My Summer as a Policy & Advocacy Intern

Mia Vizcaino on Capitol Hill

Mia Vizcaino discusses her summer in the SUNY Washington Internship Program as a public policy intern at the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities.

Student Blog - Mia Vizcaino

This past summer I participated in the SUNY Washington Internship Program, where I had the opportunity to work, live, and gain experience right in our nation’s capital. I was a public policy intern at the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, also known as the NACDD. The NACDD actively promotes self-determination and inclusion for all people in America that have intellectual and developmental disabilities. My semester in Washington D.C. as well as my internship has allowed me to solidify my path towards a career in policy and advocacy.

As a policy intern, I was able to attend many different events, such as a health equity event at the Washington Post, a Disability Council event in the Willard-Intercontinental Hotel, and countless Senate and Congressional hearings on Capitol Hill. Some of my duties included taking notes on hearings and writing up suggestions with next steps to my supervisors. I was also project leader on a FEMA panel for their annual conference that was being held in Florida. I contacted many members of Congress in support of the NACDD and had the privilege to meet some impressive people in the Developmental Disability Council. I had the pleasure of learning how to write legislative analysis and had a focus on environmental and civil rights during my time at my internship. I will forever be grateful for my internship and the tasks they trusted me with. Even though I was a new intern, I always felt like I was a trusted part of the NACDD team.

I had never been to Washington D.C. before, but as a Political Science major, I sure felt at home here. I was able to explore as much as the city had to offer and felt like a local. I lived on Capitol Hill with other students in the program, and getting to see all the marches and press conferences outside of the Capitol is something that had me in awe.

Sunrise on Capitol Hill

My favorite thing about living in Washington D.C. had to be the farmers markets on Capitol Hill. I always made it a part of my weekend errands. The people are so nice there and it is so impressive to see all the local food and small businesses. I would also try to go to the Nationals baseball games, especially on the fourth of July! It was an amazing experience being in the nation’s capital on the fourth of July.

My semester in Washington D.C. was something I will never forget, and I am so grateful I was able to participate in the SUNY Washington Internship Program. Not only did my time at the NACDD help me with my future career plans but it also made for a wonderful experience!

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Author: Mia Vizcaino

Posted: October 13, 2023