Peyton – Occidental College

Public Policy Associate

Interning with AFSP has been an unforgettable experience, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunities, resources, and friendships these last three months have given me.

My favorite aspect of this job was going up to Capitol Hill, about a ten minute walk from the office, and attending Congressional hearings. Every week, I would check my Senate and House committee schedules and attend any hearings or briefings relevant to suicide prevention, mental health, or health care policy. It was incredible, and sometimes surreal, to sit behind a panel of witnesses in a full room of committee members, some of whom I have always looked up to. From time to time, members of Congress would stay after hearings closed to meet and speak with witnesses and members of the audience. I will never forget meeting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after a House Oversight Committee hearing on the opioid crisis. For me, every hearing was a learning and empowering experience, in which I was able to directly see the complex workings of our federal government.

Having personal connections to mental health disorders and suicide, it was comforting to work in such a supportive and fun office environment. Taylor, Nicole, Natalie, Connor, Chelsey, and John, along with fellow interns Gabrielle, Lei, Zoe, and Gabby, truly made me look forward to coming to work in the morning. I am thankful for their friendships, for what they’ve taught me, and for our time together over these last three months. Working for AFSP has definitely been one of my best decisions.