Emerging Activist – Student Leader – Youth Organizer
Hello, my name is Samantha Cotter and I am a member of the American University Class of 2021, where I am pursuing a BA in Political Science. Upon graduating from American University, I am looking to attend law school and eventually hold public office.
On campus at American University, I am involved in a variety of groups. As a first year in the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program I am currently working on a group social action project focusing on the gaps in sexual assault resources available to survivors on campus with a concentration on college campuses in the Washington, D.C. area. I am also a member of the SPA Leadership steering committee where I serve as networking and alumni relations co-coordinator. Within this position, I run professionalism workshops, alumni reunions, monthly student-alumni networking events, and a mentorship program that works to directly connect leadership students with leadership alumni based in D.C. Within this program I have developed keen public speaking skills, networked with faculty and students, and learned how to cultivate essential leadership skills.
Off campus I stay involved in D.C. and national organizations. Since January 2018 I have been the Deputy Director of Research and Outreach at Blue Future. Within this capacity I assist in aggregating opportunities for young people to make a difference in the 2018 election. Manage partnerships with political campaigns and built relationships with organizers is another major portion of my job. Leverage traditional organizing and communication skills to direct outreach strategies to college campuses and local activist groups. Furthermore, I assist in developing our network and relationships with media outlets around the country as well as assist in Blue Futures overall media strategy. In addition, I help to manage partnerships with the media, pitch to the media, develop press releases, and other press materials. I also have the opportunity to work directly with Blue Future’s student fellows and in the traditional and social media space.
More recently I had the honor of being voted in as the Co-President of the Women’s March Youth Empower Coalition where I work to advocate for legislation at the local, statewide, and national level that creates positive change for youth. Youth Empower is the youth voice of Women’s March, aligned with the Unity Principles of Women’s March. We believe that the single most powerful act we can do is prepare young people with the skills and commitments to take action around causes that matter to them with courage, compassion and collaboration.
This summer I began working as a Journalist with Millennial Politics, an online news resource steered toward millennials. Through this experience I developed research skills through creating profiles on Congressional candidates in districts that Tuft’s University has determined is a CIRCLE district, the districts where young people will have the highest potential to have direct and decisive impact on the 2018 midterm elections. Through such research I wrote articles on Democratic candidates in CIRCLE districts. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to interview a Congressional candidate, Tom Malinowski from New Jersey’s 7th Congressional district.
Since April I have been working part-time as a Community Coordinator for The Wing in Georgetown. The two main objectives of my work are to preform basic administrative duties and provide warm, thoughtful, solution-oriented customer service.
The numerous activities and groups that I have been involved in have influenced me into becoming a leader. During my following years at AU, I intend to continue growing my knowledge and being an active member of my community. Upon graduation from American University I plan to continue becoming a better educated member of our society.