Can one person make a difference? “I have seen it happen time after time,” says Linda Hendricks Carroll ’84. “The thing I most love about politics is that it is absolutely true that one person can make a difference. Politics at the grass-roots level is so powerful and effective.”
Linda’s life proves her point. A political activist and education reformer in Colorado, she has achieved success in both areas.
Appointed to the State Judicial Performance Commission by the governor, she is one of 10 commissioners who evaluate Colorado Supreme Court and appellate court justices and oversee the review of all other judges. The El Paso County Republican Party named her Republican Volunteer of the Year for 2001 for her work on many local, state, and national campaigns. She chairs fund-raising efforts for the county Republicans, is a bonus member of the Colorado Republican Party, chairs the Third Commissioner District, and serves on the precinct committee. Last summer, she attended the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.
“It’s been a privilege to meet and work with so many tremendous people — from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to the local volunteer who organizes a honk-and-wave campaign on a street corner before an election,” she says. “It’s awesome to be connected with those who share a common vision for the
country and are willing to work together to make it happen.”
A pioneer in the charter school movement, Linda founded Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. An award-winning, academically rigorous K-8 public school, its 325 students consistently perform in the top one percentile on national standardized tests even though 27 percent qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches. She served as treasurer of the board from 1994-2000 and sends her two children there. Asked to join the board of a non-profit corporation funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she has met with William Bennett and other prominent education reformers.
“The fruits are endless watching children learn in an academically rigorous environment where the expectations are high and the development of their character is as important as the academics,” she observes.
In December, the Colorado Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society elected her to serve as secretary. This group includes conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. “Through my involvement with the society, I have met many prominent political and legal figures,” she notes.
She says Westmont shaped her views of the world. “A liberal arts education is so important; it has given me the ability to be flexible in changing times,” she explains. “I have gone from a student studying biology intent on pursuing medicine to a career in the insurance industry to a life as a political activist and education reformer. Who knows where the Lord will lead me next?”
Linda and her husband, Lee, live in Colorado Springs and attend First Presbyterian Church there.
“These are exciting times to be a servant of the Living God,” she states. “Christians certainly can make a difference.”