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From Humble Beginnings to the White House: The Story of Monique Dorsainvil

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As a child, I imagined the inner workings of the White House to be similar to the scenes I watched on The West Wing television show. As I grew older, I finally began to see past this Hollywood façade in exchange for a realistic view of the role and complexities of serving as the leader of the free world. Beyond the individual leader, there are a larger number of devoted staffers that serve as essential contributors to the success of the President and the functioning of the executive branch of government.

The Obama Administration houses a change maker by the name of Monique Dorsainvil. Presently, she serves as the Director of Planning and Events for the Office of Public Engagement and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House. She emerged humble beginnings to serve as an influential White House staffer.

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President Barack Obama walks across West Executive Avenue with Monique Dorsainvil, Deputy Director of Advance and Special Events for OPEIGA, Aug. 3, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Her career began as a White House intern under First Lady Michelle Obama. This journey has taken her to the pages of Glamour magazine with the first lady (FLOTUS), traveling with FLOTUS to South Africa and supporting the president's gender equity initiatives through the White House Council on Women and Girls. Though she's made an impact in Washington, she never foresaw a career in politics or government. She says, "With no family background in government or politics, working in D.C. was not something that had previously entered my childhood imagination."

She is one of many faces in the Administration that is altering what it means to work in politics. The election of President Barack Obama brought a significant change to stories of those working in Washington, DC. Those working in the city are no longer solely career political professionals; there is an ever-present rise in everyday people flocking to the district because they are passionate about the social change that this polarizing leader represents. Those drawn to the nation's capital may not have an educational or career background in political science but they're devoted to the change this historic presidency embodies.

Those drawn to working in Washington now encompass demographics of those most affected by America's public policy including those of low-income backgrounds, people of color, women and the LGBT community. These groups speak to what the majority of America looks like and are demanding change that reflects their interests. The Obama Administration draws young leaders representative of these groups that support this universal rally for change and action.

Dorsainvil speaks on her past and her work in the White House:

Growing up with asthma in LA, I was in and out of the hospital several times a year throughout my childhood, which taught me the value of health care at a very young age. When President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, he leveled the playing field for so many American families like mine. This law is important to me because it helps young people, Americans with disabilities, women, LGBT Americans and other vulnerable communities.

As one of the few African American women leaders in government, she stands as a great mentor and inspiration to women including myself. The title mentor isn't simply a word used to describe an admirable and influent person; mentorship means caring and advancing the personal growth and success of another. Dorsainvil uses her position to open doors and gateways for more LGBT individuals and women of color. She is a primary example of a mentor using her role to impact the lives of those around her.

These are the people behind the president that are using government to influence real change.

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