ASU grad and future politician focused on the head, heart and hands of civic engagement
Trey Leveque received the ASU Alumni Association Medallion Scholarship all four years, along with 16 other scholarships
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2021 graduates.
Growing up, Trey Leveque saw the importance of having strong business skills in areas like marketing, economics and finance, but he wasn't interested in pursuing a career in business. Through his various leadership roles in high school, he found his passion in public service.
Before starting his first year as a Sun Devil, Leveque decided he wanted to study global politics so he could have a degree rooted in business while still learning about political science. As the Gilbert native prepares to graduate this May, he’ll be leaving ASU with three degrees — he added business (public service and public policy) and business (law) majors from the W. P. Carey School of Business, as well as a certificate in cross-sector leadership from the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions along the way.
Leveque chose ASU for several reasons. First, he knew that at ASU he would be able to graduate debt-free through scholarships he received from the university. Throughout his time as a Sun Devil, he was awarded 17 scholarships, including the Medallion Scholarship, W. P. Carey McCord Scholarship and the Arizona Business Leadership Association Scholarship.
He also knew that ASU offered him remarkable opportunities to help him develop as a leader.
“From working to find solutions to the complex challenges surrounding mental health with a group of students in India through the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership Global Intensive Experience, to representing ASU in programs such as the United Nations Academic Impact Millennium Fellowship, I have been able to develop a lot as a leader through the opportunities I have had at ASU,” he said. Leveque also has been able to pursue internships with Common App, the Arizona Senate and the Arizona secretary of state.
Leveque shared that Barrett, The Honors College was an important factor in his decision to become a Sun Devil, as well. He was appreciative to find a small community within a university as large as ASU and has met some of his closest friends in Barrett.
One of his favorite things about being in Barrett was the opportunity to create an honors thesis. His project “Why We Vote” explored college student rationales and attitudes regarding civic and voter engagement.
“Our project utilized personal storytelling to spark dialogue about civic engagement, particularly among the 18–24 age demographic,” he said.
In addition to Leveque’s passion for civic engagement is his desire to improve higher education access and equity. A few years ago, he worked on Michelle Obama’s inaugural student advisory board for Better Make Room, a national campaign that helped students obtain the resources they needed to pursue higher education.
“One of the things we did is share stories of individuals facing issues and provide them with the outlet to have their voices heard,” he said. “As I continue to follow my career path as a business professional and politician, I plan to work on the issue through conducting research as well as being an advocate.”
To work toward his goal of becoming a politician, Leveque has taken advantage of every opportunity he can to learn more about civic engagement and become a stronger leader. He served as a member of the ASU Civic Engagement Coalition, the vice president of policy for Undergraduate Student Government, Andrew Goodman Ambassador and Arizona State Senate page, which he described as one of the most meaningful experiences he had as a Sun Devil.
One of Leveque’s professors, Alberto Olivas, served as a mentor and adviser to him throughout his involvement in the Civic Engagement Coalition. Olivas is the founding executive director of the Congressman Ed Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service, an initiative at ASU that helps students learn how to be effective civic and political leaders.
Leveque shared that Olivas taught him an important lesson about remembering the civic spectrum — the head, heart and hands — when solving complex issues.
“The head focuses on understanding what the issue is, the heart is centered around why it is important to address the topic, and hands concerns about how to go about taking action on the problem,” Leveque said.
As his graduation approaches, Leveque isn’t entirely sure what his next step will be. He has been applying to full-time opportunities and fellowships and has been thinking about creating his own yearlong program to learn more about public policy in Arizona. Leveque’s ultimate goal is to run for public office on the state or federal level.
Through all he has learned while balancing three degrees, community involvement and various leadership positions, Leveque has plenty of tips he could share with current students. His best piece of advice is to accept who you are and your story.
“We all have the knowledge to share, a perspective to bring, and experiences that we have within us,” he said. “That is our superpower and it makes us who we are.”
In his time at ASU, Leveque received the ASU Alumni Association Medallion Scholarship all four years, the Arizona Business Leadership Association Scholarship, the Arizona Elks Foundation Scholarship, the Arizona State University Student Foundation Scholarship, the Burger King Scholarship, the Congressman Ed Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service Scholarship, the Gary K. Herberger Business Scholarship, the Ken Vandehei Memorial Scholarship, the Kiwanis Club of Queen Creek Scholarship, the Lincoln Undergraduate Scholarship, the Mel and Marty Zajac Memorial Scholarship, the New American University Scholarship, the Ronald McDonald House of Phoenix Scholarship, the W. P. Carey School of Business McCord Scholarship and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions Spirit of Service Scholarship.