not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, my favorite novel is Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. The protagonist, Bathsheba Everdene, becomes the owner of her uncle’s farm after his sudden death. Subsequently, she becomes tasked with managing the entire farm and its employees while navigating the patriarchal marketplace. Despite marriage proposals from several suitors and promises of a comfortable life, Bathsheba refuses to let any of them take her independence. Even though the novel was written in 1874, the character dynamics resemble much of today’s society, especially the political realm. It also serves as a testament to ability for women to overcome these obstacles. What is the best piece of advice you've been given? Former National Security Advisor and US Representative to the UN Susan Rice served as a graduate faculty member at AU this past year, and a few undergrads had the opportunity to have a Q&A discussion with her. Although I was too nervous to ask a question, another student asked, “As a woman, how do you navigate US politics and IR?” She responded


saying to simply just be the best you can be and defy their expectations. Hearing her provide that reassurance assuaged some of my concerns of pursuing such a maledominated field and reinforced the idea that with hard work and determination, one could break the mold and pave the way for others to do the same.

Name: Rachel Windsor Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA LWT Position: President, American University Major: Political Science

Why do you want to work in public policy? Since I can remember, I’ve always been passionate about politics, especially issues concerning human and civil rights. I am confident that my political science studies, involvement in political organizations, volunteer work, participation in protests, and avid news-binging has and will continue to prepare me for a career in public policy. I plan on attending law school in order to continue learning how to shape policy to make the legal and political system more fair and equitable for all people.

What is your favorite book and why? My favorite book is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The first time I was introduced to her work was during a freshman year writing seminar, where we read her famous book, We Should All Be Feminists. I was excited by her passionate case for feminism and completely enamored with her style of writing. I began reading her other works and Americanah quickly became my favorite. It is a novel that explores themes of race and identity, through the story of a young Nigerian woman who moves to the United States, leaving her family and partner behind, only to reconnect years later. This book inspired me to learn more about Nigeria and I hope to visit it someday. Is there a woman you look to as a role model? Long before the 2016 election, I have always looked up to Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am proud of her fierce advocacy for women and children, as well as her lengthy record of fighting to make America a better place for all. After reading her latest book, What Happened, I’ve only grown more encouraged to be involved in politics and follow in the footsteps of her and many other great women leaders. She inspires me to keep working to break that final glass ceiling. And of course, my first and most influential role model is my mother. She inspires me every day to pursue my dreams and fight for what is right.


Why do you want to work in public policy? I want to work in public policy to serve people who are underrepresented and to make sure that they know they have a voice. I have always been referred to as a “minority” but growing up I have realized that the term does not encapsulate my representation in the government. My vote counts as much as anybody else’s and I know I can motivate other so-called “minorities” to also make their voice count! Name: Anny Arroyo Pena Hometown: Falls Church, VA LWT Position: VicePresident, American University Major: International Relations

Is there a woman that you look to as a role model? A role model of mine is Rachel Withstuff who was very active in the creation and execution of the camp WiSci (for Women in STEM). I saw how hard she worked to make the camp come together and it definitely changed my life. WiSci 2015 (held in Rwanda) was an unbelievable experience that has allowed me to flourish as a woman and thanks to Rachel and every person who worked on on creating the camp I want to be able to help change people’s perspective of what women are capable of achieving with support. What is the best piece of advice you've been given? The best advice I have been given is, ‘never look back and always have goals.” By never looking back you are forced to make every day a new day and achieve new things to accomplish. Goals (may they be small, short/long-time) will eventually become your todo list and it is a convenient way to build a resume by knowing what activities/internships/protests/etc. you have dedicated your time to.


Name: Seh Yeon Park Hometown: Sacramento, CA LWT Position: VicePresident, Syracuse Univer sity Major: Political Science, Policy Studies, Citizenship & Civic Engagement

What has been the most interesting class you’ve taken and why? The most interesting class I’ve taken at Syracuse University is Critical Issues for the United States. It has the interdisciplinary focus on critical issues facing America. As well as the perspectives of social science disciplines on the meaning of the American Dream, its past, and its future. This writing-intensive class has taught me the great skill in identifying a critical issue and diving far deep into its problematic roots. The most interesting aspect of this class is relating the issue to how it was in the past, is in the present, and will be in the future.

What is something you’ve done in our community lately that you’re proud of? Throughout the course of my freshman year at Syracuse, I realized the great concern with the continual rise in the city’s poverty rate. As of 2016, Syracuse was ranked 13th in the nation for its poverty rate. In hopes of breaking the wall between the inner city and the University, and helping out the community that I care about, I founded and directed an event called CURAcuse. After a passionate 6-months of planning and organizing, the team members and I were able to incorporate various community non-profit organizations and chapters at the University for this event. As a result, we were able to invite 90 elementary school students and parents, provide free lunch at the dining hall, a campus tour, arts & craft/interactive activities, jeopardy, and gift distribution. After the event, the University volunteers wrote hand-written letters to the students that they built bonds with during the event. Through this event, it was an experience to demonstrate that it does not take much to make someone’s day or make a small change in someone’s life. What has been your greatest challenge in your professional or academic life? Carrying the physical characteristics of being a short, female Asian-American, I have always felt some degree of discrimination and questions of my leadership abilities to this day. Though those behaviors from others could have restricted my courage and willingness to serve the community, it did the opposite effect. With people’s doubts and


challenges, I have taken those as stepping stones to get to where I am today. Stone by stone, I have not only proved them, but proved to myself that I AM capable of anything that I put my mind, passion, and hearts into.

Interested in being featured as a Woman to Watch? Send an email to by October 15th, and you could be randomly selected to be highlighted in the next issue of SheLeads!


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