Timothy – Seton Hall University
Public Policy Associate
I had the tremendous opportunity of interning with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention this summer as a Public Policy Associate. It truly was a very rewarding and enriching experience, where I felt like I was making a difference during my time in Washington, D.C. I had the privilege of working with a fantastic team led by John, Trevor, Nicole, and Smitty, who really helped make this summer a great experience, not just an average DC internship. They all worked hard to ensure that we learned as much as possible, while also getting exposure to related events around the city, including Congressional hearings, press conferences, and panel discussions. During my time in DC, I attended an event at the Department of Health and Human Services celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid on behalf of AFSP, attended Congressional hearings on Capitol Hill about legislation we were following, and took a tour of the Pentagon with our staff. I had a diverse experience working in DC and really got to experience how special of a place it is to work.
During the summer, I also learned an immense amount from my fellow interns in the office, who came from diverse educational backgrounds. As someone who studied Political Science in college and am now pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration, I did not have too much experience with mental health policy before joining AFSP. However, I am leaving this great organization with a stronger understanding of mental health policy, and even better insight about the public policy process in general.
Throughout the summer, AFSP had two major events that I played an active role in as a Public Policy Associate. In my first week, we had a major Congressional Spouses fundraiser at the Organization of American States with Judy Collins, which was a fantastic opportunity. I also helped organize and execute our annual Advocacy Forum, which was definitely one of the highlights of my summer. During the Forum, we connected with extraordinary people who have dedicated their lives to a cause in order to prevent others from suffering the pain they have endured. I also had the amazing opportunity of lobbying a Senator during the Forum to advance AFSP’s policy goals.
This was truly a special summer experience as I had the opportunity of working with an exciting team in the heart of Washington, D.C. I learned a lot and enjoyed being part of such a great team.