Student: Javier Limon
Javier Limon is ready to move to Washington, D.C., and begin a career in politics.
Fresh off his 11-week internship on Capitol Hill this past summer, Limon has gained valuable experience in the U.S. Senate and describes the experience as “a fever dream.” His ambition continues to drive him to work harder.
Originally a double major in biology and political science, he realized his dreams didn’t lie in the pre-med track as he intended. He decided political science was right for him because, “I have this field of study (I’m) really passionate about already, so why not pursue that,” he said.
“I am realizing I have to be open to what comes my way,” he said. “If I was so rigid, I would have stuck myself in a career I did not really want.”
His interest in political science developed early. “I remember when I was four years old, door knocking for candidates with my dad in the snow,” Limon said. “While I was mostly there for the hot chocolate I was promised, the early exposure set me up for what I love now.”
Limon’s father, an East Carolina University alumnus, works at a community health center that focuses on increasing health access in rural and underserved populations. His father’s work helped spark his interest in health policy.
In 2019, his father took him to the National Association of Community Health Centers conference in Washington, D.C. “I was the youngest North Carolina delegate present,” he said. “We engaged in citizen lobbying of our representatives to continue funding these health centers.”
An EC Scholar, he keeps himself busy with different on- and off-campus activities. Limon is currently serving as the Student Government Association’s director of university affairs and chief of staff. He also serves as the student vice president of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, is in the Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy, and works for and volunteers with two local political campaigns.
“Planning out my days so I know what each day looks like is essential to making sure I stay on track,” he said. “I make time for myself and make sure I stick to that which helps me recharge and get what I need to do done.”
As the SGS’s university affairs director, his committee has reviewed more SGA legislation than any other committee this year, and “I have personally introduced and co-sponsored the most legislation in the seventh session,” he said.
Each year, SGA enters a new session of assembly. This is based on when the most recent constitution was ratified, the most recent time being when the constitution was rewritten seven years ago.
Limon is also a member of the Honors College, and ultimately chose ECU and its Honors College because, “it is not just the students serving the community, it is the university serving its students as well,” he said. “I never felt like I was going to be just another number, I have always felt valued and welcome.”
He is grateful for the opportunity he has as an EC Scholar. Only a small number of students have the chance to be a part of each cohort, which provides experiences like personalized advising, scholarships and priority admission to select ECU graduate programs.
“Putting that EC Scholar name sometimes bumps you up a little,” said Limon. “I get iffy about that sometimes because I don’t think I am better than anyone, and someone who does not have that title may not get the same opportunity.
“I am very appreciative, and I try to use that opportunity to achieve my goals and share my knowledge with others,” he said. “The Honors College is really good at providing opportunity; it is just making sure that I use it to the best of my ability to help others.”
His personal philosophy is “lift as you climb,” which comes from his mentor, ECU alumnus Tremayne Smith. Smith helped Limon get his summer internship in Washington, D.C., and has been “a great advisor ever since.”
In addition to being an EC Scholar, Limon was awarded the Senator John P. East Scholarship from ECU’s political science department. The scholarship is given to one student each year with demonstrated good character, leadership and interest in public service.
His interest in public service led him to his summer internship on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. over the summer. Part of his responsibilities interning for a senator included taking notes on briefings, drafting memos on policy proposals and interacting with constituents.
“The senator I worked for really listened to his interns.” Limon said. “At the end of the program they allowed us to think of our own policies and propose them, and potentially he would work on it in the future if they liked it.
“Every day was something new and I got to see the personal sides to these senators you do not usually see,” he said.
After graduation, Limon hopes to earn the prestigious Truman Scholarship and plans to attend graduate school to study public policy and health policy. Eventually, he wants to make his way back to Capitol Hill to work as a health policy staffer and potentially as a chief of staff.
Name: Javier Limon
College: Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Major: Political science
Hometown: Winterville, North Carolina
Hobbies/interests: Writing, growing plants, spending time with friends
Clubs and Organizations: Student Government Association, Phi Kappa Phi, GOLD Leaders, Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy, Congressional Hispanic Staff Association
Favorite hangout: SGA Office
Favorite place on campus: John Laliotes Political Science Library
Favorite place to eat: Jack Browns
Favorite class: Interest groups and lobbying
Professor who influenced you the most: Dr. Peter Francia
Favorite TV show: “Better Call Saul”
Favorite bands/musicians: The Weeknd
Favorite movie: “Knives Out”
Favorite app: TikTok
Dream job: White House policy advisor
Role models: ECU alumnus Tremayne Smith
Your words to live by: There is no shame in changing your path to success. Don’t ever stay involved in something just because of outward pressures telling you to do so and instead involve yourselves in clubs or studies that you truly find meaning in.
What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year? I wish I knew that the Student Government Office provided free scantrons and blue books, especially during midterms and finals!