Yes She Can: 10 Stories of Hope & Change from Young Female Staffers of the Obama White House – ARC Review

Synopsis – Goodreads

Return to President Obama’s White House in this anthology for young women by young women, featuring stories from ten inspiring junior staffers who joined his administration right out of college with the hope of making a difference.

Meet ten amazing young women who were so inspired by Barack Obama’s inclusive feminist politics that they decided to join his White House. Although they were technically the lowest ranked members—and all in their early to mid-twenties at the time—their high levels of responsibility will surprise you.

There’s Kalisha Dessources, policy advisor to the White House Council on Women and Girls, who recounts the day she brought a group of African American girls (and world-renowned choreographer Debbie Allen) to the White House for Black History Month to dance for Michelle Obama; Molly Dillon, who describes organizing and hosting an event for foster care reform with Vice President Biden, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, and a hundred foster kids; Jenna Brayton, one of the members of the first White House digital team, who talks about an Obama initiative to bring together students of all backgrounds and ages from across the country to showcase their vision for the future through cinema; and more.

Full of never-before-told stories, here is an intimate look at Obama’s presidency, as seen through the eyes of the smart, successful young women who (literally) helped rule the world—and they did it right out of college, too.

This e-Advanced Readers Copy was provided by Chronicle Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ARC will not affect my review nor my rating.

Simply put this is the book I needed when I was an undergraduate Political Science major, unsure of what my career path would be once I decided not to go on to law school.

It is refreshing to lift the proverbial curtain and take a peek into the different processes that help maintain structure and enact change within the U.S. government. The Obama Administration lead from my teenage years through my mid-twenties, and as a potential voter in 2008 and voter in 2012, I was affected by the decisions of this administration so I truly appreciate each staffer’s breakdown of their respective positions and how they assisted the President’s agenda.

Each of these young women not only provided insight into their day-to-day responsibilities but also how their personal experiences, interactions and worldviews helped shape important policies brought to President Obama’s desk. Whether it was to bring about change to a fractured foster system or assisting with drafting a historic immigration bill, their work has changed many lives. Unfortunately, not every story a happy one and not every battle results in a winning victory. It is easy to lose trust in the very machine you work for, or in the political party you believe aligns themselves with your core values. But that is a reason to keep pushing forward and working towards a better future. One that is female.

I enjoyed each story told, appreciated Yara Shahidi’s foreword, a sentiment to the trailblazers of the generation prior to hers who has paved the way for women of the next generation to continue in their footsteps to create and maintain and evolve.

I definitely recommend this book, especially as it is a celebration of Women during Women’s History Month.


Publication Date: March 5, 2019

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

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