Reflections on Summer Internship with Senator Feinstein

During my time in Washington, D.C., I attended the PPIA Leadership Public Service Weekend sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University. It was an incredible experience and I feel very lucky that I was able to attend. Thank you to Deirdre Weaver and Stephany Triska for informing us about this wonderful program. I got to meet many other interns and learned more about possible graduate programs. Over the course of the conference we heard from graduate school admissions representatives from various universities and some wonderful speakers, including Professors from Carnegie Mellon and students who are now working at organizations like Pew.

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Attendees of PPIA Conference

We also had a competition where we were given the task of picking a policy related problem and proposing a solution using data and technology, in order to further smart city plans. Our group came up with a pitch to make data on the cost of health care services more accessible, and we won third place!

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Our PPIA team that won 3rd place out of 12 teams!

In terms of the internship, I got to attend an intern lecture series where Justice Ginsberg spoke. I felt very lucky to have gotten that experience. I was able to do some work for the Senate Judiciary Committee and attended a committee hearing. I also completed a policy project for Senator Feinstein’s office where I created a proposal for the Senator regarding data in energy and technology. Lastly, I attended a wonderful intern lunch with Senator Feinstein.

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I feel so incredibly grateful to have gotten this opportunity and met so many great people as a result of this program. I was able to learn so much through this experience.

Taken in Capitol building–deeply grateful for the opportunity!

Thank you to the SMC Foundation, the Alumni Office, SMC professors and staff, and everyone else who helped make this possible! We so appreciate the work you do to make this unique and phenomenal program possible.


This is a moment where we all reach forward. Summer break was finally here. after being part of student government I was learning many technical terms. We get to experience a lot of it on campus but how do I apply to my future career.

I’m a first-generation American citizen with Jamaican roots, and unfortunately, my parents didn’t have the opportunity to pursue a higher education or get a chance to go to school at a young age. They didn’t have great educational foundations. 

I would like to see the same opportunities that wealthy and upper-middle class Americans enjoy, as well as citizens of other developed countries, like Sweden, enjoyed by the people of Jamaica and economically strained communities here in the United States.

This is where the Jamaica embassy stands and I had the privilege to be in front of this beautiful monumental. Here I was also welcomed to walk around.


Here I am taking a selfie inside a nation that holds a flag a metal seal representing their own country

This is what education stands for me. “All (wo)men are created equally”

Focus on the building. The building was inspired by the crown of the figure/sculpture of the following picture below me.

The crown in this picture is architects used to make the design of the museum’s building.

look above the oasis is near 


OAS- Organization of American States – Nicaragua protesting inequality int there country

My goal is to pursue a degree in Business Law and hopefully with my passion and efforts, extend a bridge to allow Jamaica’s youth to be equipped with the same educational opportunities as those offered in the more developed countries. I envision other Third World countries, and Third World communities within the United States, having an equal opportunity to higher education as well. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, education is a fundamental right for everyone. Governments must make it a priority for all their citizens. I will make it a personal priority as a public policy activist and/or professional.


An Unforgettable Experience

My experience in D.C. has been amazing. Filled with remarkable people and unforgettable memories, D.C. couldn’t have been any better.

Thanks to the friendships and networks I’ve made here, I’ve been fortunate enough to have attended multiple events. Including a Town Hall by Senator Bernie Sanders, numerous briefings, and even had the opportunity to attend a CHCI event where I was able to see and meet numerous members of Congress. 

This summer, I’ve been fortunate enough to intern at the Office of Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan.  As one of her constituent’s, I can’t think of a more relevant or valuable internship placement opportunity than interning for someone I truly look up to. I’m so thankful for all of the lessons and skills I’ve been able to learn and develop in such a short amount of time. 

Although my trip is almost over, I’m eager to continue learning as much as I can before this experience comes to a close. Thank you to everyone whose made this unforgettable experience possible!

-Hector Favela

IMG_3448  Speaker’s Balcony

F507C290-B1D0-4536-9616-5CB5E0DFBBC8 Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan (CA-44)

IMG_3519National Intern Day with the Congresswoman

5CF5B4F0-D1BB-44AD-90BA-46E139D09DB3 Interns for Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan (CA-44)

IMG_3550  Interns for Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan (CA-44)

IMG_3477 Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA) Constituent Breakfast

IMG_3489 CHCI Event Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard

IMG_3493 CHCI Event Congressman Tony Cardenas

IMG_3327 Senator Bernie Sanders “CEO vs Workers” Town Hall

IMG_3392 Demonstrations Outside White House

Last week in D.C.

