Student Senator Goes to The White House for Grassroots Organizer Conference

Florida A&M student Reamonn Soto went to the White House to participate in the White House Community Leaders Briefing Series on Nov. 10 for Florida Leaders.

The series is an opportunity for grassroots leaders to come to Washington to hear directly from White House officials on issues that are affecting communities across the country.

They will also have an opportunity to learn more about Presidents Barack Obama’s priorities and initiatives from the people that work on them every day.

Before leaving, Soto said he expects to talk with White House officials about programs Obama has implemented that communities don’t know about.

“Understanding these programs and learning from the other community leaders across the state of Florida will make me more aware of the issues,” said Soto, a physics student from Tallahassee.

“I hope to return to Florida with an arsenal of information on programs to help meet challenges citizens are facing with governmental solutions.”

The meeting benefitted both the participants as well as administrators.

Administrators will learn what is going on in cities and towns across the country directly from the experts – the grassroots leaders.

Soto said the highlight of his trip won’t be what others are expecting.

“Although, many are looking forward to meeting President Obama, I look forward to learning more about the issues from the communities that have not been heard in popular political conversation,” Soto said.

Participants were local leaders who are involved in their cities and towns at the grassroots level – in their neighborhoods, schools, churches, non-profit organizations, environmental groups, activist and advocacy groups. They each have a common goal, which is to continuously improve their communities.

Soto plans to make FAMU a topic of concern.

“FAMU is who I am,” said Soto.

“My values, and ideals are aligned with the solidarity inspired by our unique history of activism and social action. Education is hot topic in every policy conversation, and FAMU needs to be in that conversation when sitting to the table with Florida leaders who are enforcing that policy, and that’s what I intend to do.”