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Darby Hopper '19 discusses speechwriting for Governor Pritzker


Speechwriting Class Opens Professional Door

Throughout college, Darby Hopper pursued her interests in political science and journalism through various experiences and extracurriculars, working as a freelance reporter and interning in the U.S. Senate. In each endeavor, though, she felt that her passions could never quite connect.

But when Cody Keenan ’02, chief of speechwriting for President Barack Obama ’06 H, returned to Northwestern to teach a speechwriting class, Hopper knew it could be a special opportunity.

Through Keenan’s class, Hopper learned how speechwriting could merge her majors. “I can advocate for this political issue that I care about through telling a story that makes other people care too,” the Okemos, Mich., native says.

Hopper considers Keenan a mentor, and he wrote her a recommendation to be a speechwriter for Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. She now works for the governor part time and will begin as a full-time speechwriter for Pritzker following graduation.

Eventually, Hopper intends to go to law school so that she can better understand and affect policy.

“At the end of the day,” she says, “I want to show people across this country how much a vote can matter, how much a different policy can matter and how these issues can affect their lives.”

Original story can be found on Northwestern Magazine.