First-Year Student Balances School and Advocacy at Mi Familia Vota

Photo of Esme Vazquez in front of great seal of the state of Nevada

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Esme Vazquez (C’24) spent her first semester balancing her coursework alongside a full-time advocacy position at Mi Familia Vota. The first-year student says that she was eager to get involved in the wake of the election, and that she has already been able to apply what she has learned at Georgetown to her work with the organization.

Working for a Cause

Vazquez started volunteering with Mi Familia Vota when she was still in high school but became more actively engaged in 2019 by helping register people to vote. Though Mi Familia Vota moved their campaign efforts online in March due the COVID-19 pandemic, Vazquez was promoted to a lead position after six months and is now a super lead.

As a lead, Vazquez was in charge of a team of 10 canvassers who ran a digital campaign and did phone banking for the organization. Now, she manages all of the digital teams as well as 30 canvassers in her hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada.

As a member of the non-partisan organization, Vazquez says that the most important thing for her is that people use their voice in this election.

“I realized that I wanted to get involved in politics as this election drew closer because of my parents,” says Vazquez. “There are so many different issues on the line with this election, and the results will affect our country for years to come. I have my own opinions about the candidates and who I will vote for, but it really most important to me that everyone casts a ballot.”

The government major says that she has been able to practice the theories she has learned in her classes like Political Theory, and that her fellow students have motivated her to work hard, even in a virtual environment.

After she graduates from Georgetown, Vazquez is interested in going to law school to work towards restoring the voting rights of felons and to fight for immigrant rights.

Katie Benton-Cohen, a professor in the Department of History, says that she is “inspired to see any undergraduate at Georgetown bring this passion and commitment to civic life and to their own communities.”

“To think of a first semester student, very far from Georgetown, doing this during the pandemic is incredible,” she continues. “The pandemic and this election have encouraged many of us to see our lives and that of our students in a different light. As a historian, I believe this is a turning point in American history. I applaud Esme’s commitment to ‘real-life issues’ and I especially love that the organization works on getting needed resources to families as well as encouraging them to register and to vote.”

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