Internship Spotlight I {Spring 2016}

Hannah Scheenstra, Vanguard University of Southern California

Hannah ScheenstraThis semester, I am interning on Capitol Hill with the House Armed Services Committee (HASC). I have the utmost respect for our men and women in uniform, and their willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom has triggered my interest in military affairs. Having my brother in the military also opened my mind up to the life of a soldier and, therefore, encouraged me to pursue this opportunity to extend my knowledge on national security and defense issues.

Being the largest committee in the House of Representatives, HASC holds 63 members and an equally large staff. I get the opportunity to pick which issues interest me the most and reach out to the clerks or professional staff members to offer my help. Whether it be a hearing on emerging worldwide threats or just managing phones at the front desk, I continue to learn something new everyday. The work that I do in the office varies week to week. I assist with both full committee and subcommittee hearings, assist with briefings, and help with various projects related to the defense budget. Everyday I get to meet important military personnel and interact with multiple congressman and their staffers. At this point, I have lost track of how many different people I meet on a daily basis! Probably the coolest thing that has happened so far is seeing both the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State.

Needless to say, I am immensely grateful that I have the privilege to intern with this committee, even if it is just for 4 months. I have learned so much and I have seen myself grow in more ways than one.

Patrick Hubbard, Taylor University

I am spending this semester interning for the Clapham Group, a creative consulting firm out in Virginia. This organization does work for a diverse array of clients, and I have been able to work on several projects aimed at connecting people of faith with organizations related to social justice. My first few weeks were spent doing research to develop a new nonprofit through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one that would connect millennials of faith to international organizations doing ministry in the fields of development and public health. Through this project, I was given the opportunity to see what goes into the development of new organizations, and how international development must be approached from an organizational standpoint.

Another project in which I got to participate was focused on the racial and economic inequalities that affect educational opportunity across the United States. I attended a collective action meeting hosted by the Expectations Project (a D.C.-based education advocacy organization) and attended by representatives from the National Association of Evangelicals, Sojourners Magazine, World Vision, and the Center for Public Justice, among many others. At this convention, I was able to see power actually being exercised for positive change and was astounded that what I witnessed was actually something that could make a real difference in the lives of those who are discriminated against and unfairly disadvantaged. Through these two projects, I have learned much about the ways that Christians can utilize their social and political capital for good in the lives of others, both worldwide and domestically. I have been inspired by seeing strong Christians use their positions of power to effect real change and am thrilled that my own research and support can aid these efforts in some small way.

One Month in D.C. {Spring 2016}

ASP Spring 2016 has been here just over a month! Here are a few things they have learned in D.C. so far.

I’ve learned “relationship building skills, more about myself, how to plan meals for the week and score free meals!” –Courtney, Taylor University

“Strangers are only friends waiting to be made.” –Sarah, Northwestern College – Iowa

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“I learned the importance of having confidence in myself, my unique experiences, skills, and abilities.  If you don’t cheer for yourself, who will?” –Adela, Messiah College

I’ve learned “how to be involved in community.”

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“Public transportation isn’t as complicated as it seems — getting groceries, however, is.” –Rachel, Malone University

“I’ve learned to seek the Lord in times of change.” –Patrick, Taylor University

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“I may not be a politician, but I have power as a pedestrian.  I will exercise my power!” –Janet, Fresno Pacific University

I’ve learned “how to be confident in overwhelming situations; how to grocery shop; the value of having coffee with someone and hearing about their experiences.” –Cara, Olivet Nazarene University

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I’ve learned “how to navigate the metro bus system.” –Sarah, Southeastern University

“Networking is important. You need to be confident and approach people, but you also need to be approachable, as well.” –Hannah, Vanguard University

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“No story is too small to share.  No experience is too small to live.  No pizza is too big to eat.” –Ashley, Dordt College

“The right side of the escalator is for tourists, the left side for locals and commuters.” –Stephen, Northwestern College – Iowa

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First Two Weeks in D.C. {Spring 2016}

ASP Spring 2016’s first two weeks in D.C. have been filled with making friends, getting to know the city, and dealing with snow! Scroll through some snapshots from the semester’s orientation.

