Defining Success On Your Own Terms with Congresswoman Sharice Davids

Defining Success On Your Own Terms with Congresswoman Sharice Davids

Twenty years ago, when I first came to America, I felt like a complete outsider. I didn't look like, sound like, or dress like people around me. I chased goals that I didn’t really care about because I thought that’s what was expected of me. But the harder I tried to fit in, the more I struggled personally and professionally. You see, I was defining success from other people’s perspective.

Our guest today is US Congresswoman Sharice Davids, from Kansas’ Third Congressional District, who shares her inspiring story of overcoming obstacles and rising to the top by defining success on her own terms. 

Sharice was raised by a single mom who spent more than 20 years serving in the US Army. A proud graduate of Leavenworth High School, Sharice was the first person in her family to attend college. She worked her way from Johnson County Community College to Cornell Law School, juggling multiple jobs to put herself through school.

Sharice went on to work in economic and community development on Native American reservations, helping tribes to create programs and initiatives for growth. This work inspired her to apply for the prestigious White House Fellowship program, where she served under President Barack Obama and continued to create economic opportunity for others.

Sharice ran for Congress to give Kansans a voice, and to make sure everyone has the same opportunities to achieve their goals that she did. In 2018, Sharice was elected to represent Kansas’ Third District, becoming one of the first two Native American women ever to serve in Congress. 

In 2020, she was re-elected to her second term. She has spent her time in office working tirelessly to tackle the issues most important to Kansas families, including strengthening small businesses, lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and making sure the government is working for the people — not special interests.

In this episode, Rep. Davids shares her perspective on why it's important to first embrace who you are for others to embrace and accept you as you are. She also shares why service matters, how to build a thriving community, and what strategies helped her achieve her goals.

Highlights:

[03:57] What shaped Representative Davids’ life
[09:22] Gaining clarity on your career path
[12:50] How Representative Davids got into politics
[15:31] First time running for office
[24:18] Facing the possibility of failure
[26:52] Campaigns are entrepreneurial
[29:22] Owning her seat at the table
[35:23] Advice to other on pursuing a career in politics
[41:36] How to engage with Representative Davids
[43:07] The meaningful work of LPAC

Quotes:

“When dealing with rejection on the campaign trail, I had to remind myself that this is not about me, this is about the future of our country, our democracy.” - Rep. Sharice Davids

“The biggest opportunities for growth come from moments when you are experiencing something that is hard and challenging.” - Rep. Sharice Davids

 "Running a campaign is a very entrepreneurial process." - Rep. Sharice Davids

 "One thing that changed my life was realizing that I get to decide what success means to me." - Rep. Sharice Davids

About Sharice Davids:

Sharice Davids is currently serving Kansas’ Third Congressional District in Congress.

Sharice was raised by a single mom who spent more than 20 years serving in the US Army. A proud graduate of Leavenworth High School, Sharice was the first person in her family to attend college. She worked her way from Johnson County Community College to Cornell Law School, juggling multiple jobs to put herself through school.

Sharice went on to work in economic and community development on Native American reservations, helping tribes to create programs and initiatives for growth. This work inspired her to apply for the prestigious White House Fellowship program, where she served under President Barack Obama and continued to create economic opportunity for others.

Sharice ran for Congress to give Kansans a voice who represents our values and interests, and to make sure everyone has the same opportunities to achieve their goals that she did.

In 2018, Sharice was elected to represent Kansas’ Third District, becoming one of the first two Native American women ever to serve in Congress. In 2020, she was re-elected to her second term. She has spent her time in office working tirelessly to tackle the issues most important to Kansas families, including strengthening our small businesses, lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and making sure the government is working for the people — not special interests.

  • Sharice was raised by a single mom, who spent more than 20 years in the Army followed by a career in civil service at the US Post Office.
  • Sharice graduated from Leavenworth High School. She attended Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas before graduating from Johnson County Community College and later the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She went on to earn a law degree from Cornell Law School.
  • Sharice calls herself a “former” first generation college student, since her mom earned a degree in history from UMKC in 2016.
  • Sharice is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a Native American tribe in Wisconsin.
  • Sharice is highly trained in martial arts and has competed as both an amateur and professional in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
  • Sharice was one of 16 selected to participate in the prestigious White House Fellowship program (2016-2017).
  • Sharice has lived and worked on Native American reservations, working with tribes to create economic development opportunities, programs, and initiatives.
  • Sharice regularly speaks at conferences as a nationally recognized expert on economic and community development in Native communities.
  • Sharice, along with her brother, created Starty Pants – a video podcast that highlights entrepreneurs in the Greater Kansas City area with a focus on women, people of color and LGBTQ founders.

Links:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharicedavids/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShariceDavids 



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