Salamata Bah: Getting Political

Welcome to another edition of #Snapshot, where we bring you a glimpse of what’s going on at Summer Search.

The eyes of the nation are fixed on Election Day on November 8, which will bring an end of one of the craziest presidential races in history.

As a counter to all of the campaign controversy, we wanted to shine the light on a few of our own, hard-working young Summer Search leaders, who have stepped into the political arena and are looking to make an impact.

First up, we have Summer Search New York City college student Salamata Bah (pictured second from the left, in the black and white striped dress) posing with New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio (far right) and his wife, Chirlane McCray (far left).

Salamata, a freshman at Pomona College planning to major in Public Policy Analysis, spent her summer as an intern in the NYC Mayor’s Office of Special Projects and Community Events, planning and executing all events for the mayor and his wife. Previously, she had been part of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership program for two years, which helped lead to this summer’s opportunity.

But she wasn’t the only NYC Summer Searcher “getting political” this past summer.

Meet Jay Arzu, who recently became the first in his family to graduate college. He spent his summer in Washington, DC interning in the office of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (pictured left).

Jay, who is a Fulbright Scholar and is currently working on his Master’s of Public Administration in Milan, Italy through the SDA Bocconi School of Management, is no stranger to the DC political scene. He also spent the 2015 summer interning in the House of Representatives, and his second summer trip (back in 2010) was in a political science program at Georgetown University.

As with many internships, both Salamata’s and Jay’s were unpaid. For students like ours, most of whom come from low-income communities, that can be a barrier to acceptance. However, thanks to Summer Search NYC’s Summer Opportunity Stipend, both students received the financial support they needed in order to take advantage of these incredible internship opportunities.

Speaking of opportunities, that is exactly what Summer Search Boston alumna Judith García is looking to create through her example and leadership.

Judith (who you might remember was elected to the Chelsea City Council last year) was recently featured by the Latino Victory Project, an organization co-founded by actor, director, producer, and activist Eva Longoria.

Judith shared her inspiring story of firsts — being the first in her family to graduate college and the first Latina millennial to be elected to the District 5 City Council in Chelsea, MA — with the hopes of inspiring other Latinx millennials to get involved in local government.

Oh, and she also recently got a great photo with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren!

There’s no debate about it! Salamata, Jay and Judith are three of the many amazing young leaders that make up our Summer Search community. Stay tuned for more stories of Summer Searchers who are working to make a difference in their communities.

And don’t forget to vote on November 8!