Natasha McKenzie spent her early years cultivating her career in political fundraising. Throughout that journey, she had the help of mentors and role models to help advise and guide her to reach success. We spoke to Natasha McKenzie to learn about her mentors and role models and how she mentors aspiring political professionals.
“I started my career in politics working for the DC Democratic Party, and from there went on to become the executive director. One of the things I loved about the job at the time, was handling the fundraising aspect of it, and also working directly with my boss at the time a DC Councilmember,” says Natasha McKenzie.
When she first began working in politics, she worked with a DC Councilmember. This time allowed Natasha McKenzie to learn more about working in politics, specifically political fundraising, while also working for her community.
She says, “On the DC Councilmember’s reelection campaign, I helped with their fundraising apparatus as well. It was great because while working for them we would do things like help people get out to vote, food donation drives, community cleanups, and school visits to help kids with school meals.”
Through her work with a DC Councilmember, Natasha McKenzie received the opportunity to improve her political fundraising skills by working with the DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee). As a result, she could aid various individuals and the 2020 cycle in this position, raising over $11 million.
She achieved success thanks to the support from people within the political sphere, particularly black women. “I’m very thankful to be a black woman in this space and to have other black women that have helped me in this space,” says Natasha McKenzie.
While in these positions, she could keep up her motivation by having mentors and advisers who could help her when she needed them. She says, “There were so many moments where I had no idea what I was doing. I needed someone to cry and call. And I am super thankful they were there for me because I don’t think I would have been able to navigate some moments without their support.”
Thanks to her mentors’ support, she navigated challenging moments that she experienced a little easier. “I didn’t have it as difficult for many things because I had someone to call to walk through my decisions. So that made a world of difference for me,” says Natasha McKenzie.
Thanks to the support from her mentors, Natasha McKenzie worked to become a mentor to aspiring young people in the political sphere. She decided to begin mentoring because she saw a lot of herself in them and hoped to inspire, motivate and support them in their journeys.
“I’ve always seen my role as a mentor as being someone they can call and cry to. Just someone you can talk to about anything. That’s how I’ve always seen it. I think it’s important for everyone in life to have people that they can call for certain situations,” says Natasha McKenzie.
Natasha McKenzie continues to work towards developing her skills in the political world but will always ensure to incorporate the role of mentor. She says, “I will always try to be that person that you can call even when things are going wrong, and you think someone’s going to judge you because I want you to feel like there are people that don’t. So I just want to be helpful.”
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