After learning about the lack of female leadership in politics during a presentation from a previous Fellow, Anais Franco knew what she had to do. “I knew that I wanted to be part of the fight towards gender parity in our political system to help create much needed change in our society.” She applied to become the IGNITE Southern California Fellow, motivated by the idea of creating a space for young leaders to spark change in their communities.
To Anais, being an IGNITE Fellow means being someone other young women can look to for guidance and support in reaching their political goals. “Being an IGNITE Fellow means empowering young womxn who are eager to discover and let their political voices be heard in the world. It means fostering relationships with like-minded young womxn who have constantly been told to wait their turn and who at times have felt like there is no space where they can share and voice out their political ambition.”
Anais shares that being an IGNITE Fellow has been a very personal and rewarding experience that has left her with important life skills and profound connections. During the Fellows retreat, she created those meaningful connections with the other IGNITE Fellows, a group of young women across the country who have a strong sisterhood despite the distance.
Through the Fellowship, Anais learned to step out of her comfort zone and instead she stepped into a leadership role that would turn her into the person she is today. “It was through IGNITE that I found my political voice and a sense of leadership skills that had been dormant for many years; while many people around me described the leadership that I had, I could not visually see it until I became a Fellow.”
Anais urges any young woman to apply to the Fellowship, regardless of experience. “By joining the work that IGNITE does, you help create a space where other young womxn can grow, find or voice out their political ambitions; and rightfully advocate for important womxn’s issues, voting rights and help promote the importance of civic engagement.”
Interested in becoming an IGNITE Fellow? Learn more here.