Defining Success On Your Own Terms with Congresswoman Sharice Davids

Episode 213

Rep. Sharice Davids

Congresswoman, Kansas 3rd District, U.S. House of Representatives

Twenty years ago, when I first came to America, I felt like a complete outsider. I didn't look like, sound like, or dress like people around me. I chased goals that I didn’t really care about because I thought that’s what was expected of me. But the harder I tried to fit in, the more I struggled personally and professionally. You see, I was defining success from other people’s perspective.

Our guest today is US Congresswoman Sharice Davids, from Kansas’ Third Congressional District, who shares her inspiring story of overcoming obstacles and rising to the top by defining success on her own terms. 

Sharice was raised by a single mom who spent more than 20 years serving in the US Army. A proud graduate of Leavenworth High School, Sharice was the first person in her family to attend college. She worked her way from Johnson County Community College to Cornell Law School, juggling multiple jobs to put herself through school.

Sharice went on to work in economic and community development on Native American reservations, helping tribes to create programs and initiatives for growth. This work inspired her to apply for the prestigious White House Fellowship program, where she served under President Barack Obama and continued to create economic opportunity for others.

Sharice ran for Congress to give Kansans a voice, and to make sure everyone has the same opportunities to achieve their goals that she did. In 2018, Sharice was elected to represent Kansas’ Third District, becoming one of the first two Native American women ever to serve in Congress. 

In 2020, she was re-elected to her second term. She has spent her time in office working tirelessly to tackle the issues most important to Kansas families, including strengthening small businesses, lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and making sure the government is working for the people — not special interests.

In this episode, Rep. Davids shares her perspective on why it's important to first embrace who you are for others to embrace and accept you as you are. She also shares why service matters, how to build a thriving community, and what strategies helped her achieve her goals.

“The biggest opportunities for growth come from moments when you are experiencing something that is hard and challenging.”

Rep. Sharice Davids