Austin Peay senior to represent Tennessee at Miss Black US Ambassador pageant
(Posted Friday, March 15, 2019)
Sierra Salandy’s last year in college typifies her entire time at Austin Peay.
Busy. And amazing.
She started off the semester as a legislative intern in the Tennessee General Assembly (one of a record 11 from APSU this year). And during her first week on Capitol Hill, she found out she’d won the crown of Miss Black Tennessee US Ambassador.
The political science senior will represent Tennessee in the Miss Black US Ambassador pageant July 29-Aug. 4 in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Finding out during orientation week of the internship, that moment in itself was so surreal,” Salandy, who graduated from Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, said. “My platform for the pageant is to promote more women to get involved with politics, law and government.”
In addition to finishing off her degree at Austin Peay, Salandy will serve in Sen. Brenda Gilmore’s office in Nashville until the end of the legislative session and she’ll travel around Tennessee in her role as Miss Black Tennessee US Ambassador (she visited her old elementary school, Siegel Elementary, recently to speak to the second-graders).
Sierra Salandy's GovLife
POLITICS IS SO POWERFUL AND IMPACTFUL
Her political ambitions and pageant platform align nicely.
“I’m a huge advocate for women empowerment, and I want to be a role model for young women, especially young black women, because I love inspiring others, and I’m very passionate about community service, diversity and sisterhood,” Salandy said.
“Politics is so powerful and impactful. It affects me. It affected my ancestors. It affects all of us.”
She plans to attend law school, and after she serves as a lawyer, she wants to pursue political office.
“I’d love to work for a law firm, a court or a judge, or even an organization that promotes women who run for office,” Salandy said.
CHALLENGED IN ALL THE RIGHT WAYS
With Sen. Gilmore, Salandy is analyzing bills, engaging in policy and sitting in Assembly sessions.
“I see them vote and debate on resolutions and bills,” she said. “It’s been very eye-opening because it’s so hands-on. Every day, I’m like, ‘Yup, this is what I want to do.’”
Salandy’s list of college accomplishments is long, including other political internships such as a semester serving in U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s office in 2017.
“I’ve done a lot of internships,” she said. “With that, I’ve worked with a lot of policy, I’ve worked with a lot of different constituents, world leaders, the vice president of this country, the prime minister of that country.”
“Here I am, just this sophomore intern,” she added about her Corker internship. “It instantly grew on me, and it’s continuing to grow on me. That’s why I want to stay on this path. It’s been a lot, but it’s also been so great at the same time.”
She cherishes her experience at Austin Peay.
“I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve definitely learned a lot about politics. It’s challenged me in all the right ways.”
TO LEARN MORE
- For more about the Miss Black US Ambassador scholarship pageant, visit thembusam.com.
- For more about the Tennessee General Assembly legislative internship program, go to capitol.tn.gov/Intern.
- For more about the APSU Department of Political Science and Public Management, visit apsu.edu/political-science-public-management.
- Miss Black Tennessee US Ambassador, 2019-2020.
- Intern, Tennessee General Assembly, January-May 2019.
- Intern, U.S. Department of Energy, August-December 2018.
- Intern, Clarksville law firm, summer of 2018.
- Intern, Sen. Bob Corker, January-May 2017.
- Worked with Cultivate the City in Washington, D.C.
- Studied at New York University the summer of 2017.
- Intern, World Relief in Nashville, Summer 2016.
- APSU achievements have included Tennessee Intercollegiate State legislature, Student Government Association, Pre-Law Society, Conversation Partners, College Democrats, College Republicans, APSU 1000, Dean’s List.