Pearl – Stockton University

Public Policy Associate

Choosing to intern at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I learned a tremendous amount of information about public policy and how our government operates. My eyes were also opened to how dire the suicide case is in our country and how crucial it is to advocate for suicide prevention. Working alongside Taylor, Natalie, Chelsey, Connor, Nicole, and John has been a wonderful experience. As a Public Policy Associate, I have gotten to see how policies and legislation move through both the federal and state governments.

Working at AFSP, each day was different. Somedays we would be in the office tracking state legislation and other days we would be going up to Capitol Hill to congressional hearings or going to a congressional briefing. Every day brought on a new challenge and I was able to reflect on and develop a number of skills.

The AFSP Public Policy office is a great environment to work in. Everyone working here is so welcoming and encouraging. The work being done in this office is changing and saving lives. As a Public Policy Associate, my opinions and ideas were valued and acknowledged and I was doing real, important work throughout the entire semester. One of the most important tasks that I was asked to do was to research Veteran and Military suicide. Throughout the semester, I conducted research on the subject and wrote up a rough draft for an issue brief that would be used later on to help advocate for the issue.

One of the most rewarding moments from my time at AFSP was traveling to the Maryland and Delaware State Capitol Days. Attending these events, I was able to see passionate advocates fight for suicide prevention in their home state. It really opened my eyes to the importance of the work we were doing and made me see how rewarding of an experience this had been. Spending a semester at AFSP and living in DC was a truly meaningful and exciting experience that I will hold with me forever.