Below is a letter from Joe Warburton, a second-year Leadership Scholar, who is providing us with an update on his current internship with The Washington Center at our nation’s capitol
Dear Fellow Members of the Leadership Institute,
I am currently interning and studying in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C, through a program called The Washington Center. It is a 15 week program where I intern during the day and take night classes once a week. I also take career development classes on Fridays.
My internship is at DC Tutoring & Mentoring Initiative. We are a small nonprofit with the goal of getting a tutor or mentor for the over 40,000 students reading below grade level in Washington D.C. We currently have 35 partnered organizations that we place our volunteers with. These volunteers sign up through our canvassing efforts. We canvass popular festivals and farmers markets along with grocery stores and other everyday places. This is an initiative in its beginning phases that we hope will make a great impact on not only education in D.C but around the country.
My responsibilities include canvassing, data entry, and volunteer coordination. I was able to take past knowledge of political campaigning and apply it to canvassing for volunteers. This is a huge part of what we are trying to accomplish as we are a volunteer driven initiative. My data entry duties consist of updating our partner information and connecting with new partners, while also updating our volunteer list. This all leads into my final duty as volunteer coordinator in which I place our volunteers with one of our 35 partnered organizations based off their preference which include age, time, and location.
Other then my internship I have taken an active role as a tutor, to have a better understanding of what we are asking people to do, at one of our partner organizations Project Northstar. This is a unique opportunity as it gives me personal experience while canvassing, and shows that even while working 32 hours a week and going to classes, I still have time to volunteer.
It is not all work though. During my time here I have also been a tourist. I have done a considerable amount in my short time here. My roommates and I visited the Presidential monuments and toured the Capital Building. The most intriguing part of the Capital building in my opinion was the Statue of Rosa Parks, which Congress dedicated in her honor after she passed.
You cannot forget the most important part of any city, public transportation. Washington D.C has a relatively good transportation system in place. I take the metro bus to my internship site daily. I also use the Metro Rail system for further destinations. My apartment building is conveniently located a block away from a Metro bus stop and a Metro rail station.
The most important part of D.C is their food of course. I found that while living on a tight budget, the best deal in the city is D.C.’s famous big slice pizza. For a mere $3 you can purchase what feels like half a pizza. Which takes me to a big lesson learned. Budgeting money to take this opportunity was a new, yet welcomed challenge. I will be able to apply not only this life lesson to my future, but all of my career development and new leadership skills as well.
RCLI Student Advisory Council
Class of 2019
Students who are interested in interning through The Washington Center are encouraged to speak with Leadership Institute staff, or email Dr. Tyler Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org