Pushed To Do Your Best: Video Transcript

Sarah LaTourette (BA Political Science and History, Miami, 2006) [Representative for Ohio's 76th Distric, Ohio House of Representatives]: Actually, when I came to school here, I thought I wanted to be a middle school teacher. I started off wanting to teach science and math. Then I figured out I'm not very good at math, so that probably wasn't the best profession for me. And so I ended up switching over to political science, and that was my first major. So I was just going to be a Political Science major in the beginning. I've always been interested in politics. I come from a very political family. And so it just seemed like a logical fit.

When I graduated from Miami, I did go to work in politics for a few years as a Political Science and History major. I thought that was an important thing to do, but I quickly figured out that I wanted to do a little bit more, and so I actually made the jump over to the nonprofit world. And after working there for a few years, I wanted to come back home. So I moved back home in northeast Ohio and I got a job working for Adoption Network Cleveland, which is an organization that works in the foster care and adoption communities. And that’s actually what led me to my current job. I found that I was extremely passionate about giving back to my community and I wanted to do it on a more local basis. So instead of helping out primarily in Cuyahoga County, I wanted to bring it more home. So I ended up running for the seat that I hold today, and I kind of view it the same way. I'm able to give back to my community but on a much larger scale.

I serve on two boards that I am particularly excited about. I serve on the National Council of Humane Legislators, which is just a board for the Humane Society of the United States. I help set humane policies here in Ohio and across the nation. I'm a very passionate animal advocate, so that's extremely exciting to me. And I was also appointed to sit on the board of the Ohio Children's Trust Fund, which is the lead organization fighting child abuse and neglect here in the state of Ohio.

I think that the education you get here at Miami is so well-rounded, and so I was really able to focus on the classes that were of most interest to me, but also the classes that were going to help me the most in the future. Whether it was the political science or the history classes, I definitely still reference a lot of the things I learned in class. I think more than that, the professors really helped me become the person that I am today. You really get pushed while you're here at Miami, pushed to do your best and to be the best person you can be and to really be a leader. So I think that's really what helped me the most out of my majors.

I think a Political Science degree is an extremely interesting degree, but I think it can be challenging when you leave college trying to find the right path, but you can really set yourself on any different path. And so I think the obvious choice is maybe you go to law school - that's something that I definitely considered when I was here. It just seems like the next logical step from that degree. You can go to work in politics. I actually went to work for a political communications firm for a few years, and while I worked in politics, I wasn't directly working in the field I suppose. So I think there are so many different options for people with this major, and that's why I really enjoyed it. You can truly stick to what it is that you're interested in in the field. Whether it's party politics or issue politics, and if you want to move to D.C. or Columbus or an area where there's a capital, I mean I just think the opportunities are endless.

I would advise people, particularly Political Science majors, to get as involved as possible. That's something that I wish I would have done a little bit more of. I think that the relationships you start forming while you're here at Miami are going to carry so far beyond your time here, so if you're interested in party politics, get involved in campaigns. If you're interested in certain advocacy organizations, get as involved as you can. Start volunteering now, before you're getting paid to do it. I think people will take you a lot more seriously when you graduate. There's no shortage of amazing opportunities offered here at Miami, and I would just encourage people to make sure that they're taking advantage of them.

[October 2015]