One thing is for sure, time goes by fast. We might not feel it every day, but as I enter my last week in D.C. I can definitely say so.

Since my last blog post here I got to go to the African American History Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Natural History Museum, the National Archives, and the Library of Congress. I got to see the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. A lot of mixed feelings going into these museums and experiencing the stories they tell.

I got to meet Senator Amy Klobuchar from the state of Minnesota and Senator Jeff Merkley from the state of Oregon. I was able to attend the democratic press conference outside the Supreme Court building in regards to the SCOTUS nomination.

I have one more week to go and I am looking forward to every day of it!


Meeting with Senator Klobuchar:


Meeting with Senator Merkley:


This is the view from the Speakers Balcony at the Capitol


A photo from the National Gallery of Art


A photo from the National Portrait Gallery


A photo from the press conference outside the Supreme Court


Fourth of July & Updates from D.C.

As the internship has progressed, I have gotten to do more legislative work, including working on constituent correspondence and writing memos. I have gotten to attend hearings and briefings, including those for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senate Commerce Committee, and a briefing called “China’s Influence Abroad: What it Means for the U.S.” I have also had the opportunity to see some interesting museums and witness some of the unique experiences D.C. has to offer.

Getting to be in Washington, D.C. for July 4th was such an incredible experience. I got to go to the “A Capitol Fourth” Concert and sit on the steps of the capitol building with other staff and interns on the Hill. I was also able to see fireworks overlooking the Washington Monument.

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The “A Capitol Fourth” Concert 2018

I went to the National Archives and saw the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

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National Archives

During the week of the Fourth of July, I was able to visit the Speaker’s Balcony with the other interns from Senator Feinstein’s office. Since the Senate had recess that week, we also got to see the Democratic Senators’ cloakroom and the go to the floor of the Senate.

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Speaker’s Balcony in the Capitol 

Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit a few more museums here in Washington, D.C.

I went to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

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Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Several of the Dale Ride interns went to Ford’s Theater and the Holocaust museum.

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Booth Where President Lincoln Was Shot at Ford’s Theater
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Statue of President Lincoln at Ford’s Theater

I am very much enjoying my time here, and I am learning so much about public service and about the way a Senate office functions. I am looking forward to the next couple weeks!

-Karen Funk

4th of July in D.C.

The time seems to go by fast. Both of my internships are extremely interesting and I feel very fortunate to be interning both for the House and the Senate. Everyone is very nice, friendly, and whenever I have a question they are all happy to help! I got to attend a very interesting briefing on the history of trade in the United States and its relation to today’s climate.

Up to now, I got to see the Supreme Court, the United States Holocaust Museum, the National Museum of American History, and the various memorials including Thomas Jefferson, FDR, and MLK!

D.C. is such a beautiful city and celebrating the 4th of July here was spectacular. Hector and I enjoyed the parade that took place on Constitution Ave. and in the evening we saw the fireworks from the Lincoln Memorial.


The photos are in the following order: The Jefferson Memorial, MLK Memorial, a picture I took at the National Museum of American History, and the fireworks from the Lincoln Memorial.



First week as the Congressional Intern at Washington D.C.

Soon after graduation, six of us began our journey for the Dale Ride 2018 summer internship at Washington D.C. It is a very exciting opportunity that I will be spending my next two months working as the congressional intern at Congressman Ted Lieu’s office and let’s see how my first week went.

Boaz, Jennifer, Hector, and Loren at the graduation. #ProundtobeSMC

I flew into D.C. on Friday, June 15th. Since my internship begins on Monday, June 18th, I was lucky to have the entire weekend to settle down, adjust the jet lag, and explore the city.

Just landed at Ronald Reagan Airport and waiting for my luggage.

On Saturday, we rented a car and had a mission going to different supermarkets and Costco to buy everything we need for supplies and foods. BUT!!! The plan didn’t go as smoothly as we planned. I accidentally lock the car key in the trunk… So we had to call AAA for rescue. (Thank God Karen has the AAA membership <3)

In front of the dorm with all our foods and supplies.


The first day of my internship consisted of orientation, training, and a tour of the congressional building. I was trained to learn and memorize numbers of current issues that Congressman Lieu is working on and quickly assigned to go answering phone calls with constituents on my first day! I was very nervous in the beginning, however, I was able to learn how to effectively assist constituents and answer their questions throughout numbers of calls and practices and quickly became more confident on the task.

