Student Reflections — Chelsie Dang

Access Youth Academy (San Diego,  CA) incoming senior Chelsie Dang reflects on how the Citizenship Tour has influenced her future career goals.


For as long as I could remember, I’ve been passionate about politics and human rights. I love helping people and atrocities such as sexual assault and inhumane treatment in prisons appall me. The prospect of being a governor or even President has always, in theory, seemed like something I’d like to do. However, I never felt like I could actually do either of those things. Politics has, for the most part, been dominated by rich white males. I never thought that a poor girl from an immigrant family would be able to hold much influence in politics.

Even if I could hold a political position, I hate being in the spotlight and enjoy my privacy, two attributes that make me unfit for holding political office. I had scrapped away the idea of working in politics until this trip. We met with staffers at Capitol Hill and hearing them speak about their jobs, which up until that point I had no idea existed, renewed my desire to work in politics. I want to be deeply involved in legislation and contribute to fixing the issues that are important to me, but still have the privacy and anonymity that politicians must live without. Thanks to this trip, I realized that that is possible. I hope to intern at a local government office during this next school year and verify that a career like those at Capitol Hill have is something I’d like to do.

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