Gabe – Ohio State University

Public Policy Associate

This summer I was a Public Policy Associate at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Public Policy office. This was my first time in D.C. for an extended period of time. I enjoyed my time and learned a lot while working alongside John, Nicole, Connor, Chelsea, Natalie, Taylor and 4 additional associates, Andrew, Alisha, Charlotte, and Seth. My time with AFSP has been fulfilling and impactful. Throughout only three short months, I have grown both professionally and personally under the guidance of AFSP’s Public Policy Team. As a Public Management, Leadership, and Policy major I was able to expand my knowledge of policies centered on suicide prevention. Additionally, I have a nonprofit management specialization and the internship gave me an opportunity to explore advocacy work.

I was the first intern in the office for the summer and on my first day, I began to realize all of the work and opportunities I would gain. Throughout the internship, I was tasked with several responsibilities. My first task was assisting in the development and execution of our Annual Advocacy Forum. AFSP’s Annual Advocacy forum was the moment when I realize that I was part of something extraordinary. Over 200 advocates came to Capitol Hill to promote suicide prevention as a national priority for legislators.

Each advocate represented a voice for their lost ones while inspiring hope for the future. Suicide is preventable and this collective effort and strong policies will induce change.

My second task consisted of attending congressional hearings. I was given 4 congressional committees. My two favorites included House Ways & Means and Senate HELP. I would report back with memos. Through this experience, I was able to see the world from a different angle. I was gaining current and substantial knowledge directly from senators and congressmen. This task sparked my interest to diversify the means in which I take in news and information.

For my third task, I was assigned 9 states and I had to track legislation. After analysis, I would write short summaries on enacted bills. Through this assignment, I gained vast knowledge of current laws and pending legislation. I became knowledgeable and familiar with the structure of a bill. My final task consisted of our intern project. I had the opportunity to take on a topic untouched by any other intern. I was responsible for building the foundation and setting the tone for a Mental Health Parity evidence brief. Through research, I gained essential information on mental health, substance care and healthcare in the United States.

At the end of the day if you’re looking for a rewarding internship with an assortment of benefits AFSP’s the place for you. The job is convenient in so many ways. I would recommend this internship for years to come. I have gained so much knowledge on mental health and my writing skills have drastically improved. If you’re smiling right now from the excitement I hope you apply, you’ll love it!