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From Mickey Mouse to the White House: What you need to know about Caroline Sunshine

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

As Donald Trump’s White House cycles through staffers, it just got a new dose of Sunshine.

Disney Channel actress Caroline Sunshine, who appeared in Shake It Up, has joined the White House staff as a press assistant. And she’s not a random Trump appointee. Sunshine, who will likely be working under Jim Carrey fave Sarah Sanders, recently completed a White House internship.

So who is she and how did she go from doing press to handling the press? Here’s a quick look.

Caroline Sunshine at the 2015 premiere of The Outfield at Universal Studios Hollywood. (Photo: Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images)

Sunshine, now 22, was born in Atlanta but raised in Orange County, Calif. As a young girl, she danced, she did plays, and then started auditioning at 11. Right away, she landed commercial work — like brushing the hair the Amazing Allysen doll in this commercial, which seems like an easy day of work.

Though we’re kind of partial to her Cap’n Crunch ad the following year, because what kid wouldn’t want to be paid to eat sugary cereal?

She actually one-upped the cereal thing by landing a role in a feature film: 2010’s Marmaduke. It was a superstar-studded project, with Owen Wilson, George Lopez, and Emma Stone voicing characters in the canine caper.

Most recently, Sunshine was best known for her role as exchange student Tinka Hessenheffer on the Disney Channel dance show Shake It Up, which was on the air from 2010 to 2013. Accents were involved.

Yes, that means she worked with Zendaya and Bella Thorne.

Caroline Sunshine, Bella Thorne, and Zendaya in Shake It Up. (Photo: Eric McCandless/Disney Channel via Getty Images)

Here she is at Bella Thorne’s quinceañera in 2012.

Caroline Sunshine and Bella Thorne attend Bella Thorne’s quinceañera at Siren Studios in Hollywood on Oct. 20, 2012. (Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Sunshine’s most recent tweet, which was posted practically a lifetime ago back on Sept. 1, was to wish Zendaya a happy birthday.

But while Bella was off partying with Scott Disick and using social media to get attention, Sunshine was immersing herself in politics at college. According to Variety, she was a student at Claremont McKenna College and studied international relations and economics.

White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters gave a little background on the new hire, saying, “Caroline Sunshine was a White House intern. In college, she was involved with the American Enterprise Institute and an active member of her school’s Model United Nations team. Prior to her internship at the White House, Caroline interned for the Office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the College Republican National Committee, and the California Republican Party.”

In 2016, Fusion TV wrote, “Honestly, we should just let Caroline Sunshine run the country” when it posted her #DearNextPresident video. In the minute-long clip, she talked about her dreams for the next president of the United States. Her hopes were that the person would “lead by example. Teach us to be responsible with money. Help us to take care of our elders — and others in need.” And to “stand up to the bullies at home and abroad.” The website also called out Sunshine’s work with the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at her college and called her “super-smart” and a “totally brave badass.”

Her last big role was in the 2017 TV movie Mommy I Didn’t Do It. The Lifetime movie starred Wonder Years alum Danica McKellar.

And she’s been selfie-ing in Washington, D.C., since at least 2016.

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