Political Science, Academics

A career goal of bringing better educational resources to children in need led to a spot at a national conference on empowering young women to get involved in politics.

Political science/French major Cassidy Reid ’21 was one of 120 college women nationwide selected to attend the first ever Elect Her Training Day sponsored by Her Campus and the nonpartisan nonprofit Running Start.

The October 30 virtual event was designed to help attendees build the practical skills needed to run for elected office. The day featured female office holders and candidates as guest speakers, and workshops for attendees to learn how to pinpoint their top issues, leverage their personal networks and craft an “elevator speech” about why they want to run for office – and what they want to do when they get there.  

Reid, who has been a Siena contributing writer for Her Campus for a couple years, said when she was very young she struggled learning to read and write. Her elementary school in Vermont had the right teachers and resources to help her overcome her challenges, and she wants to work to make sure those resources are in place for all children who may need them. 

“I was so fortunate to attend a school where I could get the assistance I needed, but I realize that not every child is so lucky. Some schools just don’t have the funding they need,” she said. “I’ve become very passionate about education and literacy issues, and I want to make opportunities available for more kids.”

Reid’s passion shone through when it was time to develop her elevator speech on education funding – she was selected as one of only 10 finalists to present her speech to the entire conference.

“The conference was absolutely amazing! I was so incredibly fortunate to be selected to attend, and I was able to listen to so many inspirational women,” she said. “All of the women there gave me valuable feedback, and I met so many great people and we have promised to stay in touch.” 

She said one of her favorite quotes from the event was from Congresswoman Judy Chu of California who said, "When women support each other, we succeed in making real change." 

Will the name Cassidy Reid appear on a ballot some day?

“I hope so! I think it’s something I could do.”

Reid has also served as a NExT Fellow at Siena through the Office of Academic and Community Engagement, working with a tutoring center in Albany’s South End. She is currently an editing intern with the local office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Daniel Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and international relations, said Reid’s “interest in public policy and her dedication to democratic ideals has been clearly evident in our capstone seminar on Participation in Democracy, where she is doing outstanding work.”  

She and her teammate Blair Vogel ’21 are developing a survey instrument to analyze the effectiveness of voter mobilization efforts on campus, which will help inform future Siena Votes efforts.