If you want to feel good about our collective future, you need look no further than young professionals like Ewa Ogundana.
She is an American success story in the making, and we’ve had the honor of working with her for the last four years. As she has gained her education, she has served G.S. Proctor & Associates as both an intern and a full-time Government Relations Assistant.
Her passion and ambition are inspiring. Though she will leave us soon as she sets off to begin her graduate school journey, we are so fortunate for all that she has contributed to our firm’s and our clients’ success.
She is a rising star and one to watch. So as she prepares for the next chapter of her life, we hope you’ll take a moment to read this brief Q&A to get to know this impressive young woman. Then wish her well because she is going to do great things.
Tell us a bit about your personal background and how it led you to where you are today.
I am Nigerian-born and Maryland-raised. I came to the U.S. at the age of 4 with my family. We immigrated here for a better life and work opportunities, and we’ve lived here for 18 years now. I went to high school at Frederick Douglass in Upper Marlboro. While there, I took an A.P Government class that exposed me to the importance of governance and legislative work, which gave me an idea of what I would want to study in college. I graduated as Valedictorian in high school and from there I went off to Trinity Washington University and graduated last Fall with a B.A. in Political Science, Summa Cum Laude. I’m now going back to school for my Masters at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Why are immigration and higher education so important to you and what are your goals for the future?
The passion that I have for immigration and higher education issues comes from my own personal life outcomes and struggles in attaining a higher education as an undocumented student. I’ve been a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (often referred to as DREAMers) that went into effect during the Obama administration in 2012.
However, when applying to college in 2017, I realized that my lack of status brought significant barriers to accessing financial aid and work opportunities to pay for college. Thus, a passion ignited in me to advocate for students like myself who are undocumented and trying to make their way through school.
Seeing the impact my advocacy has had so far has made me realize how much more work needs to be done legislatively and that’s why this is important to me. By attaining a Master of Public Policy (MPP), I hope to increase my level of expertise in the area of immigration and education policy and grow foundational skills that will shape who I become and what I can offer to the world around me as a public servant. My ultimate career goal is to become a policy advisor so that I can be in a place of advocacy for higher education and immigration issues and help reform the policies that are creating widespread disparities for immigrant students across the country.
How did you find your position with G.S. Proctor & Associates?
I started off at GSP as an intern back in 2017. When I was in high school, I shared with my counselor my interest in possibly becoming a lobbyist one day, and she said she knew a great lobbyist named Steve Proctor. She told him about me and shared my interest in wanting to intern with his office, and I’ve interned with them since then. After graduating from undergrad, I came on full-time earlier this year.
What have been your primary responsibilities during your time with the firm?
As a Government Relations Assistant, I worked to serve and support our clients and associates in their individual cases and lobbying efforts. I was responsible for monitoring legislation, watching hearings, organizing federal, state, and county client cases, and delivering different requests for clients and the firm as needed.
What have been the biggest lessons learned?
I’ve learned the importance of delivering excellent results for individual client cases. The GSP approach in delivering services to clients is nothing short of excellence and professionalism.
Through my time working here, I’ve grown to value relationship-building more and more, and my experience has strengthened my work ethic and how I serve others.
Do any memorable moments stand out?
There have been a lot of shared laughs on our team Zooms, and I’m going to miss that a lot. One memory that stands out is the virtual game night the GSP team had on St. Patrick’s Day. We each had unique names for a specific game we played, and the names were based on our birthday months, and much of the team have birthdays near each other so that day specifically was a great team bonding experience.
What do you enjoy doing most outside of work?
I enjoy hanging out with friends and watching different movies on Disney Plus.