CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Virginia Senator Danica Roem spoke to college students Monday as part of the Batten Hour, a series of events put on by the University of Virginia Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. 

Roem is the first out-and-seated transgender state legislator in American history and recently released her memoir “Burn the Page,” which walks through her childhood, and experiences as a journalist and now senator. She says her experiences empowered her to step up and serve the state and wants others to follow in her footsteps. 

“If you are well-qualified, have good ideas, bring those ideas to the table. Because this is your Commonwealth too and it’s your turn to run it just as much as anyone else,” Roem said. 

Roem currently serves as Senator for Virginia’s 30th District, covering parts of Prince William County including the city of Manassas.

The Batten Hour series runs through April 22.