Miami University senior Amanda Sargent has advocated for her university at the state and federal level — and she's not done yet. Her role as a member of the Government Relations Network
(GRN) at Miami University has made her passionate
about representing others, something she has channeled into the several leadership
positions she has around campus. Last summer, she took this passion
for advocacy to the U.S. House of Representatives, where she was a Legislative Intern, and she's hoping to continue to enact change in her community.
Sargent shared how she got involved with advocacy, how she overcame barriers built by others, and how other young women can get involved — at the local or national level.
How are you making an impact on your school or local community?
I have tried to make an impact on Miami University in a multitude of ways, but the most effective way was becoming a member of the Government Relations Network (GRN). Through this network, I have been able to advocate on behalf of the university on both a state and federal level. This has not only sparked my passion for governmental affairs, but for advocacy. It is through the GRN that I was able to advocate for those who did not necessarily have the means to advocate for themselves.
My passion for leadership escalated through my involvement in the Zeta Mu Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., where I was President for two fiscal years. Now, I am the Financial, Recording and Corresponding Secretary of the chapter.
What made you passionate about the project or role that's allowing you to make a difference?
The fact that I would be able to speak and represent people, and advocate for them.
How did you get in this position? Were you elected, selected, or did you start the project yourself? What steps did you take to fulfill this role? Did you study something specific, join this club first year, etc.
I was appointed to my position on the GRN by the Director of Institutional Relations at Miami University. I was elected to all of my positions for the Zeta Mu Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
What other activities, projects, or jobs do you do at school? Spill your resume!
I'm very involved at my university. I am a Resident Assistant, I sit on a Research and Assessment Committee for the Office of Residence Life, I am on the Disciplinary Board, and I am a College of Arts and Sciences Ambassador.
What is an accomplishment you're proud of?
I am proud to have been a Legislative Intern in the U.S. House of Representatives last summer.
What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
I have overcome being bullied while growing up. It wasn't easy having to deal with bullies all the time, but it definitely shaped me into the woman that I am today.
What advice do you have for women who want to make a difference at their school?
If you want to make a difference, you have to be the change that you want to see. You have to understand that you are the change, and nothing is going to change until you take an internal look at yourself. Change is not always going to be easy, or better yet, simple. However, we must remember that no matter what, we have to seek out ways in which change can happen. And we, as women, are always held to a higher standard, and we must learn how to leverage that into what we want to see get done.
Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? Why?
My mother is my Fairygodboss. Her strength — and ability to be a force to be reckoned with — is where I initially developed my eye for advocacy. She is amazing, and I owe all I am to her.
Lightning Round: What's Your Karaoke Song?
Anything by Michael Jackson or the Jackson 5.
Lightning Round: What's Your Favorite Book?
"The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World" by 14th Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.
Lightning Round: What's Your Favorite Movie?
Lightning Round: What's Your Favorite Quote?
"There are going to be some frustrations in life. The question is not: how do I escape? It is: how can I use this as something positive?" — Archbishop Tutu
Fairygodboss is all about celebrating female leaders — so every other week, we celebrate a young woman who is making a difference in her school or local community. Do you know a student leader who’s making an impact? Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.