“1st” & 2nd Week Interning at the District Office of: Congressmember Karen Bass

I graduated Santa Monica College on Tuesday June 13th ^.^


Shout out to Dr. Jeffery for taking a selfie with me

The first week of my internship only consisted of a day

This was because my internship began on Friday June 16th.

So the first week went by really fast…

I am the first intern to stay in L.A for the Dale Ride Internship program. The cool this about this, is that I have the amazing opportunity to be interning at the District Office of Congresswoman Karen Bass (CKB).

This is amazing for two reasons:

  1. It’s KAREN BASS… I think that is self explanatory Rep.KarenBass.jpg
  2. Plus she is MY Congresswoman, since I live in her district 

For my first day, I did not have to arrive until 10:00am.

I though being early would be a good idea, so I arrived at 9:30. Turns out I had to wait until a little past 10:00. Therefore my first day consisted of a good 30 minute wait time. It was cool though because the person in the lobby was another intern so I had the opportunity to speak to someone who had already been working for 3 weeks.

My first day mainly consisted of training. However, what as cool is that I got invited to participate in an event happening that upcoming Saturday.

It was the Congressional Conversation: Westwood where over 300 constituents went out to meet CKB. She was there to listen to the concerns of the constituents as well as explain about a few things happening in Washington, D.C.

Over 300 Westwood constituents attended. It was remarkable to see that so many community members where interested in sharing their concerns. The concerns varied from Immigration, Health Care, VA Help, Foreign Affairs, to so much more.


Although attending these events are not mandatory, I was so happy to be there.  The event was officially from 10:00am-12:00pm. However as an intern who was helping with the event, I was there from 8:00-1:00pm, in order to help set up and clean up afterwards.

Something nice that this office does, is that for events that CKB hold for the community, the office always provides snacks. Therefore I helped set up the breakfast food, and helped people feel welcomes when individuals started to arrive. A few other interns also helped with the food, while others helped register people in.

Once the event started I was the official “note-taker” for the event. Which if you look closely at the picture below you can see me taking notes on a laptop, in the lower right hand side.


To be honest, I am an old fashion type of note taker in school. I love sticking to pen and paper, but I quickly learned how to take proper notes on a lap top. I also learned how to type fairly quickly and become accustom to a laptop that was not mine. This was important to do because CKB likes to take 10 questions at a time from constituents before answering all 10 afterwards. She does it in order to get more questions in, which is amazing, because it demonstrates to everyone she genuinely cares what the community has to say.

Here is a quick picture of the interns who volunteered to be there that day, along with CKB… Photo Jun 17, 2 45 21 AM.jpg

For my second week, which was officially Monday, June 19th – Friday, June 23rd…

I worked from 9:00am-5:30pm M-F, this is my schedule for the summer. It was a surprise to the rest of the interns at the District Office, since the most others work is 3 days.

THANK YOU SMC for helping me be a full time intern.

This definitely helped me to get catch up. This is because one intern has been there since I believe March, a few are 3 weeks ahead of me, while some only a week or a few days. All of our start days have been scattered around. I thought I was the last intern, but another individual just started on Friday (June 23rd). It was was fun showing her around, and teaching her things I had only learned a week ago.

Yesterday we also had the opportunity to volunteer at another weekend event:

“Trump’s Assault on Black America- How we resist and fight back”

This was from 10:00am-12:00pm, but this time I was there from 8:30am-1:30pm.

The difference was that this was NOT an official event. What UNOFFICIAL means is that the event was not being payed by tax dollars like the Westwood event was. This meant that there was a lot more freedom to what CKB could say. Overall the energy of this event was a lot more powerful in my opinion, because there was a lot more community organizers present.

This event was put on my which is a resistance organization that activates, educates, and mobilizes. Therefore CKB was not the only speaker, she was joined on the stage by Holly Mitchell and City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson.


Their message was to empower everyone, and get people to mobilize. I already felt the need to make a difference, but listening to them speak in person, only made me want to get more involved. 

Sorry I did not take many pictures this week…

– Maria de Jesus Lopez Zamudio

Sunday, June 25th 2017





Adapting to D.C and Learning about Whistleblowers’ rights!

Hello, everyone!

