Gaby Meza Inspires Fellow Students Through Female Empowerment Club

Gaby Meza is a third year Political Science major with a Chicano Studies minor. Her passion for feminism led her to start a UCLA chapter of a national female empowerment organization called Ignite. We were able to talk to Gaby about her inspirations and goals for the club and how she plans to continue her work in the future.

Her Campus: What is Ignite?

Gaby Meza: Ignite is a national organization that trains and empowers women to run for public office. We have high school and college chapters in several states across the nation full of ambitious young women who are undergoing preparation to actively seek to close the gender gap in elected offices.

HC: Why did you decide to start a chapter at UCLA?

GM: A couple of women and myself, last year, decided to start a chapter at UCLA because there is no other club on campus that focuses on training for women specifically. There are various obstacles women face even before deciding to run for office and Ignite National does a very good job in distributing the tools that women need to step up to the plate and achieve gender parity in elected office. The idea was to bring these resources closer to the women at UCLA, and through workshops, policy briefings and networking events we have formed the biggest chapter of powerful women who are eager and ready to run for office in Southern California.

HC: What has been your favorite part of the club so far?

GM: This past summer, I attended the Young Women Run Conference in D.C. with a few other girls from the chapter. We were invited by the National Director and given a scholarship to go and meet Ignite members from across the nation, attend various workshops, one of which was a media training in a professional studio, and we heard from various elected officials, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi! Ignite is planning another opportunity to travel to Sacramento and D.C. this year as well!

HC: What are your goals for the club this year and in the future?

GM: One of our biggest goals this year is to have a symposium in the spring which would feature various women across different fields in which we are underrepresented. It would be our biggest event of the year. In the future I would hope that this club is still active and effective at creating a space for women to build their political power. In general, I would hope to see gender parity in government happen at a faster pace as a result of this effort and see the women of the Ignite at UCLA chapter be those candidates and rise up to those positions.

HC: What are your plans for after college?

GM: My goal is to run for public office at the congressional level, so I would keep close contact with Ignite and provide support for organization in any way that I can.

Thank you Gaby for sharing your passion for female empowerment with us! Be sure to check out Ignite at UCLA on Facebook and Instagram!

Photos Courtesy of Gaby Meza