HoC: Anais Franco

Humans of Chaffey

Anais Franco. Photo by Yzzy Arias.

Anais Franco. Photo by Yzzy Arias.

Anais Franco, an English tutor for the Language Success Center, wants more women to be politically engaged through an organization called IGNITE.

IGNITE is a movement of young women eager to become the next generation of political leaders. Franco wants to help create the club on campus after she saw the organization at the Persist at UC Riverside conference in Nov. 2017.

“Most girls want to get involved, but don’t know where to start. That conference, was my start,” said Franco.

Franco became interested in IGNITE after viewing one of their presentations during the conference. The seemingly low percentage of women who are elected officials was a red flag, considering half of the American population is female.

“Civic engagement is a problem. We know that when it comes to demographics, 55-years-old and older do vote, but the younger population don’t turn out to vote," stated Franco. "It’s a problem and that’s why we are going out and marching. We are telling the world that women matter."

"[We are] the only organization that provides sustain political leadership, training and engagement to high schools, colleges, and graduate schools,” stated Franco.

The organization's goal is to create more college chapters, specifically at the community college level.

At the Persist conference, Franco met Chaffey College Instructional Specialist Rose Ann Osmanian. Together, they reached out to others to gauge if they were interested in starting an IGNITE club on campus. In spring of 2018, Franco became more involved with the organization. She acquired a fellowship with IGNITE and became a coordinator for the Southern California region.

“We are bringing the idea in, but students need to be the ones to create the club and lead it. All I can do is be a guide or be a coordinator. I want to help others by providing them the tools to get started,” said Franco.

There are IGNITE chapters currently present at universities like UC Riverside, Scripps College, California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, and University of La Verne.

Franco hosted a poster-making session for the Women's March at the Rancho Cucamonga campus on Jan. 16. She gave a presentation about IGNITE, what it does and the importance of women making their voices heard. This session was the first step to get students interested in the IGNITE program.

“There’s a problem of not enough women in office, and what we aim to do is to change those numbers,” said Anais Franco.