ENACT Student Delegates Strengthening a Network of Engaged Citizens
They’ve been there, done that: this academic year, four alumni of ENACT courses across the country are serving as the first ENACT Student Delegates, guided by ENACT Student and Alumni Engagement Representative Anna Khandros ’11, herself an alum of the Brandeis ENACT course. They are sharing the benefit of their ENACT experience with their peers now joining the ENACT network at the 16 schools currently involved.
“ENACT is more than one college course. It’s a network of students, alumni and faculty supporting each other,” says ENACT Coordinator David Weinstein. “Through conversations and online conversations, resource guides they’ve created, and their Skype visits to classes, Myeisha, Marian, Mark, Miranda and Anna are strengthening that network.”
“The Delegates, like all ENACT students, are really motivated to create positive change in their respective communities, and to help others who are learning how to effectively engage with state government,” says Khandros. “They have become an important support system to students now in ENACT courses — and they serve as great role models for those students thinking ahead to their next steps.”
ENACT Student Delegates
Currently a Democracy Fellow for FairVote in Washington, D.C., Boyd majored in politics and government. Her interest in politics and policy begin as an intern in Senator Richard Blumenthal's (D-Conn.) office while assisting with constituent casework. During her senior year of college, she worked both as a Field Organizer for the Hillary Clinton campaign and a legislative aide intern in Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin's office. She believes that ENACT is a great resource for college students because it allows them to work on issues that they care about while connecting directly with the legislator who introduces the bill.
"Serving as an ENACT Student Delegate has been a rewarding experience," says Boyd. "I love having the ability to connect with ENACT alums across the country and work on projects that help students who are currently taking ENACT courses understand the power of their voice and how rewarding it is to advocate for issues that they care about."
In spring 2017, Marian Gardner worked on the Higher Education Equity Act (HD.644/SD.669) in the Brandeis ENACT course.
"This course taught me that I have power and it enabled me to grasp the difference any single person can make through involvement in local politics, either by running for office or being a citizen advocate," says Gardner. "Although at times the legislative process is slow and discouraging and immediate results are hard to come by, it is important to be patient and maintain passion and persistence necessary to effect change."
"As a Student Delegate," she adds, "I've loved working with a group of people who are as passionate as I about increasing civic engagement among our peers. We each have different interests and skills we're using to support ENACT students and professors."
Mark Hickey majored in politics at Hendrix College, and now works in political consulting in Washington, D.C. He hopes to help ENACT students across the country develop a cross-disciplinary approach to their local leadership and harness new tools and technologies to make their advocacy more effective.
"ENACT helped me develop skills and on-the-ground experience that helped me find a meaningful job in Washington, D.C. and gave me a chance to make connections with several people I now count as friends and partners in both advocacy and politics," says Hickey. "I'm glad as a Student Delegate I now get to play a role in helping faculty and students become more engaged, and partner with them as they become effective advocates in their state's legislature.
Miranda Roberts is a political science major with minors in Spanish and Canadian studies. In addition to her ENACT experience with Maine state government, Roberts has interned for a Canadian member of Parliament. She believes that education is the first step towards a more involved community.
"Many people feel like they aren't allowed to have an opinion on a specific policy because they don't have all the information they need to form an educated opinion," says Roberts. "Encouraging students to find issues that directly impact them helps mobilize their political engagement.