Colleen Bennett - Sotheby's International Realty

A ‘BEAUTIFUL’ STORY: WEBB OF SUCCESS AND INTRIGUE CONTINUES TO GROW IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

September 3, 2017
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LA VERNE, California, September 3, 2017 — In Washington D.C., The Hill is both a leading print and online source for political news, so when the must-read outlet recently listed La Verne’s Courtney Webb among its list of the “50 Most Beautiful” for 2017 (alongside Melania and Ivanka Trump), more than a few people took notice, including her closest friends and colleagues.

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“It was definitely an interesting day,” Courtney recalled about that mid-July day when she learned at the same time as the public about her selection to the coveted list that in years past has included Barack and Michelle Obama. “They were totally joking with me, for sure.”

 

But when the good-natured ribbing died down, all could agree that Courtney — a 25-year-old legislative assistant and Bonita High School and Azusa Pacific University grad — is a budding political powerhouse and one richly deserving of the coveted honor that celebrates the movers, shakers and key political operatives making a difference inside the Beltway.

 

Early Passion for Politics

Indeed, Courtney caught the political bug early. As a 5 year old, she visited the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum and was fascinated by all the exhibits. When her parents  bought her a ruler bearing all the presidents’ names and images, her passion for politics and presidential history only grew.

 

“I absolutely loved that place,” Courtney said.

 

While other kids were starting to collect Barbies and baseball cards, she was building a small library of books on U.S. presidents.

 

As an eighth grader at Ramona Middle School in La Verne, she served as ASB president and at Bonita High School she was senior class president. For her senior project at Bonita, she compared immigration to the United States in the late 1800s to immigration to this country in the 21st Century, another sign of her early interest in tackling and seeking to understand substantive public policy issues.

 

Going to college further added to her sense of mission and resolve to serve a cause that was bigger than herself. At first, she thought U.C. Berkeley provided that avenue, but in April, when her college decision was due, she chose APU.

 

“Hands-down, it was the most impactful decision I have ever made,” Courtney said, adding that she ultimately selected APU for “the leadership and service-minded culture they teach you.”

 

Courtney learned her lessons well. While at APU, she worked with women in a Mexicali, Mexico prison.

 

Then after graduation, she moved to India to work with the International Justice Mission where she helped train government officials on how to recognize and stem the flow of human trafficking.

 

When she returned to La Verne after her year abroad, she knew she wanted to continue working for the government in some capacity. The more she reached out to new and past associates for guidance, the more she was determined to work in Washington, D.C.

 

Staying True

“I applied all over the place,” she recalled about her days prior to moving to the nation’s capital. But when she was finally offered a paid position with an international development firm, she turned it down for an unpaid internship with a Congressman.

 

“People thought I was pretty crazy,” Courtney said. Ironically, as she was cleaning out her childhood bedroom in La Verne in preparation for her move to D.C., she rediscovered her senior project paper, which in the first sentence stated, “In five years, I want to be living in Washington D.C., working for a Congress woman or man.”

 

“Sure enough, almost five years to the day, it came true,” she said. “That was pretty wild.”

 

Courtney wishes she was as prescient about politics, but no one is, finding it hard to chart what the next day is going to bring, let alone the next month or year.

 

In her position as a legislative assistant, she said she never experiences a dull day. She helps research, review and draft legislation. She has participated in legislative mark-ups and helps her boss, who sits on the Appropriations Committee, keep tabs on the all various requests her constituents make.

 

Sudden Impact

Like all newcomers to a big city, especially one like Washington, D.C. finding your way at first can feel like a lonely and isolating journey. Mindful of that challenge, Courtney has started or participates in various groups, including a Bible study, women’s group and adventure hiking club group that she helped grow from a handful of members to more than 350 today. She also lives across the street from a public housing project and tries to spend a part of each Friday working with kids who haven’t seen the same advantages as kids growing up in La Verne.

 

“I have loved getting to know my neighbors and my community and see first-hand their struggles and what they’re going through,” she said. That has really impacted me.”

 

And by all accounts, according to The Hill, she has had a huge impact on Washington D.C. since she first arrived in January 2015.

 

Although Washington D.C. has at times been called a swamp, Courtney hasn’t let the push-and-pull of politics taint the optimism she brought to the city.

 

“I wish more people could see all the positive things taking place here,” said Courtney, who regularly works with colleagues on both sides of the aisle in a spirit of bipartisanship to accomplish the people’s work. In particular, she loves engaging people from all over the world, from every conceivable background and ideology, listening to their points of view.

 

“I have really been so encouraged by the people who work here and live,” Courtney said.

 

A political animal from an early age, Courtney recognizes how incredibly driven people are in Washington, D.C. As much as she would like to know where she will be in the next five years — when, oh my gosh, she’ll turn 30, she isn’t in a rush to know. Law school, biz school, a run for political office, perhaps?

 

“When I get to the end of my life, I won’t be looking at a particular job or how much money I made, but rather how well I served my community and how much I gave back,” she said.

 

For now, everyone who lives in La Verne or the greater San Gabriel Valley should breathe a sigh of relief that they all have at least one friend in Washington D.C. who is doing everything in her power to make a positive difference.

 

La Verne and The Hill can both agree she has been a “Beautiful” influence on the nation’s capital.

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Local coverage provided by La Verne Realtor, Colleen Bennett, Sotheby’s International. Colleen is also the author of the Real Dirtt, one of the most comprehensive columns on all things real estate. If you have a real estate question, give her a Coll at 909.374.4744.

 

 

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