Gettin' Engaged

Gettin' Engaged

As you may have noticed from my previous posts, TWC keeps us on our toes, making sure we don’t have too much down time. (I guess they’re just trying to prepare us for the "real world.") One of the core requirements for the program is the civic engagement project, which I just began this past week. While community service might not sound exciting to some people, I really enjoyed taking the time to help out others, even if it was only for a little bit.(Sounds like the most cliché thing ever, right?) For my project, I chose to become involved in a volunteer tutoring program at the Next Step Public Charter School, where I help students that are learning English as a second language. I have to say, I was a little skeptical of how helpful I would be at first,(let’s just say my Spanish skills aren’t quite as on point as some of my other abilities), but it turned out I was much more helpful than I thought. Just by giving the students the ability to practice and learn conversational vocabulary you’re actually helping them out in a big way. All it requires on my end is a little bit of my time each week, which hey let’s face it, is probably better spent helping others than sitting around watching House of Cards.

 

One of the other cool things I got to experience this week was an open dialogue at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) where Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, spoke about border security. In addition to attending Congressional Committee hearings, my internship site also has us write up summary briefs on think tank events that are relevant to our clients’ areas of interest, so they can become better informed about current developments in the industry. (AKA no one wants to sit through the whole thing, so they send an intern to summarize the most important facts.) I must say it was pretty cool to be able to hear the Secretary speak firsthand, and learn more about the details and inner workings of the immigrant child crisis that occurred over the summer at the southern border. The Ambassador of Guatemala was also there, resulting in a whole bunch of secret service standing throughout the room. (Like, wouldn’t two be enough? Ten seems excessive to me, but what do I know? I’m just an intern.) The neat thing about think tank events are that they’re free and open to students, and you can find discussions on literally any topic you can think of. (That’s why they’re called think tanks?) Additionally, there’s usually free food and refreshments at these events, which is basically an intern’s paradise.

 

You know you're an intern when you're the only one taking pics of this guy


Since coming to D.C., my weekend touring has begun to gradually decline, but I still manage to go out and do at least one thing each weekend. This past weekend, we took a tour of the National Gallery, the Smithsonian’s vast collection of artwork that’s so large it takes up 3 different buildings on the Mall. We only took looked at the West Gallery ans only managed to see half of the works. The place is absolutely enormous and would take several trips to examine each piece of art in full, but honestly it’s totally worth the trip just to see what you can. I’m not exactly an art junkie, but I had no idea how many famous works the Smithsonian possessed.(Like, did we just steal all this stuff from the Europeans?) Even if you’re not into art at all, it’s totally worth checking out, especially if you’re trying to fill a lazy Saturday afternoon.

 

Hangin with George

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