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Getting to know each other through Three Things

Bus Day 1

Exploring the neighborhood during Bus Day 1: Courtney Selle, Taylor University; Mckayla Henderson, Biola University; Rachel Parnell, Malone University; and Farnel Maxime, Gordon College

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Apartment 9 ladies: Adela Antal, Messiah College; Hannah Scheenstra, Vanguard University of Southern California; Sarah Ooi, Messiah College; and Sarah Copeland, Southeastern University

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Adela Antal (Messiah College) reads with a local elementary school student at Little Lights Urban Ministries {Photo credit: Little Lights}

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Rachel Taylor (Messiah College) helps a local elementary school student with her homework at Little Lights Urban Ministries. {Photo credit: Little Lights}

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Attending a Washington Wizards NBA game: Farnel Maxime, Gordon College; Mckayla Henderson, Biola University; Veronica Ibarra, Biola University; and Rachel Taylor, Messiah College

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We got snow! Thanks to our dedicated students for helping to shovel out our offices and the Dellenback Center: Farnel Maxime, Gordon College; Sarah Ooi, Messiah College; Cara Champlin, Olivet Nazarene University; Adela Antal, Messiah College; and Sarah Wedel, Northwestern College.

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All dressed up for the CCCU 40th Anniversary Gala!

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ASP-Gordon College student Farnel Maxime with his president, Dr. Michael Lindsay, at the CCCU 40th Anniversary Gala

This morning, students are off to the first day of their internships.  Check back for updates on what they learn at work!

What I’ve Learned So Far {Fall 2015}

Fall 2015 students have been in D.C. for a month! We asked them what they have learned about their new city so far.  Here are a few of their responses.

“The city is a metaphor for life. Everything is constantly and rapidly changing at all times. Being here has helped me to remember how important faith is. Even when we don’t see the next step ahead, have faith.”
— Christine O., Azusa Pacific University

“The city is full of brilliant people who are more than willing to teach you.”
— Eric H., Gordon College

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“There’s more to D.C. than the federal side. The neighborhoods have so much life to them!”
— Danni J., University of Northwestern – St. Paul

“D.C. is a really small town. Everyone seems to know everyone, so a good (or bad) interaction with a person can go a long way.”
— Jason S., Biola University

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“D.C. is a very federal power type of place. It almost puts on a show to a point where it detracts from the real D.C.: neighborhoods, communities, and people.”
— Isaac S., Vanguard University

“D.C. is culturally rich. Everywhere you go, you experience a different culture and can be welcomed in. I experienced so much culture this weekend at the H St. Festival and the Latino Festival on Penn. It’s not just suits and ties here — it’s food, singing, and dancing on Pennsylvania Avenue with strangers.”
–Tori G., Gordon College

12049306_1720344878193791_6075489689274188108_n“It’s important to take the time to enjoy the small things during the hustle and bustle of the busy life.”
— Jodie H., Messiah College

“Life in D.C. is very fast-paced. Everyday you have to be better at what you do, especially at the office/workplace. You will meet nice people and mean people, but you should show respect to all kinds.”
— Brandan W., Taylor University

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Welcome to Fall 2015!

ASP Fall 2015 is off to a great start with students from Azusa Pacific University, Biola University, Gordon College, Judson University, Messiah College, Taylor University, University of Northwestern – St. Paul, Vanguard University of Southern California, Warner Pacific College, Westmont College, and William Jessup University.  Especially exciting this semester is the launch of our new Strategic Communication study track! Internships start week after next, but until then, students are exploring their new home; discussing themes of justice, power and poverty, shalom, and faithful practice; serving their community; and building relationships.

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Introductions via “Three Things”

Trivia night on the roof of the Dellenback Center

Trivia night on the roof of the Dellenback Center

Exploring the city through Bus Day 1

Exploring the city through Bus Day 1

Another group exploring the city through Bus Day 1

Another group exploring the city through Bus Day 1

We love our neighbors at Little Lights Urban Ministries. Each semester ASP students get the Little Lights buildings ready for the school year and sometimes volunteer as tutors.

We love our neighbors at Little Lights Urban Ministries. Each semester, ASP students get the Little Lights buildings ready for the school year and sometimes volunteer as tutors.

With Miss Linda, associate director of Little Lights

With Miss Linda, associate director of Little Lights

Internship Spotlight II {Spring 2015}

ev (1)Tim Carr, Gordon College

This semester, I am interning in the Crime Scene Investigations Division of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. My main duties include assisting with Crime Report records and also assisting crime scene detectives on scene and in the office. I am learning about many different facets of the police department.  Every day I am doing something different.

