Victoria Godinez did not think at 21 she would be hitting a milestone in her professional career, but recently she earned the opportunity of a lifetime.
The 21 year-old graduate of Uplift Summit International was selected to represent St. Edwards at the 2016 Convention Academic Seminar, a program part of The Washington Center which provides students with internship and academic seminars. The purpose of the organization is to provide leadership and civic engagement opportunities to college students.
Godinez will head to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in July for two weeks. The seminar gives students a behind-the-scene look at the national political conventions where they attend briefings, volunteer and take part in discussions with political speakers as well as media professionals.
“I’m really nervous and excited,” said Godinez, “I never imagined I would reach a milestone before I graduated.”
Godinez, a political science major recieved an email from her professor Chad Long in the fall semester letting her know about the program and asked if she would be interested. Long notified Godinez that the university provides funds for one of St. Edwards’ students to attend and would forward her name to the selection committee.
After a few weeks Long informed her of the opportunity, she had been selected by Political Science department at St. Edwards.
Godinez said it has been a humbling experience to know that her department recognized her efforts on campus through her involvement in activities and academics. She began her college career at St. Edwards in 2013 after graduating from Uplift Summit.
“Before Uplift Summit I didn’t give college much thought,” said Godinez who began attending Uplift Summit in 7th grade.
The alumnae said Uplift Summit helped build her up, not only academically but through activities. Godinez was involved in student government, National Honor Society, Senior council, Spanish Honor Society and graduated salutatorian.
The transition from high school to college was something Godinez looked forwarded to but it was an adjustment nonetheless.
“You have to make new friends, adjust to living on campus and you have to be disciplined,” she said. “You have to manage your time.”
The discipline she received at home helped set her up for success she said.
Godinez continued her academic competitiveness and extracurricular activities in college. She served as a senator and now is the director of marketing and communications for St. Edward’s Student Government Association. She is also the area coordinator for two resident halls where she oversees 10 students.
Godinez said she has learned how not to just be a leader but how to develop future leaders.
“It is all about building leadership skills not telling them what to do,” said Godinez.
Each accomplishment is a step closer to her political aspirations, she. Godinez hopes to pursue a career in Congress. She first plans to graduate in December and take the LSAT to continue onto law school.