My name is Stephany Triska, and I am one of the 2017 Dale Ride interns! I came here to share my experiences in my first week of internship. Hope you like it! 🙂

During this summer I’ll be working with Laura at the National Whistleblower Center, an NGO which has been protecting the rights of individuals to report misconducts without fearing retaliation for almost 30 years. That is an incredible opportunity!

I arrived in D.C. on Wednesday (06.14) and was lucky enough to only start my internship on Monday (06.19). I had four days to get familiar with the area, organize my dorm and get used to the time zone. But I am going to confess that I slept a lot during these days haha. Here are some photos from my first days

On Friday 06.16, I had a meeting with a Brazilian Ambassador at the Embassy of Brazil. We discussed what is like to be in this field, and represent Brazil in an international scale. I also had the chance to check others Embassies, since most of them are located at Massachusetts Ave in D.C.  When would I ever imagine this would have happened? Here I have photos of the Embassy of Brazil, the Islamic Center of Washington D.C. and the Mexican Delegation:


  • The next day I went to pick up Dane at his work in the Senate, and I had the chance to take this picture of the U.S. Capitol:


  • On my first day, we received training and started to read more about whistleblowers rights in the U.S. especially focusing on crimes related to Wildlife!
  • The NWC is located in the historic Georgetown, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods I have ever seen! Here is a photo from our office:


  • Laura and I got lucky, and we only work M-Th (I am sorry Dane, Tamara, and Micca lol) During the week, we met with, Stephen Kohn, who is nationally known as an expert in Whistleblower Law. We will be working and learning from him during our internship 🙂 We also started to research NGOs in Latin America that can partner with the NWC to report corrupt practices in foreign countries. For sure a lot of information for the first week of work!
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    Reading and understanding more about Whistleblowers!
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    The best co-worker ever, our eternal SMC Student Trustee and Future President of the U.S. Laura Zwicker.


  • These are all my updates for the week! I will keep all of you posted on everything amazing that is happening around here. This summer will be one of the best times of my life! Thank you for reading this post, and hope you can come back soon to visit the blog and learn more about the Dale Ride experience! ❤

First day of becoming an OXFAMily

Day 3

My first day working at Oxfam, I got up at 7:30 and took a shower. Of course some breakfast …EXCITED


I walked to work feeling awesome…

Oxfam occupies the entire top floor of the building… it is huge… In Marco’s  ( dale ride intern of 2016) picture, it looked really bad… Come on Marco! You can do better…

In reality Oxfam is speechlessly huge… Yeah, I am from LA, we do stuff in flat houses.. OK?

This is the front desk…


I really wanted to take lots of pictures but I held back… I don’t want to look unprofessional… So I took a lot of pictures the next day….

JoJo- our front desk nice girl gave us a tour…

Our Lobby


This is the view from our officeIMG_7489.JPG

Free gym access for interns and staff.. also city bikes access..


This is my desk.. The girl next to me is Chinese, and also an intern ..She has a PHD.. I am a community college student… I feel so lucky! (Dre dre is the best! SMC is the best!!)… People sitting on the other side of my desk belongs to OXFAM Global. We are Oxfam America.


We have 3 of these corner rooms for meeting and chilling… Two of them are called Mahatma Gandhi Room and Nelson Mandela Room


Inside Nelson Mandela Room…


This is our Lounge, people sometimes work hereIMG_7496.JPG

This is our storage room for big meetings.


This is our dressing room for official meetings&congressional visiting. A room for dry clean clothes… Me sneaking pictures…


This is our supply room.. lots lots of supplies…


Our Kitchen.. The best thing: I am sitting next to it….


We had our Skype orientation with our HR from Boston Headquarter. Lunch is provided…We had our lunch together.. remotely.. Oxfam impressed me for being a well-organized organization.

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After Orientation, I met with my advisor/ Manager/ Boss, she is a Muslim. and she is super cool. She is down to the earth, she is wise and understanding. Trust builds quickly.
Well… This is my first day of work. I really enjoyed it… The task I am taking on is very challenging and interesting…





Micca’s first, second day in DC, Warning: not something important..

I am going to DC…  Well, let’s see what’s waiting.

Day 1

I arrived DC Dulles International Airport (Not pretty at all….) at 5:20 in the morning.  So I decided to grab a bite and charge my phone. The picture below cost me 14 dollars ( not recommend at all).



