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Katy Welch: Making a Difference and Vitalizing FSU

Name: Katy Welch

Year: Junior – graduating summer 2016

Age: 20

Major: Political Science

Hometown: Eustis, Florida

Relationship Status: Single

Courtesy: Katy Welch

Her Campus (HC): What organizations are you involved in at Florida State?

Katy Welch (KW): I am the Chairwoman of The Vitality Party and have been involved in the Student Government Association – sitting on the Executive Cabinet as the Secretary of Student Affairs.

HC: That sounds so interesting! Could you tell us more about The Vitality Party?

KW: Sure! The Vitality Party is an organization that came to Florida State’s campus to increase student involvement and create positive sustainable change. We work hard every day to make sure the student’s voices and ideas are at the forefront of our leadership within both the party and Student Government Association. We are the first party that has created our platform 100% from ideas that the student body has given us – and are actually accomplishing them. The current administration is halfway over and will have 50% of the platform completed by November. We’re really excited about it – lots of things are happening and we’re seeing student involvement across the board in places we never have before!

HC: How do you plan to increase diverse involvement across the student body?

KW: Diversity to me, like I’ve said before, is something that I would have never learned to appreciate if I didn’t come to Florida State. As the president of an organization, I would be cheating the entire student body if I, for one single second, let the diverse culture that should be growing at an institution like ours slip. I encourage every person I come into contact with to get to know somebody they wouldn’t normally associate with in order to understand and to appreciate every single person on our campus. Some of my leadership and candidates had never been to Sound Hour on Wednesdays and after I asked them to be there just once, it became a competition to see who could get there first. I believe that a campus that embraces the cultures of 42,000 people can only be fairly represented if we include every person, every voice, and every idea. Diversity and Unity, to me, have become cornerstones that I put at the front of my daily life and encourage every person in the party to experience. With that, the best way to get people involved is to talk to them – ask them what they want, what they want to change, and what their goals are. I can assure you, I care, Vitality cares. I am not Vitality, you are not Vitality, WE are Vitality – meaning everyone, from every path, together.

Courtesy: Katy Welch

HC: I love how much diversity means to you. Being in such a large campus, it’s so important to represent all of our differences. Seeing that you’re involved in Vitality and the Student Government Association and are a political science major, do you plan to have a career related to politics at all?

KW: Actually, yes! I work for the Executive Office of the Governor right now and I love it. The political realm is definitely my niche! I dream of being a campaign manager one day – the campaign whirlwind is especially exciting. I’m so happy I chose Florida State too, I would have never had the political experience I’ve had anywhere else. I owe so much to all of the programs here!

HC: The political world does sound exciting! What has been your favorite moment here at Florida State?

KW: It’s a thrill for sure! My favorite moment at Florida State – this is going to sound weird – was the moment that I found my why. The moment that I realized why I do what I do every single day and realizing that I’m here making a difference and changing peoples lives. It’s not winning, the losing, the campaigns, its realizing that I know when I leave FSU – if I ever really do. I know that I’m leaving it better than it was when I got here. It’s the same thing I instill in the leadership team all the time. It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it. I know it sounds really cheesy, but knowing your “why” doesn’t just help you now, it pushes you forward for the rest of your life.

HC: That is really insightful and very true! Speaking of leaving FSU, do you have any plans after you graduate?

KW: That’s a great question! Graduating so soon has made me have to decide so much faster! I’d love to stay with the State of Florida, specifically Executive Office of the Governor. But for right now, I’m letting the world take me where it does. I’m not looking at leaving the political world, FSU or Tallahassee just yet, but we will see!

HC: Do you have any role models that you look up to?

KW: Honestly, I have way more than I could ever list. I thank God, my parents, my mentors, my mentees, friends, everybody. A role model doesn’t always have to be somebody you look up to or somebody who you “want to be like.” It’s more of who was always there and never left, to me at least. Sometimes I look to my mentees for support and to be honest, they’ve probably taught me more than I could ever teach them. I look to my mentors when I need advice, someone to make me strong again, or my best friend. To my parents who have taught me independence and how to be strong no matter what with unconditional love. To God who has never let me fail, ever and I know never will. So yes, you could say I have a ton of role models.

HC: Is there any specific quote that you live by?

KW: I have two that hit close to me: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and “Dream Big. Work Hard. Make a Difference.”

Anacarla is currently attending her last year at Florida State. Can't live without coffee and her dog. You can follow her on Twitter at @anacarlasanchez
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