Tuesday, June 7, 2011

First Week of Internship Experience

Earlier today, as a part of orientation week here in DC, we were paired up with another fellow intern and practiced our interviewing skills. One question that my fellow intern asked me was, “Why are you interested in choosing this career in public policy?” I knew why I had chosen this career path and it was an easy question. It’s not so much the question, but the answer that I want to share with you.

I said that opportunities to serve others have been some of the most meaningful experiences of my life and have shaped the person I am today. It was unconceivable that I would not participate in a future that involved public service/policy in one way or another.

I first talked about how I was a member of the Jr. National Association for the Deaf club in high school which offered me the opportunities to participate during my sophomore and senior years in two separate one week leadership training workshops with deaf students from across the United States. That, as a result of the last workshop, I was voted from among my peers to be the national male Jr. NAD representative at the NAD (adult) bi-annual convention held in the summer of 2008 in New Orleans. During this weeklong convention I was part of reviewing and voting on congressional bills related to the hearing impaired that did end up in the House and Senate as well as being required to write and give speeches on two separate occasions and topics to a group of approximately 1,000 convention attendees. Participation in these amazing events helped me to ameliorate my leadership skills and build character; which will be demanded of me the rest of my life. Through the experiences, I now have the courage to politic for the NAD organization’s beliefs and aspirations. That experience showed me what I already knew through life experiences, that people with disabilities still do not enjoy equal opportunities in society.

I then also mentioned mission work and how it has also been very rewarding in that its impact is seen immediately. My experiences range from repairing and building homes and providing fresh water in the most poverty stricken areas of Appalachia to traveling to the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana to clear land and build log cabins for the Native Americans living in poverty. I have seen the effects of poverty first hand and have become a different person knowing I have been so richly blessed and have had the chance to share my willingness to help others who are in different circumstances. My experiences have inspired me to want to be in a position to do more.

Those experiences where I served others have left me with a feeling that I can NEVER do enough “good”. My ability to have handled a variety of issues in the past, overcome obstacles and have a true impact in people’s lives and on policies, has led me to this desire to seek an AAPD internship to continue helping those in need of it. I look forward to my first week of work as an American Bar Association intern! Stay tuned!

~Colton Jannusch

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