Alyson Perry is planning a career in politics, so it seems fitting she recently represented CCRI at a national conference in Washington, D.C.
Perry, an East Greenwich native, recently returned from the Campus Women Lead national conference, where she represented CCRI in discussions and panels focused on pressing issues facing female students.
The event featured female student leaders from across the country and highlighted the importance of building pipelines for other female student body leaders.
“I was the only student from a community college and it was great to share my perspective about the opportunities here and in Rhode Island,” she said. “It turned into a fantastic experience for me.”
It was another momentous experience for Perry, who has attended events featuring current White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and carved out a role as a leader in the state’s young conservative political scene.
Perry will graduate this spring with a degree in General Studies and will attend either Rhode Island College or the University of Rhode Island, where she will study a combination of political science and public administration.
“Politics and law have always been my thing, so I always knew it was something I wanted to be a part of,” said Perry.
Through CCRI, Perry connected with the Rhode Island Republican Party for her first internship.
“Most of the internships I have gotten in politics have been through CCRI,” she said. “If CCRI wasn’t such a good catalyst for internship programs I probably wouldn’t have gotten that first internship at the GOP, and it never would have been able to manifest into something else.”
From there, Perry served as the director of social media and web communications for the Rhode Island Republican Party and volunteered on several state representative campaigns. She worked in the State House the following year as a policy intern for the state’s Republican Party. She is vice chairwoman of the Rhode Island Young Republicans and is the organization’s liaison to the national committee.
“I firmly believe in being the change you hope to see in the world. I really don’t think there are enough young women involved in politics, especially on the conservative side,” she said.
She has used her time at CCRI to encourage other students to get involved.
“I don’t care if you are a left-wing hippie or a super right-wing conservative; it’s worth it to get involved,” she said.
Perry is a strong-willed student who was adept at starting meaningful conversations in the classroom, said Charles Morgan, assistant professor of English.
“Sometimes you can get caught in an echo chamber with everyone agreeing. She would speak up, and it would really lead to thoughtful conversations,” said Morgan, who had Perry in three English courses at CCRI. “It’s rare that you see students who speak up, and that’s one of the things that made her such a great student.”
Perry is also a member of the R.I. Air National Guard completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, and completed air craft fuel systems technical training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. She was able to create a schedule at CCRI that allowed her to stay active while pursuing an education.
“The flexible schedule really was key for me, especially when I was taking six classes in a semester,” she said.
At CCRI, she served as secretary of the school’s Emergency Management Club. She has been selected to compete in the 2017 Miss Rhode Island pageant, where she hopes to represent either CCRI or Quonset Point Air National Guard Station.
Perry is looking forward to new opportunities after graduation, and said CCRI has prepared her well for her next educational and professional steps.
“I’m really excited to move on, and I know my time at CCRI has been instrumental to my professional and personal development,” she said.
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