AAPI Herstory: Nadya Okamoto in Conversation with Sara Guillermo, Cancer Survivor and Executive Director of IGNITE National

Sara Guillermo has been running for office since she was in the first grade, and now she leads a fast-growing organization inspiring and training young women to do the same!

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I first met Sara Guillermo in 2017 when I was a freshman at Harvard College and, at the time, running for public office. I had absolutely no experience as a political candidate, and so I searched for community with other young women who were passionate about politics and excited by local government. I found that community at a conference hosted by IGNITE National and fell in love with the organization. Sara is now the Executive Director of IGNITE National, and I sat down to chat with her about her history and leadership today!

Sara shares that she has been running for office since she was in the first grade, when she campaigned for the position of Class Coordinator to keep the classroom organized. She continued to run for office in school because she “kept seeing boys at the table.”

Now she’s on her city’s community board on healthcare as the only member who has experienced breast cancer. Sara says that there is so much more room for progress around breast cancer awareness and legislation, including the fact that “more people need mammograms earlier.”

Get to know more about Sara and IGNITE national on their website!


AAPI Herstory is a series hosted by Nadya Okamoto, inspired by her academic work at Harvard with Dr. Vivian Shaw. Nadya Okamoto is the Founder of PERIOD and author of PERIOD POWER.

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