My experience as an Advocacy Intern at GCE-US has been empowering, educational, and full of growth. I entered the internship passionate about policy advocacy and universal access to quality education, but with little idea what to expect. I was immediately welcomed to the team, and invited to participate in team meetings, coalition meetings, and cover exciting partner events. Shortly after my first day, I felt both challenged and supported as I took notes on a fast-paced Congressional hearing; this is what policy advocacy is all about!
During my time at GCE-US, I got the opportunity to explore the many dynamic aspects of policy advocacy. I helped to organize our website by sorting through and updating action blogs and action topics. I attended and drafted social media for multiple high-level events, including the 2021 Global Education Summit. Furthermore, I conducted research to support the creation of an updated communications plan. Through these varied projects, I acquired in-depth experience on many facets of policy advocacy.
In addition to the aforementioned behind-the-scenes advocacy work and support, I did some hands-on Congressional outreach. I contacted my representative, Rep. Barbara Lee, about the importance of funding global education and requested a meeting. As a constituent, I had called and emailed her office before, but I had never requested a meeting, so this was a new experience. I was thrilled when my outreach led to a meeting with a Congressional staffer in her office. This experience inspired me to continue advocating for policies that I care about. I would encourage everyone to request a meeting with their Members of Congress (and be persistent!) when they want to make their voice heard. If we all took this small step, our collective impact would be tremendous.
My incredible supervisors created a positive, supportive environment for me to explore my interests and gain valuable experience. Jennifer Rigg and Christa Giesecke went above and beyond to ensure that I got as much as possible out of my internship experience. I honed my leadership and professional skills through one-on-one check-ins, team meetings, and professional development trainings. Each of my colleagues took the time to share their professional experiences and advice with me; I will use their expertise as a guide for years to come. My colleagues at GCE-US welcomed me into their inspiring team, exemplifying the power that a dedicated group of individuals have to change the world.
As my time as a GCE-US intern comes to an end, I feel thankful, energized, and most importantly, prepared for the important work that lays ahead.