Aylin Segura is an 18-year-old student at Mountain View Community College who lives in Dallas, Texas. A first generation college student, Aylin began her political activism career at a very young age and hasn’t looked back since. Most recently, she has worked extensively to create the Dallas ISD Menstrual Equity Campaign where she works to bring free period products to all high schools and middle schools in Dallas.
Name: Aylin Segura
Who are you, where are you from, what do you do? My name is Aylin Segura from Dallas, Texas, and I consider myself an activist for health equity for women.
What inspired you serving in this field? What was your path there?
Going to high school in a different zip code than I lived in really inspired my activism. There were many cultures and communities that introduced me to new fields of politics. I first became involved in politics and policy reform at my magnet high school, Skyline High School. I began my studies in the Advanced Social Sciences cluster where I began engaging in political events.
Seeing someone who looks like me and has the same ideology as me in office is motivating. Representation of myself in office brings me joy; it lets me know that when I’m ready to run for office, I’m not alone.In my first semester of high school, I helped campaign for Wendy Davis in her 2014 Gubernatorial race. It was this simple grass-root campaigning that helped me step my foot in the field of activism. Two years later I entered my junior year of high school when I was enveloped in the Texas political scene. I testified for a senate bill in Austin that would introduce human trafficking components to sex education into Texas high schools. This bill was introduced to me by Wendy Davis through her Deeds Not Words non-profit organization. My high school helped me connect with programs and mentors that guided me through my years of activism, programs such as IGNITE.
IGNITE is a non-profit that is dedicated to help build political ambition in young women. It was through this that I was able to construct the Dallas ISD Menstrual Equity Campaign, an initiative to bring free tampons and pads to restrooms in DISD schools to alleviate the financial, physical, and emotional burden of periods on students. Additionally, through my high school, I was an intern for the Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins where we partnered to host a Gun Safety Summit during the weekend that the National Rifle Association hosted its national convention in Dallas. Fellow high school students, college students, and myself spoke about the importance in gun safety and violence prevention to local and state elected officials.
What about your work brings you the most joy? What challenges you the most?
What brings me the most joy about activism and campaigning is seeing change happen right in front of you. I volunteered to work on the campaign for Monica Lira Bravo, a Dallas Community College Trustee, and it brought great joy to me to see her being elected for this position in local office. To know that I contributed to her being elected just by campaigning on the weekends is rewarding,
What challenges me the most is my age. I am only eighteen, and I have so much more to learn about other realms of politics. I feel that there is so much to be educated on about public policies, how local government operates, etc… I’m knowledgeable of my activism because that is what has drawn my interest since high school, but I have so much room for growth and discovery of other realms of politics.
What obstacles have you faced, internal or societal, in your involvement in public office?
Once, when I was campaigning for Monica Lira Bravo, I knocked on the door of a voter asking if they were familiar with Monica Lira Bravo and the position she was running for. The man asked if I knew myself what she stood for and what exactly she was running for. He said that Monica Lira Bravo was using me because I was young and brown. He believed that because of my young age I wasn’t knowledgeable of who I was supporting. I was only sixteen at the time.
What advice would you give SHEs considering a career path or continuing their journey in public office?
Become active in local government! Learn about your local elected officials in your district or sit in city councilmember meetings to learn what is occurring in your own community. I would definitely recommend becoming active in IGNITE. IGNITE has high school and college chapters all over the U.S.
IGNITE is motivated to built political ambition in women so they can eventually run for office. They hold political leadership conferences that have leadership skill-building workshops, current policy topic discussions, and roundtable talks with elected women! These leadership conferences help with learning the first few steps in running for office.
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