Rolaine Castro, Fresno Pacific University
This semester, I am interning for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Our office is a federal organization that is in charge of investigating civil rights issues. I work with civil rights analysts, and we are currently evaluating the effect that excessive municipal court fines and fees have on the poor and minority population. The office is also preparing for the big Statutory Enforcement Briefing that will take place in a few weeks; this is when the commissioners will evaluate the Department of Justice and their progress toward providing a remedy for the excessive fines and fees. I have always had an interest in our criminal justice system and a passion for civil rights issues, so getting to work in an office where both are the primary areas of focus is like a dream come true.
Carlye Poff, Wheaton College
I have the pleasure of interning this semester with Jubilee USA, an economic justice non-profit organization. Every morning, as I walk up the street to work, I get a full view of the Capitol building at the end of the street. The internship has been the perfect mix of faith-based non-profit work and politics. I am one of four interns in a small office of only three permanent staff members, so everyone knows everyone well. It is a friendly environment where I am able to develop my professional skills while also getting to know people who have worked in the non-profit world for many years. So far, I have lobbied in the Senate buildings, researched advocacy issues, attended meetings with Jubilee’s partners, and participated in conference calls, and wrote/edited informational documents for Jubilee’s supporters.
Rachel Pelletier, Malone University
My internship with the office of Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has been everything I had hoped it would be. My responsibilities as an intern vary each week. I often interact with Ohio constituents in different ways, whether that means speaking to them over the phone regarding their concerns or guiding them around the Capitol Building for a tour. I’ve also attended Congressional briefings on topics ranging from child welfare to an Advancing Rare Disease Treatment/Health Care Reform briefing. One of my most memorable briefings was the Russian Intelligence Committee Hearing, which featured testimony by then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, then-CIA Director John Brennan, NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers, and FBI Director James Comey. My office staff has made every effort to invest in each intern. We are encouraged and given opportunities that will enhance our experience and contribute to our professional development. Senator Brown has personally taken the time to meet and speak with us. Every Monday and Friday, our office sets up a lunch between one staff member and the interns, which allows us to get to know them and ask questions. I feel blessed to have been given this experience as it has pushed me to grow as an individual and a professional! An internship on the Hill, specifically within a Senate office, is worth considering!
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