Ian – University of LaVerne

Public Policy Associate

When most people hear the word intern they think “copy maker.” I’m not going to lie, when I started my internship with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, I thought that was exactly what I was going to be doing – making copies for everyone. Little did I know that I would only be making copies for myself when I needed them and that I would play such an important role on such an amazing team.

I began my internship with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in late August as a Public Policy Associate. At the beginning I was scared, because I did not come from a background that was involved in politics. In fact I had no idea about anything having to do with public policy or how anything related to it worked. When I joined the team I told John, Trevor, and Nicole that I wanted to learn more about politics and how things worked. Not only did, I hit the ground running attending events on the Hill, I had to learn fast so that I could keep up with everything that was going on. Within my first week here at AFSP I attended several hearings on the hill, participated in several roundtables, and met many important people in Public Policy world.

Being at AFSP has helped me to not only understand public policy, but it also made me realize that I do in fact want to continue my journey to become a Psychiatrist. Seeing all the problems that we have getting people the mental health help that they need, has inspired me to not only become a psychiatrist even more, but also to get my Masters in Public Health, so that I can also deal with the policy side of mental health.

As my time here in DC has come to an end, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to intern at AFSP with such a loving, caring, outgoing, charismatic, and compassionate team. The team at AFSP will forever hold a place my heart for all the things that they have done for me and all the things they do to continue reducing suicide rates and bringing about change in the mental health world. Also, I want to thank them for all the opportunities they provided me with to network with people that are in the field that I will be going into..

Thank you so much for everything AFSP and for providing me with an amazing semester full of learning, laughter, and professional growth.