Allison Gress

As a graduating senior, Allison Gress is ready to go out into the professional world to work as a lobbyist for child advocacy. When she’s not organizing events for Human Sciences Week, she enjoys practicing German, traveling, and dancing.

Allison Gress plans to turn long-term passion of advocating for kids into future career

Although she has always known she wants to work in a field allowing her to help kids, it wasn’t until coming to Iowa State that Allison Gress figured out exactly how she was going to do so.

“I was always the little kid who stood up for the other little kids in school,” she said. “Originally I was going [to school] to be a prosecuting attorney, but then I found out you can only take what’s given to you; you can’t have a focus.” 

Before coming to Ames, Allison attended universities in Las Vegas and Colorado with this career goal in mind. It was when she transferred to Iowa State that she truly discovered the way she wanted to turn her passion into her future path, and her professors played a huge role in helping her make this realization. Now, her dream job is lobbying and advocating for children with a specialization in preventing maltreatment. 

“The professors just had a lot more excitement here than at the other schools [in Las Vegas and Colorado],” she said. “They have helped me in challenging times in my personal life, and they helped me grow as a professional and find out what I wanted to do. [They’re] amazing support systems.”

Allison said what helps her get over the initial intimidation of approaching professors is knowing it is an important step to feeling confident in asking questions to ensure success in the class. Her main piece of advice to students is to simply introduce yourself and make sure they know who you are.

“If the professors know you care and want to be involved in the class that helps a lot,” she said. “And most of them want to know you.”