5 questions with…political organizer, women’s voting advocate Destinee Henton

By Shivani Parikh

Destinee Henton’s passion for politics has landed her a research position studying women’s roles in governments worldwide, a job planning political events and even a guest spot on Cleveland’s NPR affiliate discussing the final presidential debate. And she’s earned all this as just a sophomore.

A political science major, Henton has a firm belief in the importance of involving women in politics, and she aims to spread it.

As a programming specialist at the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, Henton has been channeling her passion for engaging women in politics into two “Respect Her Vote” events: The first, which took place last month, centered on voter registration and education, and today’s community hour event will help educate voters regarding the presidential candidates’ stances on women’s issues.

“Right now, I’m focused on the upcoming election, making sure women are educated on the issues that concern them. Later, I want to work with getting women more interested in running for public office,” said Henton. “I do this because I feel like there’s a lack of women in public office. We need women in the government to encourage diversity and make sure that women have a voice in the issues concerning them.”

In the relatively short time she’s been at Case Western Reserve, Henton’s involvement in politics already has shaped her future plans and aspirations. After she graduates from Case Western Reserve in 2015, Henton intends to attend law school and, later, work on human rights and civil rights cases around the world. While everyone has their own manner by which they want to leave a legacy, Henton hopes to help change policy to improve the lives of others.

When she isn’t working on research or engaging women in politics, Henton serves as treasurer for CWRU’s African American Society, handling the organization’s finances and planning events, and as a call center employee at University Hospitals.

Learn more about the busy Cincinnati native in this week’s five questions.

1. What are you reading—and how are you reading it (print vs. digital)?
I’m reading the book I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, in print. I like to feel the pages of my books.

2. What can’t you live without?
I can’t live without my cell phone. Everything I do revolves around my cell phone. I check my email with it all day; it gives me alerts for work, school, and everything else. And most importantly, it keeps my connected with my mom at least twice a day.

3. What’s your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus is the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women in Thwing Center. I love it there. There are computers for students, comfortable couches and they always have food and drinks. Plus it’s just a great environment.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve received is from my mom. She tells me all the time to never let anyone see me sweat. This means that even when I’m worried or nervous, I should never let the people around me think that I’m not confident. In many cases, I’ve been extremely afraid, but I put on a mask of confidence that eventually overcomes me and I feel like a pro.

5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve University?
What I like most about Case [Western Reserve] is its faculty—they take a strong interest in their students. I really think they care about and advocate for their students.