Run with Running Start 2016

Compete for a once-in-a-lifetime, all-expenses-paid trip
to Washington, DC, where you’ll have the chance
to become our #ILookLikeAPolitician Ambassador!

We challenge our alumnae to  get as many young women involved in the campaign as possible and compete for a Young Women to Watch Award and to be our first-ever #ILookLikeAPolitician Ambassador for a year.

How to enter Run with Running Start 2016

1. Starting January 15th, fill out a quick form to register so we know whose posts to look out for. Click for Form

2. From January 15th – February 15th, get as many people to make #ILookLikeAPolitician social media posts as possible.

3. The top 3 participants will be our Run with Running Start Finalists and will come to Washington, DC for Running Start’s 10th Annual Young Women to Watch Awards to compete for audience votes. The winner will be Running Start’s #ILookLikeAPolitician Ambassador for a year. Running Start will cover finalists’ travel between Washington, DC and the contiguous United States and provide accommodations in Washington, DC.

Click here or scroll down for full contest details and eligibility information.
Be sure to see the rules for how we’ll tally posts!


Why #IlookLikeAPolitician?


Women running for each party’s presidential nomination makes 2016 an exciting time for Running Start to spread the message that young women have the power to lead. Our #ILookLikeAPolitician social media campaign challenges women and girls to show everyone the many faces of leadership because, as Marie Wilson, founder of The White House Project, famously said: “You can’t be what you can’t see.”

Alumnae of Running Start’s political training programs have already learned key skills, benefited from mentorship, and been exposed to amazing role models. This year’s Run with Running Start competition is their chance to pay it forward by exponentially multiplying the reach of the #ILookLikeAPolitician message. The more young women who participate, the more young women will see that they can lead and that their leadership has value.

Learn more about the campaign and see recent posts here.




Full Details

The Contest

  1. Application (Opens January 15th): Running Start alumnae will submit a brief form to register their participation. Click for Form
  2. Social Media Contest: Registered participants will have one month (January 15th – February 15th) to inspire as many people as possible to participate in the #ILookLikeAPolitician campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Participants must submit proof of their posts to Running Start no later than midnight Eastern Time the night of February 15th. See “Eligibility” below for what counts as a post.
  3. Finalists: The three participants who have prompted the most social media posts will be Run with Running Start finalists.
  4. Live Vote: The three finalists will be honored at Running Start’s 10th Annual Young Women to Watch Awards, on the evening of March 15, 2016. They will network with and make speeches for the DC political elite in the audience to compete for votes. Guests will vote live for the winner of the Political Rising Star Award, who will become Running Start’s first-ever #ILookLikeAPolitician Ambassador. The two runners-up will each win the Alumna in Action Award. Running Start will cover  finalists’ travel between Washington, DC and the contiguous United States and provide accommodations in Washington, DC.
  5. Ambassador: The #ILookLikeAPolitician Ambassador will serve until spring 2017.


January 15
Contest Launch
Registration opens and social media posts begin counting towards participants’ totals. To participate in the contest, you must be registered. Posts not tied to a registration do not count. Click for Form
February 15
Contest Close
Posts made until midnight Eastern Time count toward participants’ totals.
March 14th – March 16th
Finalists in DC
Finalists will come to Washington, DC for the Young Women to Watch Awards. Running Start will cover travel between Washington, DC and the contiguous United States and provide accommodations in Washington, DC.


What counts as a post:

  • To count, each post must be an original post and must include a photo of the supporter who is making the post.
  • Participants and supporters may retweet/share posts but retweets/shares will not count toward their totals.
  • Each supporter can post on each platform. For example, if Sara wants to support Melissa, Sara can make one post on Twitter, one post on Facebook, and one post on Instagram, and that will count as 3 posts. But any additional posts by Sara on each platform will not count towards Melissa’s contest totals.
  • Supporters can compose their own posts, but to count, posts must include all of the following:

#ILookLikeAPolitician @runningstart @[participant’s handle/name]


  • Each post that meets the above requirements counts for 1 point.
  • Bonus: a post that meets the above requirements and is made by an elected official or by an organization (for example Girl Scouts, League of Women Voters, your school) counts for 5 points.

An eligible contestant must:

  • be an alumna of one of Running Start’s programs, listed below (Spring 2016 Star Fellows and Spring 2016 Running Start Interns are not eligible).
  • be available to travel to Washington, DC to participate in program activities all day starting March 14, 2016 through the end of the awards dinner the night of March 15, 2016.
  • not have been a finalist in previous Young Women to Watch Awards contests.
  • register.

Running Start Programs (Current and Former)

  • Campaign College
  • Camp Moxie
  • Elect Her: Campus Women Win
  • Running Start Internship Program
  • Next Step
  • Off the Record
  • Path to Politics
  • Star Fellowship
  • Young Women’s Political Leadership Program (YWPL)
  • Young Women’s Political Summit (The Summit)