Yesenia Montes, originally from Arizona, is a first-year student at American University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies in the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program; she intends to attend law school after her graduation in 2022.
Yesenia’s passion for politics and leadership began in high school as she became socially aware of the inequalities facing her own community. Raised in a predominately Hispanic community of immigrants, and herself being a daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college student, Yesenia has experienced and witnessed the limitations public education, economic inequality, and current immigration laws have on people’s lives and their ability to succeed. She has dedicated her high school career to raising awareness on these issues, as well as actively seeking and implementing solutions to them.
She was an Intern for the Arizona Democratic Party where she sought to politically involve underrepresented groups, such as the youth and immigrants. She also served as Arizona Governor for the Junior State of America which is a national, non-partisan, student-run organization that strives to civically engage high school students through debate and activism. During her tenure, she implemented policies that aimed to empower students from low-income families in Arizona.
Through the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program, Yesenia hopes to further develop the skills necessary to effect positive change in her community and those alike.