Major: Political Science
Hometown: Enterprise, Alabama
Fun fact: Met President Obama his senior year of high school through the United States Senate Youth program, which selects two juniors or seniors from every state each year.
Can you tell us a little about your involvements here at UA?
I am currently–until [the week of April 18] when we hold our elections–the external affairs director for The University of Alabama College Democrats. For the past year, I was elected state president of the Alabama College Democrats. I have also had a succession of national positions appointed this semester due to some shake ups, so I am currently the national deputy membership director for the College Democrats of America. I’ve only had the [national] position for a week, but the primary goal of the membership team is chartering new chapters in states, strengthening state federations that already exist and to some extent, expanding them. The College Democrats of America has 100,000 members nationwide. My goal, which will end up in my platform, is that I really want a federation in Puerto Rico, and I want to look into other possibilities in other U.S. territories, [along with] strengthening the federations in some neglected states. I’m essentially the number two organizer for the national organization, which is especially [big] this year because young people are, of course, going to be very important in the election.
What is your favorite aspect of your extracurriculars? Do they all involve something you’re passionate about?
I’ve always had a passion for politics and for working with people, and there’s really no better way to do it, in my opinion, than what I’m doing right now. I honestly cannot imagine working in a field that was not related to some aspect of politics. The most rewarding aspect for me has been knowing that the work I do on a day-to-day basis does impact people’s lives. The things that I enjoy about it are getting to interact with people and getting to fight for issues that I care about. The things that matter most are the small victories that we have every once in awhile that are so rare in politics, and I think I’m getting to see a disproportionate share of them as a college student right now. For example, Mississippi and Louisiana had elections last year, and we did phone banking for the Louisiana gubernatorial race and elected a democratic governor there, which was a big deal. Over 100,000 people got health care [when] he took office.
How do you expect your involvement will shape your future?
A lot of people come into this line of work and they want to be president of the United States or the governor of Alabama. I don’t know how everything that I’m doing right now is going to come into my career. For as much as I do, I have very little knowledge of where I’m going to be a year from now but I’m doing things, and that’s what means a lot.
What advice would you give to other Honors Students, especially those just getting involved with the Honors College?
Go to every event that you could even consider being interested in. A large part of success is the people you know, but you don’t have to approach it as networking. Just make friends and develop mentorships with professors, people who are in any line of work that you’re interested in and the network will build itself.