Emma Rowland is more than just a college student – she is a national activist. During her senior year at Veritas Prep, she became involved with the Arizona chapter of March for Our Lives after attending a summer leadership camp.
Today, she is a sophomore at American University in Washington, D.C.
“I knew I wanted to be in D.C., due to all the political work I did with March for Our Lives,” Rowland said. “I picked American University because I knew it would give me the best opportunity to do the most stuff.”
Rowland is currently double majoring in data/political science and CLEG, a unique degree only at American University, which stands for Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government.
“[CLEG] is everything about being a political science major without being a political science major,” Rowland said. “It’s not just policy – you get communications, the law and economic training. I like how you have a lot to work with in this major, and you can do a lot with it.”
Her interest in March for Our Lives started as a volunteer while the group was still in its infancy. The organization was founded in response to the 2018 tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, by the students and community members impacted by the shooting. The movement quickly spanned the country and landed a chapter in Arizona.
Rowland watched the statewide chapter grow into one of the country’s largest, and almost a year later, the state director of MFOL asked Rowland to become the chapter’s policy director.
“It was all kind of chance and luck,” Rowland said.
From there, she applied to become a national policy associate and began working as a lobbyist at the federal level. Rowland was one of the youngest lobbyists registered at the U.S. Capitol.
Currently, Rowland oversees 24 states. She helps drive policy and legislation at the state level related to the organization’s mission.
“Right now, we are trying to do ‘get out the vote’ work,” Rowland said. “Young people are the largest voting bloc, but they vote the least.”
March for Our Lives is currently producing “Art Action” events in nine different cities, including Phoenix, to drive voter engagement in swing states.
While she doesn’t have a set career plan yet, it looks as though Rowland may already have paved her primary path.
“I know I want to keep working in the government sphere, whether that is in the public or private sector.”