My name is Chiquita Jackson and I am a student at the University of Kansas graduating in December 2019. I recently attended the 2019 PLEN Women and Congress seminar. I found out about PLEN from their website because I was researching opportunities that help provide space and knowledge to young women who are interested in running for office. I am aware of my adversities in society being a Black Woman and growing up in Detroit in addition to being the first person in my family to attend college. I recognize that I had to be a ”go-getter” and create opportunities for myself and I was confident that the Women in Congress seminar would give me the tools that I needed create the blueprint for my future career journey.
Due to my personal financial disadvantages, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to take be a part of the seminar without financial assistance. Luckily, I was able to apply for the PLEN scholarships that allowed me to be involved in a week-long experience that would ultimately change my life. I came into the seminar with a clear and open mind because I wanted to take advantage of all the knowledge that would be presented to me throughout the seminar. I uncovered my vulnerability to actively seek advice and ask questions that would help guide me to make effective decisions for when I do decide to run for office. One of the speakers in the launch your career panel named Waikinya Clanton stated, “Hustle for your success!” and that statement gave me the motivation I needed to not give up on myself and my community.
This seminar provided me with resources that I need to make an impact and a legacy as a future public official. I recommend all young women who are interested in running for office to attend one or ALL PLEN seminars because the knowledge I obtained from the Women and Congress seminar will always be with me. I’m proud to say that I am a PLEN alumna!
Chiquita Jackson is a Detroit native attending the University of Kansas. During her time at KU, she has served in many leadership roles including Student Senate where she’s continuously advocates for underrepresented groups. After graduating, Chiquita plans to go to law school so she can continue to help those who feel voiceless.