Zia Saylor ’23

Mass Alliance, Boston, MA

Mass Alliance is a nonprofit organization based in Boston that seeks to create larger community engagement by helping and organizing progressive grassroots campaigns. Mass Alliance holds several sessions each year to train rising advocates and political campaigners for progressive causes. They seek to empower diverse and progressive voices with a focus on the State of Massachusetts. Mass Alliance aims to mobilize the larger community in pursuing environmental protection, reproductive rights, healthcare access, education access, and civil rights. They achieve this by supporting candidates at the local and state level advocating for reforms by providing campaign support and training, as well as endorsements.

Prepping for the 2022 gubernatorial elections.

This summer, I worked primarily with Campaigns and Training Organizer Martha Durkee-Neuman. While I still contributed to typical tasks such as tracking legislation and managing social media, I also took on a new leadership component of serving as the manager and mentor for other interns, as well as launching our first-ever high school intern program with Mass Alliance. The incorporation of high schoolers into Mass Alliance was a really rewarding experience, as it meant empowering young people who might otherwise feel excluded from politics and aiming to make progressive politics a safe place for all. This taught me the importance of making sure on any team that everyone feels heard and included, as well as making sure that everyone is getting projects they find meaningful to their own growth and development.

It was also rewarding getting to help other interns tackle different new projects, assisting in writing blog posts about previous Mass Alliance victories, doing donor management, and helping out different campaigns. While a lot of the interns did more boots-on-the-ground campaigning, I did a lot of coordination with the campaign managers and candidates themselves surrounding social media presence, volunteer capacity, and check-ins to make sure everyone was on track. I also helped “matchmake” between campaigns and several young folks who, while not a part of our intern program, had the passion and drive necessary for helping out in the political field.

In my day-to-day work, I also got a lot more familiar with understanding the power that comes from local politics and elections—and from learning more about our own Massachusetts State Government. This experience made me realize that as much as I do love research and getting to dive deeply into one particular topic, I also very much value being able to work as a part of a larger team and mentor others. Overall, I am incredibly grateful to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for their incredible guidance, and to the Class of 1972, as without their generosity, I would not have been able to have such an incredible experience this summer.