Since the Summer of 2009, the Johnson Family Foundation has provided grant funding to send Rollins students to Washington, DC to intern with LGBT advocacy organizations. This summer, Sabrina Kent and Hanna Cody were selected for this program. They have been asked to post periodic blog entries, sharing their experience with our blog readership over the summer. Below are their first blog posts of the summer.
Hanna Cody @ Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL) in Washington, DC
As I looked out the window from my plane, the beauty of the city immediately surprised me. I could see the Washington Monument out of my window, and as we descended into Reagan, I could not believe that I was about to spend the summer in the nation’s capitol. It quickly became apparent that the city was both an exciting and welcoming place. I met with my fellow classmates during American University’s orientation to debrief what our class, Community and Social Change, was going to be like over the next eight weeks. Our professor immediately made it apparent that he wanted to make the class as beneficial as possible and promised to design classes that got us off campus and out into the “real” D.C. We made wish lists of all the things we wanted to do or people that we would like to meet while in the city and presented those ideas to our fellow classmates. From there, our professor has begun to compile a personalized itinerary for the remainder of the summer, which started out with a trip to the British Ambassador’s home for a gathering, celebrating the launch of the summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. The evening was truly unforgettable and it was awe-inspiring to hear the ambassador speak, let alone see the inside of his home. Read the rest of this blog post here.
Sabrina Kent, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) in Washington, DC
We’ve only been in DC for two weeks and already this experience has been better than I had ever expected it could be. I’ve already made it a point to embark on my fair share of tourism. The first night that I got here I went to the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument and last Monday on my afternoon off Hanna and I explored the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. This summer I am serving as the Meetings and Education intern at the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) here in DC. Not only do I work less than a block away from the White House in the old National Securities Building (how surreal!), but I instantly felt at home in the positive work environment that I was thrust into just two short weeks ago.
The NGLCC serves the LGBT business community by connecting LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTEs), business owners, employees, and entrepreneurs with the chamber’s corporate partners (Wells Fargo, American Airlines, IBM, to name a few) to expand the economic opportunity and advancement of LGBT equality in the workplace. In 2002, the founders, Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell, sought a solution to the economic inequalities that LGBT small business owners (in particular) face in a capitalist America. Read the rest of this blog post here.