Alisha – Colby-Sawyer College

Public Policy Associate

The two months I’ve spent in DC this summer as a Public Policy Associate for AFSP has been an experience to remember. As a Psychology and History/Political Studies double major at Colby-Sawyer College, this internship perfectly combined my two interests where I have always been passionate for mental health advocacy and recently became interested in policy. Prior to this internship I had no experience with policy, but have expanded my knowledge during my time here with a hands on experience I likely wouldn’t get other places. I’m grateful for everything I have learned here as well the amazing public policy team and other four associates. Everyone was always welcoming and made my contributions feel valued and appreciated, leaving me thankful to have been in this environment.

Within the first couple weeks interning at AFSP there was the annual advocacy forum. Being able to dive right in and help with this event was one of my favorite experiences of the summer. It was inspiring to meet advocates from all over the country, and I was able to connect with advocates from my home state of Maine. I was also fortunate enough to meet with both Maine senators, Susan Collins and Angus King. After the forum, my time was spent following four congressional committees, attending hearings, and researching and putting together an issue brief on banning conversion therapy. Through these experiences I was able to meet so many great people as well as get to see political figures in person that I previously had only seen in the media.

Altogether, the opportunity to intern with AFSP gave me the chance to take on meaningful work that deepened my knowledge on the legislative process, mental health policy, and advocacy work. While I am leaving the DC area, I am taking home with me an unforgettable experience that will continue to impact me in my future endeavors. I am incredibly grateful to have interned with AFSP this summer and I am proud to have been a part of an organization that advocates for such an important cause.