Madelyn – Loyola University

Public Policy Associate

My true understanding of passion in unwaveringly investing oneself in a cause or purpose is solely characterized by the loss of time. When overcome with passion, one forgets seconds, forgets the overarching ticking of a clock, and becomes saturated in an issue, wide-eyed, energetic, and undoubtedly feels a sense of reasonable urgency, dedication, and purpose tinted gold with meaning and value.  Looking back on my semester interning with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, I am able to explain how quickly the days passed only by this concept of passion and investment. Each and every day I spent with AFSP and John, Trevor, and Nicole, I found myself continuously and happily invested in the purpose of suicide prevention; I found myself excitedly investigating and researching new anti-bullying bills and laws, analyzing legislation, and forming new opinions on and connections with current issues. In order to be truly successful in a career or a cause, a job should be something to love, something one feels they can contribute to in a meaningful way. John, Trevor, and Nicole constantly made certain that myself and the rest of the team felt valued, that we could bring a lot to the organization, and that our individual projects were not only significant, they fit our individual interests, as well. Because of this and AFSP’s excellent message, my internship felt personal, tailored to fit my unique interests and strengths.

My supervisor, John Madigan, made the internship a truly important learning experience, providing us with new resources and materials each day, sending us to enlightening briefings on Capitol Hill, the Senate Gallery, and American Psychological Association, and also incorporated time for myself and the other staff at AFSP to build as a team, becoming even more tightly knit. My knowledge about the American political process and public policy has increased exponentially since my very first day here.  Having worked at AFSP, the avenues of my future have become much clearer. Because of the hard work, delightfully challenging projects, high level of professionalism, and incredible support I was presented with at AFSP, I feel extremely equipped to involve myself in the DC world of public policy and truly make organized efforts to direct positive change in society.  Though my time at AFSP went more quickly than I’d like, I take it as a blessing knowing that the rapid sensation of time was brought on by the joy, passion, and growth I experienced each and every day that I spent here with AFSP.  My internship with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention gifted me with research, writing, public policy, self-discipline, and professional skills that will continue to be invaluable for the rest of my life.