Aylin Segura: Writing (HER)story
Aylin Segura, an entering freshman at Mountain View aspiring dentist, gained her first insight into politics during her freshman year at Skyline High School after campaigning for Wendy Davis in the 2014 Texas Gubernatorial Race. From there, she has testified on legislation affecting sex education in schools, received statewide news media attention for her work with gun violence prevention on campuses, and, now, chartered the first ever menstrual equity initiative in Texas. She is passionate vessel for student welfare and can’t be stopped. This is (HER)story.
Aylin was born and raised in Seagoville, a rural community on the Southeast side of Dallas. She grew up in community separate from the one she attended school in, which was the notable Skyline High School, the first and largest magnet school in the state of Texas. While in high school, Aylin was exposed to a variety of communities and cultures that she hadn’t come into contact with while in Seagoville, ultimately opening her up to new interests in the field of politics. Aylin began her high school studies in the Advanced Social Sciences cluster, a teaching format that focuses student’s curriculum on their career aspirations and interests. There, she began engaging in current political events taking Texas by storm, including clean water distribution, tax breaks, and social welfare. She looked up to her teachers who were dedicated and passionate about social sciences like Ms. Juliann Tigert, a former lawyer; Dr. Martha Williams, a licensed psychologist; and Mr. Joe Wicker, an award-winning mock trial coach. Aylin never realized that these topics had different stances in the world of politics.
Within her first semester of high school, Aylin was approached by the Wendy Davis campaign team to help in the 2014 Texas Gubernatorial race. There, Aylin received her first taste of politics – she would help canvass in her own community and was personally asked by the team about how the Davis campaign could make the greatest impact in the Dallas area. Two years later, Aylin was enveloped in the Texas political scene, testifying for a senate bill in Austin that would introduce human trafficking components to sex education into Texas high schools. Aylin says that her introduction into Skyline Highschool “set the tone for the rest of my career.”
For Aylin, growing up in Dallas and attending school in the metroplex granted her the opportunity to connect with programs and mentors that she would otherwise not had in her hometown. For example, Aylin helped found the IGNITE chapter at Skyline High School, a local component to the nationwide non-profit dedicated to building political ambition in young women. Through this program, Aylin has constructed the Dallas ISD Menstrual Equity Campaign, an initiative dedicated to bringing free tampons and pads to restrooms in all DISD middle schools and high schools, to alleviate the financial, physical, and emotional burden of periods on students. Aylin, and the IGNITE chapter at Skyline High School, have partnered with Dallas ISD to introduce this initiative in the upcoming academic year to campuses across the district. Additionally, through her internship program at Skyline, Aylin partnered with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to host an informative Gun Safety Summit during the weekend that the National Rifle Association hosted it’s national convention in Dallas. There, alongside fellow high school and college students, she spoke on the importance of gun safety and violence prevention to a room of media and elected officials. To say the least: Aylin has dedicated herself to student welfare through her numerous projects.
Outside of the classroom, Aylin also works on a variety of re-election campaigns including that of Monica Lira Bravo, a current Dallas Community College Trustee. In fact, Aylin looks up to Trustee Lira Bravo for her true-to-life representation; she looks like Aylin and represents important issues that are important to the communities that Aylin identifies with. It is because of her identity as a young Hispanic woman that Aylin faced backlash while campaigning for Trustee Lira Bravo. Once while canvassing a neighborhood, Aylin was approached by a voter who told her that she is being used as a token because of her “young, brown” identity. Aylin was accused by the voter of being used by Trustee Lira Bravo solely because of their similar physical features. Still, Aylin continued to work for Monica Lira Bravo who eventually won her campaign for Trustee in 2016.
Aylin advises young women interested in pursuing careers in politics to find what it is that they are passionate about and further their knowledge about the subject. She says, “it is always good to learn more about what you’re passionate about already by reaching out to people who are as passionate about that issues as you are.” Aylin believes that reaching out to others can get you involved with other opportunities related to your passion like mentorships and internships.