Hello, I’m Alexa Barnes. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’m a second-year undergraduate student ​​at American University, pursuing a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies: Communications, Law, Economics, and Government with a Minor in Political Science.

In my first year with the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program, I worked alongside a group of my peers to better understand how pre-existing medical conditions impact patients, physicians, and insurers as they navigate the health care system. Providing affordable health care to all Americans is one of the greatest challenges we face as a nation, and while support for the Affordable Care Act remains at an all-time high, our system remains too difficult to understand, and quality care is still far too expensive for many Americans.

This year, I am completing an independent project on barriers to electoral participation for college-aged voters. The remainder of my research for the fall semester will focus on identifying specific obstacles to registration, re-registration, and voting, and evaluating policies and campaigns that seek to address these barriers. In the spring, I hope to work with my state legislature to introduce legislation to combat low voter turnout for young California voters.

In addition to my project, I’ve involved with the SPA Leadership Program as an Interclass and Community Co-Coordinator. Beyond SPA Leadership, I’m a second-year student in the Politics, Policy, and Law Scholars Program, and I serve as the Secretary and Logistics Coordinator for Civics in the Capitol, a civic education organization. This semester, I’m interning with the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, while completing a community organizing-based fellowship with Swing Left. Professionally, I’m interested in political management, campaign strategy, and public policy.