Obama Appointee Tori Scarborough -- Shines Her Light!
By Ruth Marshall, BWFO4Change/DC
After scheduling and rescheduling appointments for over a month, Tori Scarborough and I finally hooked up for a refreshing, down-to-earth and heart-to-heart conversation. Tori is an Obama Administration “Schedule C” Presidential Appointee at the U.S. Department of Health And Human Services.
When we finally connected, almost instantly I knew I was talking to a well-grounded and self-confident young woman who has no doubt about what she wants and where she wants to go. I am sure that my sense of her over-all peaceful countenance is one of her outstanding qualities that most ardently register with everyone she encounters. Tori’s high energy created excitement as we delved into her professional background, educational pursuits and personal decisions that have guided her to attain and experience some of her dreams.
Tori took me step-by-step on how in 2007 she sent in a last minute, on-line application to work with then Senator Barack Obama and how that decision launched her into the political arena where she is now. As she moved from the Senator’s office to the Presidential Campaign she pursued logical steps that provided her a variety of opportunities and honed her skills as an organizer/scheduler for State and local campaign events.
For a year, Tori worked directly under Secretary Janet Napolitano at the Department of Homeland Security where she was the Secretary’s Advance Representative traveling all around the country. In this position, she worked closely with Secret Service agents, Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents as well as other DHS components. This path culminated with a Presidential appointment to the Department of Health and Human Services as Surrogate Scheduler for the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.
We laughed out loud as Tori described the close-knit family she grew up in and their focus on education. A southerner of Charlotte, North Carolina, she and her older brother played out the proverbial, yet healthy, competiveness characteristic of a sibling pair. Her undergraduate studies began at Bethune-Cookman College where she formed close relationships with other aspiring young African American students from across the country.
As with so many others who attend Historically Black College and University’s Tori found herself in an environment that fostered direct and personal relationships with her professors, who continuously supported and helped her to build a strong professional foundation. Her college education included a “Study Abroad” program in Madrid, Spain at Colegio de Mayor Antonio Nebrija. And, she earned a B.A. in Speech Communication -- Summa Cum Laude!
Super intelligence aside, Tori has an awesome outlook on life and exudes an overall sense of calmness and inner peace about her. I got the feeling that her self-assuredness comes from deep within her, a “sixth sense” that she listens to that directs her path. Yes, she has a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Howard University but her aura goes beyond religion and rests more in the spiritual realm. She admits that a lot of major decisions come to her as a gentle push into her life’s purpose and this “spiritual push” omits the need for hand wrangling and late night meditations.
Having given her all in every position she has held, Tori is now looking forward to exploring other challenges. One of the current challenges on her radar is helping to revamp and rebuild a public education system that leaves so many children hungry for knowledge and craving doors to a brighter future. If her success in her previous endeavors is any indication, Ms. Tori Scarborough will be a major force in shaping her community and indeed the country into a more positive place for all of us.
Thanks, Tori, for sharing and continue to shine your light as only you can.