Poet Gains Rare Political Opportunities at Democratic National Convention


Samantha Vega ‘17, a political science major with a minor in English, gained once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

As a Richard Nixon National Convention Fellow, Vega spent two weeks learning firsthand about democracy and presidential elections. During her first week, she enhanced her knowledge of contemporary U.S. politics through small classes and seminars. During her second week, she met delegates, including U.S. government officials, through her assigned fieldwork placement in access control.

“One of the most memorable things I did while being there was walk down the same hallway as Madeleine Albright, the first woman Secretary of State,” said Vega. “I was unprepared and shocked, but I will never forget that moment.”

Vega’s experience at the convention was full of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. She met other professionals from around the country and even built a network along the way.

After graduation, she wishes to continue working in the non-profit sector and eventually become an elected official—including, ultimately, U.S. president. Currently, Vega is the community outreach and relations manager for Levitt Pavilion, a non-profit based out of South Pasadena.

Her advice for incoming freshmen: “Never be afraid to meet new people and form bonds, even if they may feel temporary—the memories will last forever.”

Vega was one of three Whittier College students to travel to this year's presidential national conventions. Cindy Bahn '19, another Richard Nixon National Convention Fellow, and Carly Stevens '19 attended the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.