Pam Ashwood joined IGNITE as a freshman at the University of North Texas after the College Chapter President invited her to a meeting. She was immediately hooked and left the session motivated to lead. Now, as a junior, Pam juggles multiple leadership roles. She is this year's IGNITE College Chapter President, serves as a University Senator and is a Fellow of the Generation United Nations Association.
We talked with Pam to learn more about her political journey.
What role did IGNITE play in your journey to office?
Before IGNITE, I never considered running for office. I needed to see someone like me, a woman of color, in elected office to know I could do it. Through IGNITE, I meet several role models and realized I could, and should, run.
What do you enjoy about IGNITE?
I love meeting new people, especially those who doubt their capabilities. Because then, through IGNITE, I help them realize they can do anything. Just as I did. Before IGNITE I would not have run for office.
Why did you run for the University Senate?
I wanted to be the voice of the student body and give them a stronger sense of connection to student government.
What big problem do you want to solve?
As a woman of color, I really care about institutionalized racism and immigration issues. On the Senate, I’ve gotten to work on campus diversity and initiatives with the Multicultural Center.
What would you tell other young women about running for office?
Do it. Just do it. Don’t think about doing it. Don’t ask yourself if you are qualified. Don’t hold yourself back from something you want because you doubt yourself.
I’m no longer afraid of running for office. When it’s the right time, I will run. For now, I’ll continue to serve in the Senate, run the IGNITE College Chapter at UNT and serve as a Fellow with the Generation United Nations Association.