I decide to take a bus so that I can save the budget of my transportation cost for the day, which already is in my stomach.

When I step out of the airport and get to take a look at the airport from the outside… I suddenly have a strange feeling that I am in North Korea…. although I’ve never been there.IMG_7403.JPGIMG_7402.JPG

When I was waiting for the bus…


The bus took me 7.5 dollars to downtown DC, I had to take an Uber to the GW housing reception. It cost me 3.5.

This is where you should go and get your room key: Amsterdam Hall


Our dorm is in Munson Hall, when I walk in I am a little bit shocked… it looks like a  factory


Our dorm is OK since Laura has already done all the cleaning… So it is pretty good! haha… Senator Laura always serves the people.


Yes, I have my own wardrobe.


Yeah, I am chilling again…IMG_7414.JPG

Dale Ride DC interns officially have their first dinner together… Dane got the premium package… What a Dane???IMG_7423.JPG

Dane shared a burger with me …IMG_7425.JPG

We didn’t want to leave the building. This is how we look like when we are forced to go for a walk – Cal don’t care…


DC is splendid because any random building could be something humongous. 


Day 2

This is our breakfast of the second day. Me and Dane cooked together. Team work make the breakfast work.





IMG_0870-1IMG_1015IMG_1047Taking five college students and sending them across the country to live in D.C. for a summer, sounds like the beginning of a crazy MTV social experiment trailer. We are from different walks of life, venturing down many different paths, yet share the commonality of being driven and adventurous SMC students.


I did not anticipate the close bonds I would make during my time here in D.C. It has been so inspiring and motivating being around my peers, who are dedicated and hopeful for the future. We all have differing aspirations, but it has been so amazing to see and learn from our differences.


Paloma, Maguy, Marco, and Precious are key contributors in making my experience here in D.C. so memorable. I could not have picked a better group to travel across the country and survive rigorous internships with.


I not only have found friendships within the group I came here with, but also with my fellow interns in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education. Between the five OESE interns, we created a tight-knit support system. Every day we would joke through group chat, giggle in the intern cave, and eat lunch together.


Coming to D.C. has been an amazing experience, but sharing this experience with my peers is what has made it especially special.

-Wave 🙂

Budgeting 101.

Hey guys, it’s Precious here. Lately all of our posts on this blog have been about our exciting adventures here in D.C., but now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. That being, how to budget for your 2 months stay in D.C. First off I will tell you guys how I budgeted, and how that worked out for me.

When I first heard I was selected for the Dale Ride internship I was very exited. It would be the first time I would be staying in a state other than California. That meant a different weather environment, different culture, and a different way of living. Initially due to my naivety I thought the $2,000 scholarship I would receive from the Scholarship Foundation would be enough to sustain me for 2 months. But it was thanks to Wendi DeMorst, Sherri Bradford, Aurelia Rhymer, Janet Tercero, and Jaazer Webster who let me know that the $2,000 would only be able to cover things like transportation, food, and laundry. If I wanted to explore and spend money in D.C. I would have to start saving money on my own.


Aurelia really helped me a lot – being a previous Dale Ride intern she schooled me on what to expect when living in D.C. An important one being that the D.C. Metro tends to be expensive during the hours you will have to get to and from work. To expand on that, the  D.C. Metro has this thing called “peak hours”. That means there are certain hours during the day where the Metro is expensive, and that is the case because of how many people use the Metro to travel to and from work. A typical internship will ask for their interns to work a 9 AM – 6 PM shift. These hours happen to be during the peak hours for the Metro, so you will find yourself paying about $3-$4 dollars for a one way trip. Another thing about the Metro that you should expect is that you pay however far you’ve travelled. The further the trip, the more you pay. This is very different from the bus system in California where you can pay $1.25 and travel as far as you please. I would suggest budgeting the cost of the D.C. Metro in your trip. One thing I bought when I was in California was a pre-paid SmarTrip metro card (a card you need to use in order to ride the metro) so that once I got to D.C. I did not have to spend money buying one and just refill the card when I need to.


