#Born To Lead: Amanda Monroy

   My life simply put, has become a letter of intent. I have a passion for politics and international affairs and have spent my life since my early teens developing the skills needed to pursue this passion to its fullest extent. I am now a rising junior at Northern Arizona University studying International Affairs and Spanish and plan to continue my education and peruse a Masters in International Development.

  My journey of perusing my passion truly began in 2010 when I participated in the Jewish Latino Teen Coalition sponsored by Congressmen Raul Grijava and The Jewish Federation. This coalitions purpose was to create a dialog between the Jewish and Latino communities in Tucson, Arizona. With this coalition, I traveled to Washington D.C. to advocate to congress to redraft an act similar to the DREAM act.

  Following this experience I decided to continue my involvement with political advocacy. I found this by volunteering on Congressmen Raul Grijalva’s 2012 congressional campaign. I spent 6 months volunteering on this campaign gaining insight on what it takes to run for public office. The congressmen’s campaign is not my only experience with campaign work. I have actively participated in Running Start events and trainings. Running Start is a non- profit based out of D.C. Their mission is to train and encourage young women to run for political office.

    It was with Running Start that I truly began to gain insight to what it takes to rum for political office as a woman. Running Starts mission to focus on girls and young women sparked my interest in the issues that girls and women face around the world. While at Northern Arizona University, I was able to get Day of the Girl recognized in the City of Flagstaff as an official day.  Day of the Girl is a UN Sanctioned day aimed at bringing notice to the issues that young girls around the world face.  

  Before entering college I had my first true experience with the international political arena. In 2012, I was one of ten Americans selected to participate in the State Departments Ben Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship. I acted as an ambassador of the United States to youths spanning from over 30 countries in Europe participating in the program. We were trained with the diplomatic skills needed to become effective leaders in the world community. During this month long fellowship we engaged in debate, community service projects, a mock Model United Nations and lastly a cultural exchange in which knowledge and life stories were shared on a daily basis.  In order to be an effective political leader it is important to have these skills. Especially in such a globalized world seeing other points of view is key.

  I want to be able to not only be a leader in the U.S but a global leader. I want to be able to go to places that need help and make a difference. I especially want to see a change in the access women around the world have to education and health. Change cannot be sustainable if it does not work for the community you are working with and that is why it is so important to understand different points of views and cultures.

  At Northern Arizona University (NAU) I interned for Arizona Students Association (ASA). ASA is a student lead advocacy group for higher education that focuses on grassroots movements. Interning with this group was a great hands on experience in education advocacy. My eyes were also open to the issues many Americans face obtaining quality education especially at the university level. Though legislative issues are not the only issues that effect students obtaining higher education. Higher education is a great emotional journey. At NAU I was a Residents Assistant this past year. I was able to help freshman make the transition to the real world. I hope to be able to apply these skills to helping young girls around the world start their journey to education.

  Ultimately I hope to create a positive change in the world helping women and girls obtain greater access to health and education. It is important to acknowledge how community structures affect political stability and access to health and education. It has been show that when women are educated and have access to health their countries has improved stability. It is this theory that I hope to elaborate on through a political career. I have been fortunate enough through out my life to be given amazing opportunities I feel as if it is my duty to make sure others have access to the opportunities they deserve.