Alumna discusses her political career


Photo by Jillissa Drayton

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The name Rebecca Lynch is no longer unfamiliar to many Townsend Harris High School students.

New York City may recognize Ms. Lynch for her community-centered work with Mayor De Blasio, but she is better known in the THHS community as an alumna. This summer, seniors reached out to canvass for her campaign as she ran for District 23 City Councilwoman.

While attending THHS, Ms. Lynch recalls pulling more than a few all-nighters. She noted that the time and consideration she put into her work was what she liked most about THHS. “You wouldn’t just read a book – you would talk about it and really have a discussion,” she explained. She believes this experience factors in to her improved public speaking ability and confidence.

As a woman working in a male-dominated field, Ms. Lynch is no stranger to adversity. In her own words, “Some of it has been benevolent sexism, some of it has been not-so-benevolent sexism, some of it has just been ageism; whatever it is, you really have to fight through it.”

The gender ratio at THHS allowed for what she called “a really good breeding ground for strong female folks.” The various female figures and influences she encountered during her high school years encouraged her to follow her own dreams and encourage others, both male and female, to do the same.

While Ms. Lynch did not originally realize her calling for political science, THHS steered her toward the humanities.

Now, she welcomes Harrisites who want to meet with her for advice on interning, volunteering and working in politics because “it would be my sincere pleasure to give back to Townsend Harris.”

THHS students knocked on countless doors to canvass for Ms. Lynch’s campaign. She commended the students, insisting, “Townsend students have been amazing. They’ve just been so enthusiastic and positive…and on a campaign that’s what you need because it’s so stressful.”

Ms. Lynch offered a word of advice: “No Townsend student should be too hard on him/herself. You’re all so brilliant and so hard working and you’re not just going to do fine, you’re going to be fantastic. You’re going to be the best in your field. You’re going to be the people your family is proud of–that your friends are proud of. So many people are rooting for you and you don’t even realize it.”