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Running Start

Keep your eyes on these “Young Women to Watch”!

Meet the incredible Running Start alums competing to be our next #ILookLikeAPolitician Ambassador! Celebrate young women in politics, hear from these inspiring young women, and vote for the next ambassador at the Young Women to Watch Awards on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Click here for more info and tickets!

Additional speakers include: Reps. Yvette Clarke, Barbara Comstock, Will Hurd, and Tim Ryan; Ruth Marcus, Deputy Editorial Page Editor, The Washington Post; Anita McBride, former COS to Laura Bush; Sarah Chamberlain, President & CEO, Republican Main Street Partnership; Sandra Pepera, Director of Gender, National Democratic Institute; Rosie Rios, 43rd Treasurer of the United States; Eshauna Smith, CEO, Urban Alliance; Sharon Yuan, Managing Partner & General Counsel, The Asia Group; former Rep. Connie Morella; Running Start Board CoChair Tasha Cole, Vice President of Development, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; and Running Start Board CoChair Laura Cox Kaplan, Host & Creator, She Said/She Said Podcast.

Victoria Bright is Assistant Director for Alumni Engagement at Duke University, her alma mater. In this role, Victoria develops strategies to engage 70,000 Duke women in the U.S. and abroad in the life of the university and create opportunities for learning, leadership and mentorship. She previously served as senior aide to Speaker Nancy Pelosi where she developed and implemented integrated communications, outreach, and legislative tactics designed to strengthen and maintain the Speaker’s position in her Congressional district. Victoria managed logistics for President Barack Obama’s 2013 Inauguration and the 2015 visit by His Holiness Pope Francis to the U.S. Capitol. She also served as policy aide to the Speaker on health, veterans and judiciary issues. Victoria earned her B.A. in Women’s Studies from Duke in 2010 and was a 2011 Running Start Star Fellow.

Sydney Burns’s career in politics was truly kicked off by Running Start. After completing the Running Start summer internship, she immediately applied to the Running Start Star Fellowship. As a 2017 Star Fellow, Sydney worked in the office of Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, and continued her internship after the Star Fellowship ended. Sydney then worked in Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Capitol office as a communications intern. From there, she was hired by the Committee on House Administration as a Staff Assistant, where she currently works with the Franking Director, the Election Assistance Director, and the Diversity Initiative Director. Sydney graduated from West Virginia University in 2017.

Megan Lehman is a proud Iowan and plans to run for North Liberty, IA City Council in the next two years. As a 2015 Running Start Star Fellow, Megan worked in the office of Senator Joni Ernst. After the Star Fellowship, Megan attended the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. These experiences empowered her to begin her political career by applying for a local commission in her town. She was recently selected to join the Chamber of Commerce’s Business Legislative Council. Megan is currently writing a book about women running for office. She is also looking forward to volunteering for the next Iowa Governor’s race, as the state could have its first elected female Governor. Megan graduated with honors from the University of Iowa.

Anna Captain is a 2017 alum of Running Start’s Young Women’s Political Leadership Program. Since then, she has interned for Manka Dhingra’s campaign for Washington State Senate, recruiting and training volunteers, entering voters into the campaign’s database, and organizing for a special election that flipped the Washington State Senate. Anna has had multiple articles published about women’s leadership and plans to be very involved in the midterm elections later this year. Anna is Media Chair for Leadership Initiatives, where she works with other students to help a struggling business in Nigeria flourish under harsh conditions. At her high school, Anna is Junior Class Vice President and Philosophy Club President.

Lauren Covetta is a champion for mental health and women’s empowerment. She is a sophomore studying International Business and Political Science at the Ohio State University. Lauren was a Running Start intern in 2016, and since then, she ran for and won the positions of Fundraising Vice President for Delta Sigma Pi Professional Fraternity, and Corporate Relations Vice President for the Undergraduate Business Women’s Association. She was also appointed Director of Business Operations for the Student Philanthropy Council. Lauren was a Non-Profit Management Intern with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and worked within the Columbus community to provide free mental health resources. She has also led a social media campaign for the Center for International Education and Research’s international programs.

Cierra Jackson is a proud alumna of Spelman College and Women’s Campaign School at Yale. She was selected as the only White House intern to serve the Chief of Staff as their communications intern during her term in the Obama White House. As Miss District of Columbia in the Miss America Organization, she created the 1st annual Miss District of Columbia’s Day at DC Council. A military child herself, Cierra focuses her advocacy on her platform Behind the Frontline, to aid military children. She created the “Day of the Military Child” and has been featured in numerous publications and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces campaign. She is the author of a children’s book “CC the Military Kid,” that chronicles her life as a military child through September 11th and beyond college. Cierra is speaker and vocalist by trade, and is a 2015 alum of the Running Start Star Fellowship.

Brooke E. López ran for City Council in her hometown of Wylie TX at age 18, making her the youngest candidate in the history of the town. Though she lost, Brooke was appointed to the Public Arts Advisory Board where she currently serves as the Vice Chairman and is the youngest member and only Hispanic woman member. An alum of Running Start’s Young Women’s Political Leadership Program and Young Women Run, Brooke has worked as a Program Facilitator for IGNITE National, served as a Texas Civic Ambassador for the Annette Strauss Institute of Civic Life, and began forming a Commission on the Status of women for Dallas County (the first of its kind). Along with Texas State Representative Victoria Neave, Brooke advocated for Nahum’s Law in response to the tragic death of a classmate. Brooke graduated from UT Dallas where she wrote her honors thesis on women’s political candidacy.



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