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Meet Anna Chellis: Our April Leading Woman

Name: Anna Chellis

Major: Political Science

Hometown: St. Louis

What are your career or life goals?

My career aspirations center around making a tangible impact in law and public service. Currently, I've got my eyes set on becoming a Congresswoman because I want to influence legislation and tackle those deep-rooted issues head-on. But I'm also considering the route of being an appellate judge. It's a bit different from Congress, but it's still a chance for me to make a change through the legal system and play a part in shaping the laws that guide our society. Both paths really speak to my drive to leave a positive mark on the world and make some meaningful changes.

What is your favorite part about your major and why did you choose it?

One of the best parts of my major is the access it provides to Jefferson City and the multitude of opportunities available there. We’ve had impactful government officials from all branches come to our classes and talk with us. They’ve provided us with so much valuable insight into the ins and outs of their professions. It's been incredibly interesting and has sparked my interest in public service even more. Plus, being close to Jefferson City has opened up doors for hands-on learning and networking that I know will be really helpful for my future career.

What organizations or hobbies are you passionate about?

Every summer, I eagerly return to Girls State, where I assist on staff. It's an incredible opportunity to mentor and inspire young women as they explore leadership and civic engagement. I'm also involved in a few political science organizations such as the Political Science Fraternity and Bridge Mizzou, a nonpartisan student organization I founded that is dedicated to fostering constructive dialogue on campus. Oh, and I recently became a bit obsessed with Sudoku!

What is the Girls State Documentary all about? What does it mean to you?

Missouri Girls State is an immersive program that brings together high school girls from various backgrounds across Missouri to simulate building a government from the ground up. During the week-long summer program I attended two years ago, I became one of the seven members of the Missouri Supreme Court. The documentary follows this program and shows viewers what American democracy would look like in the hands of teenage girls. Thanks to Apple TV, we’ve traveled to Park City, Utah for the film's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and this past weekend we traveled to Los Angeles, California for an Emmys “For Your Consideration” Event. At this event, we talked with Television Academy voters and sought a nomination for Best Documentary. As someone who's been emotionally touched by this film and has watched it over and over, I can't help but tear up every time. The empowering stories of these young women (who have now become my best friends) have further motivated me to seek out a career in politics. So, seeing it get an Emmy nomination, and expanding its impact on more viewers, would be incredible.

How did you get involved with Bridge USA?

Bridge USA is a multi-partisan student movement that promotes viewpoint diversity, responsible discourse, and a solution-oriented political culture. They have created chapters at universities and high schools across the country. When I first heard that they wanted to create a chapter at Mizzou, I immediately reached out to see how I could get involved. After a few interviews, I became president and founder of Bridge Mizzou. During our meetings, we come together to discuss important political issues and understand the various perspectives behind them. The goal is to decrease the social divide between opposing parties and create a more united campus.

How have your experiences in Theta changed you?

Being surrounded by a community of supportive and inspiring women has had a large impact on my personal growth and development. There’s something so motivating about being with people who are so accomplished and driven. They push me to do more and give me the confidence to achieve it. 

What does Theta mean to you?

When I think of Theta, I think of intellectual curiosity (the best point of our kite, in my personal opinion). I've always been someone who asks a lot of questions, and in Theta, I've found a place where this curiosity is not a burden but an asset. Theta has taught me that my inquisitive nature is something to be celebrated, and for that, I'm truly grateful.

Do you have any advice for underclassmen?

If you’re scared to do something, do it scared.

Do you have a specific favorite Theta memory?

The COB new member meetings were something I looked forward to every week. There were only 8 of us so we ended up getting really close and our new member coordinators made Theta feel like home. I really just loved having an excuse to see them every week.


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