One of the most “fun” things that I have done was going to a homicide investigation and getting firsthand experience at processing a crime scene. Other days, I have had the opportunity to go to the D.C. Superior Court and sit in on casesev, which proves to be both interesting and a great learning experience. My internship is in many ways indescribable–in some cases because I am not allowed to talk about all of it but also because this is a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. The impact that the officers and leadership have made on me will be lifelong.  My future career as a law enforcement official will be bettered because of my experience here this spring.

IMG_6666Alexcis Albert, Vanguard University of Southern California

I am an executive intern at the State of Florida’s Office in the Hall of States Building of Washington D.C. The Executive Office of Florida is a very interesting and busy office where we are the liaison between the federal government and Florida state government. Part of my responsibilities includes correspondence and research for the members in my office who represent the Governor of Florida. The nature of my work is communicating with the Florida congressional delegation and attending hearings pertaining to Floridian issues such as Cuba, Immigration, Education, Healthcare, and Veterans Affairs. My time hereIMG_7017 has been wonderful! My office has given me the freedom to work on issues that are of interest to me, and being able to see senators and representatives who work on issues important to the entire nation has been fascinating and humbling. The most exciting event of my internship was being able to meet Governor Scott of Florida; it was definitely a moment I will carry with me for years to come!

Bus Day 2 {Spring 2015}

As part of the Neighborhood Engagement component of their semester, students participate in several “Bus Days,” scavenger hunts throughout the city.  Click through the slides and videos below to see the experiences of three groups on Bus Day 2 this weekend.

Mount Pleasant in northwest DC:

with Alexcis Albert (Vanguard University), Tim Carr (Gordon College), Alberto Sanchez (Fresno Pacific University), and Patricia Vazquez (Fresno Pacific University)

Brookland in northeast DC:

with Hannah Crites (Franciscan University), Neakzaad Horriat (Biola University), Savannah Scherkenback (Azusa Pacific University), and Chelsea Tyson (Regent University)

Adams Morgan in northwest DC:

with Carolina Alvarado (Taylor University), Katie Barany (Eastern University), Eric Corona (Biola University), Jacob Fusek (Southeastern University), and Danica Smithwick (Union University)

One Month in D.C. {Spring 2015}

ASP students have finished their second week of internships and track work and are celebrating one month of being in Washington. What have they learned in D.C. so far?

Savannah Scherkenback, Azusa Pacific University: (1) When you arrive–walk everywhere during your first week! That’s how you get to know the heartbeat of this city.  (2) One of the best “must do” experiences: grocery shopping on weekends at Eastern Market.  Talk to the people.

Katie Barany, Eastern University: The city is alive and busy, and so am I.  There is always cool stuff happening if you look.

ASP students attended an event at George Washington University with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg {photo credit: Katie Barany}

ASP students attended an event at George Washington University with Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia {photo credit: Katie Barany}

Timothy Carr, Gordon College: We aren’t in Vermont anymore.

Alberto Sanchez, Fresno Pacific University: I have learned that this city is amazing.  I want to keep learning what it takes to be successful in this city.  My internship is very fun.

Amanda Bishop, Biola University: Lebanese food in DC is delicious (like the “Lebanese Chipotle”).

Biola ASPers joined Biola President Barry Corey on Capitol Hill to meet with Congressman Ed Royce [l-r: Amanda Bishop, President Corey, Congressman Royce, Neakzaad Horriat, Luke Bennett, and Eric Corona] {photo credit: Eric Corona}

Biola ASPers joined Biola President Barry Corey on Capitol Hill to meet with Congressman Ed Royce (CA-39) [l-r: Amanda Bishop, President Corey, Congressman Royce, Neakzaad Horriat, Luke Bennett, and Eric Corona] {photo credit: Amanda Bishop}

Luke Bennett, Biola University: There is no excuse for being bored.  There is always something to do, so go do it.

Charlie Richert, Taylor University: D.C. is a wonderful place, full of energy, growth, and vigor.  At the same time, it is a city full of hurt, poverty, and inequality.

Students hang out in the Dellenback [l-r: Rachel Malcolm (Azusa Pacific University), Shelby Holloway (Trinity Western University), Alexcis Albert (Vanguard University of Southern California), Carolina Alvarado (Taylor University), and Norann Beidas (Whitworth University)]

Students hang out in the Dellenback [l-r: Rachel Malcolm (Azusa Pacific University), Shelby Holloway (Trinity Western University), Alexcis Albert (Vanguard University of Southern California), Carolina Alvarado (Taylor University), and Norann Beidas (Whitworth University)]

Norann Beidas, Whitworth University: I have learned the layout of the city and how I can attend amazing events because of this knowledge.

