By Megan Dietz
My summer spent in Washington D.C. has been one of my favorite summers yet. I had only been to Washington D.C. once before, when I was a child, but at such a young age I was unable to appreciate all the city has to offer. Going site-seeing, gaining valuable internship experience, and meeting many like-minded friends here in D.C. has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I am extremely grateful that I was chosen to receive the Snider Foundation’s scholarship because it has allowed me to make the most of my time in D.C. without financial worries. I have come to love the diversity within D.C. It is definitely a melting pot of people from all around the United States with various achievements and being there I felt an inspiring sense of ambition and drive.
Some of my favorite experiences have been having picnics at the National Mall with other students in the program and visiting the various Smithsonian museums. My favorite site to see was the Library of Congress. The architecture and design of the Great Hall was absolutely stunning. The size of the Main Reading Room was breathtaking. At that moment, overlooking the large Reading Room, I felt very lucky to be in D.C. and to be able to see such a historic building that not many people have the privilege or the opportunity to see. I was very intrigued by the replication of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library which he sold to Congress.
I was fortunate to be able to attend my internship in person this summer. I interned at Sunwater Institute, an interdisciplinary think tank in D.C., and I focused on their human rights and liberties project. In this position I improved my professional writing and research skills, and I worked on my networking skills. It was a great opportunity to gain experience working at a think tank, as think tanks are very influential in policy making. I learned more about how think tanks operate and the ways in which they put forth policy recommendations. I researched alongside scholars with extensive experience in various political science fields, allowing me to learn more about what my future could entail.
Looking back on this summer in D.C., I can’t help but think of all of the wonderful friendships I made. CU Boulder is such a large school, and it is easy to feel like a little fish in a big pond. Coming to D.C. with the CU in D.C. program allowed me to make friends with all of the other students in the program. It was refreshing to meet so many like-minded people with similar interests, goals, and aspirations. Over the course of the summer, we formed a community. I am certain that we will all remain friends as we go back to Boulder, and I am very grateful for the CU in D.C. program for bringing us all together. As I go back to Boulder, I will miss the hustle and bustle of the city and being able to go from place to place on the metro. I want to thank the Snider Foundation again for their generous scholarship. With their support, I have learned and accomplished more than I would have predicted this summer, and I hope to return to D.C. one day.