I have been living in Washington, D.C. for a little over a month and I continue to become more and more impressed with the city every day. The architecture is phenomenal, the diversity is empowering, and the overall professionalism makes me realize how lucky I am to have the opportunity to live in one of the most influential cities in the world.
As a double-major in Political Science and Ethnic Studies, I am intrigued by the day-to-day proceedings that occur in D.C. By studying political science, I learn more about the laws, globalization, development, and treatment of people within the United States and around the world. By studying ethnic studies, it allows me to expand my knowledge on racial, ethnic, religious, and gender minorities and their experiences within the United States and around the world, as well as the laws that either help them or inhibit them from living a fair life. As a CU in D.C. student, I have been given the incredible opportunity to experience what life is like in the place where all of these laws and policies are being developed and coming into fruition.
One of my favorite things about the city is its diversity. It is empowering to see people of minority races, ethnicities, and religions with positions in the government and private organizations where they are working to make a difference in this world. This gives me hope for the future—a future cleansed of racism and discrimination.
CU in D.C. is a wonderful program, from the housing to the local events to the classes that are offered. The class sizes are very small and intimate, which gives us students the chance to develop strong relationships with our professors. In addition to taking classes through CU in D.C., I am also working on an independent study with a professor on campus at CU because I am pursuing an Honors Thesis. My research is on the achievement gap, more specifically, the question of how does the familial, socioeconomic, and educational environment a student grows up in impact their academic performance? I am beyond lucky to live walking distance to the Library of Congress, a beautiful research library with an endless amount of books that I can use to further my studies.
The most favorable part about my experience in D.C. thus far has been my internship. I am working in the Director’s Office of the Peace Corps, where I am responsible for editing outgoing correspondence from the director to the White House, the US government, foreign governments and officials, and internal memos. Additionally, I prepare documents for FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests and I analyze the paper history of the Office of the Director from the 1960s until present-day in order to prepare documents for the National Archives. I absolutely love the office I work in—I am surrounded by people who are truly passionate about wanting to help those in underdeveloped countries. My internship is a very rewarding experience--I know that the work we do in this office is greatly impacting the lives of many people abroad.
I feel extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to participate in CU in D.C., and am forever grateful for the scholarships I was rewarded that enabled me to do so.
Alana Horwitz, CU in D.C. Internship Scholarship Recipient