Meet Sarah Peterson, a Constituent Services Representative
I chose to become a constituent services representative for the congressman because I was really drawn to a career in which I could help people and have an active role in assisting them in their everyday lives. The individuals who are coming to our office are often in pretty dire situations. They’re fed up with the system they don’t know how to work it and it’s really fulfilling to be able to provide them a service and to help them navigate are really complicated system and find ways to help them in their everyday lives.
So I got into my position, first I became interested in politics back in high school. I was part of a competitive civics team called “We The people”. That really opened my eyes to politics and current affairs, getting involved in advocacy groups, that sort of thing. So, that’s where my passion for politics kind of was born.
I went to school at UC Davis. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to study. I had heard from a lot of professors that English was a really good way to go because it opened up a lot of doors for you and I knew that I wanted to help people. I studied psychology as well. So those were my two studies back in college and was where a lot of my interest lay. I also was involved in some protesting groups on campus. We were involved in protest against the tuition hikes and a lot of the salaries for Chancellors and various individuals on campus. So that was interesting to stay involved in politics at that point.
When I left school I was interested in writing. I also wanted to get involved in PR. I started working for a PR company in the Silicon Valley. We covered a lot of tech companies in the area, so that was very interesting. And I was working from home at that time, so that gave me some opportunities to get involved with the congressman’s first campaign. A lot of our representatives at that time where ingrained in the system and they weren’t necessarily working with constituents as much as I like to see. So when I saw this young gentleman who was so passionate about his duties and really wanted to be out there making a difference, I became very interested and wanted to find a way to help him myself.
First I began working with the congressman on his campaign by doing some small activities at his campaign headquarters. We were going door-to-door talking to constituents, we were doing data research, a lot of phone calls, a lot of groundwork.
If a teen were interested in getting involved in politics or working in a congressional office, I would really recommend that they get involved right now; there’s no point in waiting. There’s a lot of campaigns out there. If you’re not interested in a particular member or representative, you can always go for a proposition campaign. There’s a lot of different ways that you can get involved. Campuses, there’s a lot of clubs, there’s a lot of activities that you can join up with. It’s really important to research your community and see what’s out there and to get involved right away.