As an intern in D.C. you are expected to wear business professional clothing. Some places like the Senate, where I work, expect you to wear business professional attire at all times unless we are in recess then you can wear business casual clothing. I know not many people have many business professional clothing, so I would suggest with every paycheck you get you use some money to buy an outfit. I would try my best to avoid waiting till the last minute to buy all of your clothes as it will be very expensive. If you cannot afford buying business professional attire, there is a Career Closet at SMC which can provide you with clothing that you can use while you are in D.C. Do not expect the Dale Ride program to provide you clothing. That responsibility lies on you.


I first want to start off by saying I am so grateful for the Dale Ride program for providing me with free housing. When I talked to my intern friends they told me about how they have to pay for their housing which sucks because we are not paid as interns in D.C. Thank you to the Alumni Relations office, The Scholarship Foundation,the donors, and the Dale Ride program for looking out for me and giving me a place to stay. With that being said, as an intern you will still need to provide the household items you need in order to survive here in D.C. The dorms/apartments come furnished but you will need to get your own pots and pans if you plan on cooking, bedding, and other bathroom items while you are here. When I arrived I went to target and purchased these items at a reasonable price. Be sure to prepare your budget around getting household items once you arrive to D.C. so that you can at the least cook yourself a good meal!


The scholarship you receive from the Dale Ride program will be able to help you buy groceries for your place, and even purchase a meal or two outside. I would suggest being reasonable with your money – do not constantly go out to restaurants to eat if you know you did not budget that into your trip. Try to purchase groceries so you can avoid doing that; there is a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and CVS nearby so you can buy food and snacks. You will save a lot of money if you plan this way. For the most part I buy groceries and make my own food at home. Rarely do I ever spend money out to eat because it’s cheaper if I prepare my own food at home.

Anyway, these are some of the tips I have for you so you can budget your trip efficiently. A couple of unrelated tips I found out while being here is D.C. is is an early city. Expect most shops to be closed by 9 PM, 10 PM at the latest. On the escalators, especially at the metro stations, walk on the left side and stand on the right side of the escalator. Pack a lot of shorts, sunscreen, and bug spray as the humidity here is unbelievable.

That’s all for now. Until next time. Au revoir!

Precious visits her favorite vacation residence.

Hey guys!

My internship thus far has been amazing, and has presented me with amazing experiences that I will cherish and never forget. Not only have I been able to meet many senators, I was also given the opportunity to take a tour of the White House!

Getting a tour of the White House was by far one of the best experiences I’ve had here in D.C. When you’re in the house it’s almost unbelievable to know that people live in this home. The tour was a self guided tour, so you were allowed to walk around on your own and ask the Secret Service guards information about the room you were currently in. I went with a couple of the interns in Senator Boxer’s office, and we had an amazing time.

I would suggest that if you want to get a tour of the White House you ask the office you get placed in to book you a tour, or you book them about 3 months in advance as the tours fill up very quickly and are highly sought after.

Here are some pictures I took while I was on my tour. Hope you enjoy them.


Entrance to the White House (mi casa).
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The garden.
The garden.
Precious and Felipe!
The Green Room.
Inside the White House.
The dining room.
Red carpet gyal.
Red carpet gyal.
Precious with the Obeezys!
Felipe, where’s your tie?
Precious and Emma in front of the library!
Precious and Emma in front of the Seal!
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The balcony!
Senator Boxer’s interns in front of the Seal.
Leaving the White House.
Josh creeping in my picture.
Dropping the hottest mixtape.
Leaving the White House.
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Water fountain outside the White House.
Precious with Senator Marco Rubio outside of the Senators’ dining room.
Senator Boxer’s interns leaving the White House!

Until next time! Au revoir!

Eating Up all the Knowledge

Senate Democratic Rural Summit: Fostering the Next Generation of Rural America

Hosted by Senate Democrats

June 29, 2016


The Senate Democratic Rural Summit was a half day event that focused on the importance of a thriving rural America, for the nation’s economy. The summit was held in Dirksen Senate Office and chaired by Senators Mark Begich, from Arkansas, and Mark Pryor, from Arizona. The summit featured Democratic senators, business owners, farmers, and other interested parties in rural America. The rationale for convening the SEnate Democratic Rural Summit was to engage various stakeholders (i.e., Margaret May Health, Casey Institute, InterBel Telephone Cooperative, Celestial Roots Far, Rios Farming Company, and Worfarm Institute) in a conversation about new collaborations in revitalizing rural America and discuss best practices in utilizing existing programs and policies (i.e., Rural Business Development Grants program, Rural Energy for America program, FAST Act, and Rural Education Achievement Program).

