Vice President in the House!

Vice President Kamala Harris visited classrooms at the Ben Samuels Children’s Center on the Montclair State University campus on October 8 to highlight the importance of federal funding for child care.

Harris, accompanied by Governor Phil Murphy and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), spent time with preschoolers and held a roundtable discussion with educators as part of their midday visit, which was open only to the media, including the University’s student media organizations.
Student journalists Bernice Ndegwa ’23, Samantha Nungesser ’22 and Yazemin Yilmaz ’24 from the News Lab, WMSC and The Montclarion, respectively, had the opportunity to sit in and record the roundtable discussion. “It was insanely exciting, insanely nerve wracking,” Ndegwa said. “I think ‘insane’ encompasses all the emotions the three of us were feeling when the vice president walked in.”

Student journalists, from left, Bernice Ndegwa ’23, Yazemin Yilmaz ’24 and Samantha Nungesser ’22
Student journalists, from left, Bernice Ndegwa ’23, Yazemin Yilmaz ’24 and Samantha Nungesser ’22 covered Harris’ visit.

Ndegwa, a junior Journalism major from South Plainfield, New Jersey, closed her segment on a special edition of the Montclair News Lab by reflecting on the event. “As a woman of color, it meant so much to me to experience this with an all-female production team and be part of a history-making event on campus,” Ndegwa said. “My lifelong dream is to be a White House correspondent, and I feel like this experience brought me one step closer.”

In her remarks, Harris said the nation is strongest when everyone has the opportunity for meaningful work, to parent their children, “and to participate not only in their community, but in our economy to pursue whatever may be their passions and their dreams.” Accessible and affordable child care, she said, makes that possible.