Now well into my third year at American University, I have built a deep understanding of government processes at the domestic and international level with a double major in the School of Public Affairs and the School of International Service. University studies have guided my focus on the issues that matter to me the most and academic research has helped me build investigative skills when summarizing and objectively interpreting data and its implications.

Outside of school, my involvement in the DMV community has provided an outlet to act on my passion for issues in corporate social responsibility, immigration, and the criminal justice system. I organize myself and American University volunteers under the Justice for Juniors initiative to help undocumented high school students understand their college options and, if possible, help them draft college entrance essays. On Sundays, we also mentor and mull over ethical dilemmas with youths in the DC juvenile detention system. With participation from the DC Office of the Attorney General, Justice for Juniors will carry out its annual forum next April to address the topic of mental health as it relates to juvenile justice legislation such as the D.C. Youth Rehabilitation Act.

Engaging in the community has taught me the importance and skill of being genuinely attentive to the requests of others in a kind and timely manner. As college students, those younger than us form the impression that we have the power to represent them and materialize their needs. On a grander scale, I believe this is what I want to do with my career – develop programs and initiatives that advance others socially, politically, and economically. From past internship experiences, I have learned that my ability to be thorough and responsible at the micro level is what helps the larger picture come along. For my next internship experience, I would be eager to take part in the meaningful processes that take place at a development NGO.