Ariel – Furman University

Public Policy Associate

Working for AFSP as a Public Policy Associate has been one of the most stretching experiences of my life. After losing my brother to suicide in 2008, I knew that I loved studying the legal system and mental health legislation, and that I wanted to make a difference regarding suicide prevention, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to do that. Cue AFSP with an internship opportunity that has allowed me to be proactive in the world of both public policy AND suicide. I have had the opportunity to experience the world of Washington D.C. in the most riveting ways. During my time at AFSP’s Public Policy Office, I helped to plan, organize, and host an event sponsored by USA Congressional Spouses, as well as the 2015 Advocacy Forum. These tasks alone revealed a love for organization and event planning in me that I never knew existed. Additionally, I worked throughout my term to stay updated on suicide prevention legislation and eventually to research and revise AFSP’s current summaries of legislation regarding firearms safety for twelve states.

Working as an intern for AFSP’s Public Policy office has changed the way I view and respect the political realm and the importance of advocacy. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with such an incredible team of people who have challenged my leadership style, supported my ideas, and furthered my passion for suicide prevention.  I am inspired to further pursue my interest in the legal sector as I complete my last two years at Furman University as a double major in Communication Studies and Religion, and a minor in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies (which all adds up to: I plan to attend law school). Thanks, AFSP, for introducing me to the wild world of Washington…and for the occasional lunch parties.