Alexcis Albert, Vanguard University of Southern California: There are so many kind people in the city that love to discuss anything and everything.  It is so easy to meet cool people like the Mayor of London, and congressional hearings are awesome to see politicians in action.  Come to D.C.–it’s amazing!

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London Mayor Boris Johnson at a Politico event attended by ASP students {photo credit: Norann Beidas}

Eric Corona, Biola University: Here in D.C., it is never proper to merely ride the escalator; you must expeditiously walk.  Escalators are not fast enough.

Jacob Fusek, Southeastern University: Opportunities are everywhere if you keep your eyes open!

Patricia Vazquez Topete, Fresno Pacific University: So far I think I have started to learn how to network at different events and how to reach out to people who have similar interests.

Oscar Martinez is the author of The Beast (Spanish translation for The Immigrants that Don't Matter). On Wednesvday Feb.  12 he won the WOLA and Duke Human Rights Book Award. The Beast talks about the journey that immigrants take from Central America to the U.S. Mexican Border and the dangerous experiences they encounter. At the book award Martinez said that individuals from El Salvador don't just immigrate but they flee their country.

Salvadorean journalist Oscar Martinez receives the WOLA-Duke Human Rights Book Award at an event hosted by the Washington Office on Latin America, where ASPer Patricia Vazquez Topete is interning.  Mr. Martinez is the author of The Beast which chronicles the journey that immigrants take from Central America to the U.S.-Mexican Border and the dangerous experiences they encounter. {photo credit: Patricia Vazquez Topete}

Neakzaad Horriat, Biola University: Everyone is here for a purpose, and if you are here without a purpose, you cannot succeed.  But if you do have a purpose, you will flourish here.

Rachel Malcolm, Azusa Pacific University: I have learned about the interesting dynamic of Washington, D.C.  The poor work and live side by side with the rich.

Carolina Alvarado, Taylor University: Never underestimate the metro system.

Homeless Liaison for Prince George's County speaking at a panel discussion on child homelessness hosted by the Congressional Homelessness Caucus and Senator Patty Murray's office (WA)

Homeless Liaison for Prince George’s County speaking at a panel discussion on child homelessness hosted by the Congressional Homelessness Caucus and Senator Patty Murray’s office (WA) {photo credit: Christina McIntyre}

Tara Tankersley, North Central University: The world is bigger than I thought it was! But very different people living in the same place is a beautiful thing.

Reuben Van Gaalen, Dordt College: Advice from someone at my internship — “Never think like an intern!”

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{photo credit: Katie Barany}

The Start of a New Semester {Spring 2015}

On January 15, we welcomed a wonderful new group of ASP students to Washington, D.C.! In the two weeks since arrival, they have stayed busy with class, scavenger hunts, volunteering, and exploring the city on their own.

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Move-in day welcome team: Kelley Griffin, program administrator; Erin Cox, Public Policy track instructor; James Kim, resident director

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Learning about neighborhood dogs during community life orientation with resident director James Kim!

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Hanging out in the apartments [l-r: Luke Bennett, Biola University; Neakzaad Horriat, Biola University; Evan Wilt, Geneva College; Jude Abeler, Palm Beach Atlantic University; Jacob Fusek, Southeastern University; and Tara Tankersley, North Central University]

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Tutoring children through Little Lights Urban Ministries’ after-school program–visit http://www.littlelights.org to learn more about this neighborhood organization

Eric Corona (Biola University), Reuben Van Gaalen (Dordt College), and Norann Beidas (Whitworth University) outside Navy Yard during Bus Day 1 [photo credit: Norann Beidas]

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Ice skating on the National Mall outside the Archives [l-r: Evan Wilt, Geneva College; Luke Bennett, Biola University; Savannah Scherkenback, Azusa Pacific University; Reuben Van Gaalen, Dordt College; Tara Tankersley, North Central University; and Jude Abeler, Palm Beach Atlantic University] [Photo credit: Luke Bennett]

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Discovering local coffee shop Sidamo [l-r: Reuben Van Gaalen, Dordt College; Jacob Fusek, Southeastern University; Norann Beidas, Whitworth University; and Alexcis Albert, Vanguard University of Southern California]