Congressman Lieu’s office on the first day of work.

On Tuesday, I had the CRS intern orientation program workshop to learn about Congress Research Service. It was very fascinating to learn the work CRS does and how to effectively use the information on its website. Very helpful orientation for the new interns!

CRS Intern Orientation Program & Associated Students water bottle! #Sustainability

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to go to the House Representative SEC Oversight Financial Service hearing.

SEC Oversight Financial Service hearing.

On Friday, I went to an intern lecture series hosted by the house representative Jason Smith from Missouri. It was a very inspiring series that congressman shared his story when he was an intern, pointed out the importance and value of public services and lastly, motivate us to continue to grow and learn.


Intern Lecture Series by Congressman Jason Smith.

Overall, my first week in D.C was very exciting and I’ve learned so much within this past week about public policy, current issues, and professionalism. Also, it’s very cool to meeting so many other interns around the nation and getting to know their background and values.

I am really thankful to have this amazing opportunity to explore, network, and grow as an individual and proud SMC alumni.

Lastly, it’s my first homemade meal at D.C. Thank you for reading my blog. 🙂

First homemade dinner at D.C. Yammy!

First Week in Washington, D.C.

I just finished my first week interning in Senator Dianne Feinstein’s D.C. office. I am very much enjoying being an intern in the Senate. It is exciting to walk through the buildings and see public officials. So far, I’ve done things like sorting emails and answering constituent calls. I completed training for the internship, including one for the Library of Congress Congressional Research Service (CRS) at the James Madison Memorial Building. I also got to attend a Constituent Breakfast that the Senator held, where I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Senator Feinstein speak in person. During this week, I had the chance to take the underground shuttle from the Senate to the Capitol Building, where I was able to go into the Senate gallery and see Senators speaking.

During our first couple days in D.C., we went to the Congressional baseball game.

2018 Congressional Baseball Game 

I got to see the Supreme Court building, which was very exciting given that it is a vital institution within our democracy.

The Courtroom of the Supreme Court

Another landmark we got to see was the outside of the White House. I was also able to go to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which was fascinating and very interactive.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
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Boaz (left) and Me on Our First Day at Senator Feinstein’s Office

So far being in D.C. has been an incredible experience, and I am looking forward to the rest of our time here! Thank you to the Alumni Office, donors, SMC Foundation, faculty, and everyone else who makes this incredible program possible!

-Karen Funk


First Week Interning on the Hill

From attending the Congressional baseball game to visiting the White House, my first week in D.C has been absolutely amazing.

Right after SMC’s culmination, two of my fellow Dale Ride Interns and I took the red eye flight and arrived in D.C the next morning. After settling in and adjusting to the three hour time difference, I was ready to start my internship the next day at the office Congresswoman Nanette Barragan. Who represents California’s 44th Congressional District, consisting of Compton, Watts, San Pedro, and my hometown the city of South Gate.

The first day of my internship consisted of attending orientation, training, and preparing for the Congressional baseball game later that night. The baseball game was an amazing opportunity. I was able to meet all of the staff and interns from the office and we were able to cheer on Congresswoman Barragan as she was one of only two women who played in the game.

Overall, my first few days in D.C couldn’t have gone any smoother. D.C has so much to offer and I’m thankful to be sharing this experience with my everyone in my Dale Ride cohort.

Thank you to all of the faculty, staff, donors, and everyone who made this experience possible. I truly can’t thank you enough.



2018 Congressional Baseball Game 6/14

Democrats 21: Republicans 5


(Left to Right) Charlene Alex, Karen, Loren, Hector


Longworth House Office Building



(Left to Right) Loren, Karen, Hector, Boaz

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The White House


By Hector Favela-Coreas

First Week in D.C. !!!

The First Week

The first week in D.C. went more than well for me. I went on a very interesting White House tour and heard the Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi speak at a lecture series.

I already got to answer phone calls from constituents and be engaged in the different responsibilities that take place at the office on my first day. It is extremely interesting to see how different current political events influence what is going on at the Capitol.

Speaking of the Capitol, it is incredible. I got to go inside by taking visitors who came from California for a tour and every now and then there is an errand that needs to be run and I am always happy to do it. I look forward to seeing what else next week will bring.

Attached below is a picture I took of the White House at night.