Distinguished Guests

  • Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Senator Klobuchar, Steering and Outreach Chair
  • Senator Reid, Democratic Leader
  • Senator Dubin, Assistant Democratic Leader
  • Senator Schumer, Vice Chairman of the Democratic Conference
  • Senator Stabenow, Ranking, Agriculture Committee

Main Focuses

  • Economic Challenges and Solutions in Rural America
  • Investment Opportunities in Rural America

Panel 1

Economic Challenges and Solutions in Rural America, was the first panel disussion topic. Panel 1 was moderated by Senator Donnelly, Rural Summit Co-Chair, and Doug O’Brian, Executive Director, White House Rural Council. Lead Participant, Senator Manchin, Co-Chair, Senate Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus. Below are discussion points of Panel 1:

  • Lack of health care infrastructure
  • Lack of appeal for businesses to go to rural communities
  • Hospital closures
  • Rural poverty at an all-time high
  • Rising opioid addiction
  • A need to build human capital
  • Need for technological access
  • Needed investments in rural communities, to help national economy

Panel 2

The topic was investment opportunities in rural America. Panel 2 was moderated by Senator Heitkamp, Rural Outreach Chair, and Senator Tester, Member, Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. The lead participant was Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary of Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture. The main focuses of Panel 2 are stated below:

  • Technological effect on local farmers
  • Digital divide
  • Rural America participation with start-ups
  • Rural rehabilitation
  • Housing investments
  • Loss of workers to urban areas

Take Aways

It was amazing to learn about the importance rural communities have on the nation’s economy. Working for the Rural Education Achievement Program, it is beneficial to learn about the challenges the communities we serve face. In cause of this, as a team, we are able to better serve the school districts in rural communities. The summit also enphasised the importance education has on rural communities. Not only are school districts the heart of rural communities, it as well fosters the youth who grow up there. The youths in rural communities are the future of that community. With a strong educational foundation these youths will assist in making the rural community thrieve.

trickle down economics…at Reagan National

Paloma  Vasari Blog Post:

Dale Ride Intern

….Ok let’s see, I’ve got everything with me and I’m starving.

As I walk off the plane I see Wave ahead of me her hand signaling ‘this way’. For a minute there I found myself in a Bugs Bunny Cartoon-something like a scene from Wackiki Wabbit the point in which Bugs Bunny is trapped on a desert Island. I begin to imagine my companion as a juicy rotisserie chicken on a spit…Waves arm a lovely golden chicken wing.. urhmm..but I digress.

You’ll be happy to know Wave is alive and well and having a fabulous time at the Department of Education (its the first time I discuss this publicly-quite soothing).

Just a few minutes into my arrival in Washington DC-home of The Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument…  I spot an American Institution: A Cheeseburger Joint! I literally felt my stomach smile. Wave and I sat down for a couple of cheeseburgers, fries and fresh squeezed lemonade!IMG_1656

Yikes! $35.00! Each! + the $60 bucks for luggage we didn’t expect, + the cab ride? $#*@! I suppose we could have shared our burger…we are splitting the cab ride about $30 greenbacks.

$110 lighter we head for George Washington University in the Foggy Bottom section of the city. As our cab drives through tree lined streets I recall the beautiful intersections I had photocopied to my mind.

Students in flip flops, backpacks around their shoulders, dressed in Polo-all making their way into Whole Foods Market…wow, Whole Foods, the only grocery store I spot in the neighborhood.

Hmm..If we shop here it will be whole scholarship instead of paycheck. No worries, I have my maps with me and I already identified parts of the city where I can find a Safeway, Trader Joe’s and local ethnic markets found in the  Mount Pleasant neighborhood off 16th street. The community has welcomed refugees for years diversity of population and prices. Plenty of mom and pop stores with affordable prices.

There is Independence Ave! ‘If the cabbie knows what he is doing..he will take Constitution Ave, circle around the monument, hit Pennsylvania Ave and turn on H and 22nd street to Amsterdam Hall-our destination’ my mind flashed.

Sure enough onto Constitution and there before me stood this Beauty! Passing it, I caught Wave, a broad smile and countless possibilities zigzagging across her eyes, as we looked on together.


We are really here!