Scholarship Recipients Share Impressions of Pollies ’22

Thanks to your generous donations, the AAPC Foundation provides scholarships to students who have shown a career interest in political consulting and public affairs an opportunity to attend the annual AAPC Pollie Awards & Conference.

In 2022, the AAPC Foundation selected Sandra Bustamante, Aidan Levinson, and Kevin Zhang. We caught up with them to talk about her experience at the 2022 Pollie Conference.


“I wanted to reconnect and express my gratitude and appreciation to receive the scholarship for the 2022 AAPC Pollies Awards & Conference! I was able to attend breakout sessions with highly anticipated and educated speakers to learn about issues facing the political consulting and public affairs realm. The AAPC Conference introduced many different career possibilities (which may take an individual decades to find) and for that I am also grateful.

I also simultaneously made meaningful connections with professionals that were working in spaces that I found interesting to pursue in my future career. In fact, I am still scheduling one-on-one’s with attendees to this day! 

I am forever grateful for the opportunity, the work of AAPC, and your guidance while there!”

Sandra Bustamante 


“I am very thankful to AAPC for the opportunity to attend the Annual Conference & Pollie Awards! Aside from meeting a whole host of professionals in the political consulting space, I gained valuable insight into the trends of the day in the political consulting world. Also, hearing from professionals in areas of political consulting I have not worked in before was especially interesting, which I hope will allow me to eventually expand my work into those fields. I made new friends and was able to meet new colleagues for which I am very grateful.”

Aidan Levinson


“During the AAPC Pollie Conference, I had the chance to absorb different aspects of the political campaign and consulting industry from leading experts with decades of experience and first-hand knowledge of how the industry has been involved in the recent decade. I learned about how emerging technologies and innovation have influenced political advertising, voting methods, and campaigning. Insights provided by industry-leading experts have given me a better understanding of the American political process and the importance of campaigns and fundraising in politics. Many speakers and attendees were incredibly approachable and helpful to scholarship recipients and took the time to learn about our background and interests. While the overwhelming number of conference participants may seem intimidating initially, the staff was supportive. I had no trouble connecting with other participants since they were all welcoming and willing to help, which made networking so much easier. My favorite part of the conference was the Caucus Sessions, divided by Republicans and Democrats, where I got to hear exclusive insights into my Party’s strategy in the 2022 midterm elections. I also developed friendships with other scholarship recipients and their interests in politics and campaigning. I recommend anyone interested in campaigning apply for the AAPC Scholarship. Attending the AAPC Pollie Conference can provide new insights, opportunities, and lasting relationships!”

Kevin Zhang