Empowering Futures: My Journey in Politics with the McCarthy Center


 Emily LipKind, a passionate individual whose journey in politics and education has been shaped by her experiences at the Leo T. McCarthy Center. Join us as she shares her story, detailing how her college years led to a profound understanding of her path in the world of politics and policy-making. Read on to discover the pivotal moments, valuable connections, and the McCarthy Center’s unwavering support that have molded her aspirations and future endeavors.


About four years ago, I started my college career knowing one thing: I was passionate about politics. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with this passion, whether it be running for office or going to law school. Today, I see my options more clearly. However, this clarity would not have been possible without the Leo T. McCarthy Center.

Since my acceptance as a McCarthy Fellow in Sacramento, the staff of the McCarthy Center has worked tirelessly to ensure my future in politics. I was placed at the California Department of Education, where I observed how legislative policies were put into action. I had the opportunity to research how schools receive funding from the state, supporting our public education system. It was rewarding to participate in this process, and I gained invaluable experience. Yet, I came to realize that the policy implementation side was not my true calling.

Thanks to my connections at the McCarthy Center, I later secured an internship at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. There, I was able to research important policy issues that would turn into legislation, and I was inspired to continue that kind of policy making. In the office, legislative aides assisted me in formulating my post-graduation plan by sharing their experiences and field knowledge.

The legislative aides at the office played a crucial role in shaping my plan, but it was also the wonderful staff at the McCarthy Center who provided realistic guidance on post-graduate options. They did not sell me an idealized version of post-grad life. Instead, they emphasized the importance of networking, salary negotiation, and more. They didn’t just tell me these things; they helped me achieve them by organizing networking events where I could practice those skills and connect with people in the field to understand the negatives and downsides of each position.

Moreover, through the McCarthy Center, I had the opportunity to connect with peers who shared similar policy interests. I created lifelong friendships and built a network that will last a lifetime. My McCarthy Center peers and I founded a club, Women Politixs, in which I found community and meaning.

I owe whatever success I may achieve in the future to the McCarthy Center. Without it, I would not have been able to secure positions that have the power to shape the course of my future career, receive clear advice about post-graduate steps, and build long-lasting networks.

Bay Areacollege lifecommunity engaged learningLeo T. McCarthy CenterMcCarthy FellowsMcCarthy Fellows in Sacramentopoliticssocial justicestudent leadersUndergraduateUniversity of San Francisco

Athena Davis • October 4, 2023

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