Andrew Currier, Malone University
I am interning at Habitat for Humanity International as a Global Advocacy Intern. The work I do revolves around advocacy on a global scale. We are working on guaranteeing land rights to people around the world who are in need of affordable housing. The first step in getting this housing is changing the policies and laws in place that prevent the poor— and specifically poor women— from accessing this basic right.
My office is great! We just had our annual Habitat on the Hill conference this past week, where we hosted Habitat for Humanity affiliates and state organizations from around the country to lobby for adequate housing funding and legislation. I met with Senator Rob Portman (Ohio) and Congressman Jim Jordan (OH-4). Supporting the staff in holding this conference helped to orient me in my new position and feel like an integral member of the office! I’ve learned how many different pieces actually go into housing legislation that will make decent housing for everyone a reality!
Erin Harrison, Southern Wesleyan University
I have had the honor of interning with Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-3). As a South Carolina native, the opportunity to intern on Capitol Hill with my local representative has given me firsthand insight into the legislative process. My responsibilities vary from answering phone calls, to offering Capitol tours, attending hearings and briefings, and even conducting research for legislative staffers. One of my fondest and greatest experiences so far has been attending the Air Force Readiness Posture hearing for the House Armed Services Committee. I was able to listen to some of the Air Force’s highest-ranking leaders as they discussed what has been or needs to be done to ensure that our military is ready and capable for any threat or obstacle. As a member of a military family, this opportunity was quite special for me.
Perhaps the greatest lesson that I have learned in this first month at work has been the lesson of the little things. As an intern, many tasks seem mundane and repetitive. But through my work, I have learned that exceeding expectations in these mundane and repetitive tasks is what makes the important tasks more exciting and also makes me stand out as an intern. A willingness to do well and follow directions in the small tasks proves to the office— and everyone else watching on the Hill— that I am serious about serving the residents of my home district and that I am not taking my time here for granted. I cannot wait to see what the rest of my internship holds!
Samuel Tsuma, Oral Roberts University
This semester, I am interning with the Capitol Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition, a non-profit organization that provides support to immigrants who are detained and are in the process of the deportation hearings. Most of my day-to-day interaction is with the legal assistants in the Detained Adult Program (DAP), which is one of the two programs that CAIR runs to provide legal assistance to detainees held at detention centers in Maryland and Virginia. My other duties include helping the staff attorneys and legal assistants to meet their deadlines for filing at the immigration court.
I am excited to be interning at the CAIR Coalition because the staff is very welcoming and supportive, and they have invited me to take on more responsibilities as time progresses. My internship provides me with the opportunity to interact with real people who are seeking relief from deportation by applying for asylum. On a recent jail visit to the Howard County Detention Center, I had the privilege of interviewing some of the detainees as well as provide information from their attorneys as a volunteer. Unlike in the criminal court system, immigration detainees who are in deportation proceedings do not have the constitutional right to a public defender. Therefore, the CAIR Coalition plays a significant role in ensuring justice in the system by assisting the detainees in understanding their cases and so that they can better address the charges raised against them in court.
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