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How KD Kickstarted My Career in Politics

When I started college, I decided to go through recruitment after hearing other women share their positive sorority experiences. They explained to me how their chapter became a home away from home and how much their sisters meant to them. I wanted to surround myself with women on my campus who hold the same values and would be there to support me. From the moment I stepped into the Kappa Delta house during the first round of recruitment, I felt at home and discovered a family. I didn’t know it then, but the women in my Kappa Delta chapter would eventually push me to become the best and most confident version of myself.

I am a political science major, which is historically a male-dominated field. As a freshman, I found this to be very daunting. I rarely spoke up in my classes and was terrified of getting called on by my professors. As one of the few women in my major, I felt a great sense of pressure to prove myself and also represent the other women in my field. What surprised me during my freshman year of college, however, was how the women in my KD chapter mentored me and helped me overcome these initial fears.

Two women in my chapter, my big sister, Brinley, and another sister from her new-member class, Hannah, approached me and let me know they were also in male-dominated majors: fishery wildlife conservation biology and industrial and manufacturing systems engineering. They took me under their wings as a mentee, and we met for countless study sessions in the library so they could offer their expertise. Brinley and Hannah showed me how to stand up for myself and speak my mind in a college classroom setting. They also taught me that it is always OK to participate in discussions and make myself heard even when I was one of the only women in class. Little did they know, the confidence that Kappa Delta had instilled in them was also rubbing off on me.

A few years later, I felt empowered to look for internship opportunities to advance my future career. Brinley and Hannah encouraged me to apply for three highly competitive internships I thought I would never get. With their help, I began compiling the three applications. We spent countless nights in the library prepping for internship interviews and combing over my professional resume. Brinley and Hannah even stayed up late with me to practive interview questions. With each round of interviews, I gained more confidence in myself and felt better equipped to serve in politics. If you asked me as a freshman if I would have ever guessed I would have the opportunity or even the confidence to go after these opportunities, the answer would be no. But thanks to Brinley, Hannah and the rest of my Kappa Delta sisters, I discovered I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to.

Today, as I approach my senior year of college, my resume boasts internships and experience working to promote youth voter turnout. I’ve been honored to serve my state by interning at the Kansas State Capitol with my local representative. I attribute these successes to my Kappa Delta sisters who always pushed me to do better in school and have the confidence to go after great opportunities.

I know I will always have my sisters cheering me on, and I will do the same for each of them. #KDBCIA holds so much truth to me, because without Kappa Delta building confidence and inspiring action, I would not be the woman I am today.

Emily Featherston

Sigma Gamma-Kansas State

Discover more about the Kappa Delta experience here.