I only made coffee once, and it was for myself. This was my first internship and I was fully prepared to be going on coffee runs, filing and copying papers, and all of the other monotonous tasks that you often hear interns complain about. I was definitely in for a surprise! I had been on the lookout for a hands-on internship that would expose me to advocacy work and that would also teach me more about the nonprofit sector, and that’s exactly what I got as an intern with the League.
I got to spend my first day connecting with other active and involved people from nonprofits all over the state at Maryland Nonprofit’s Legislative Preview event. From that point on, I was constantly being exposed to fresh experiences that “kept me on my toes” to say the least...
Colleen Herrmann, LWVMD Intern (left); Ashley Oleson, LWVMD Administrative Director (center), Nadia Monnier, LWVMD Intern (right)
One day I would be working on testimony updates, making sure that League members, and all Marylanders, were kept in the loop about the League’s advocacy work. The next day I would be helping to prepare materials for Legislative Day, spontaneously sitting in on a meeting with Costa Rican Congresswomen, or working on LWVMD’s 99th Birthday donation drive. No matter what task was assigned, they all felt meaningful.
Interning for the League has truly been an experience like no other because you’re able to directly see, and feel the difference that your work makes. Just one example of this was when Ashley, Colleen, and myself were at the SCOTUS Rally to End Gerrymandering. A man attending the event came up to Colleen and I to thank us for LWVMD’s Voter Guides. He was so appreciative of the League for just one of the many publications it makes every year, and that appreciation was from just one of hundreds of people that the League engages with. This may sound cliché, but it warmed my heart to hear it, and that warmth was sorely needed as we had just spent a few hours rallying outside of the Supreme Court
I knew before starting this internship that LWVMD has spent decades bettering Maryland with its outreach and advocacy work, but being able to actually take part in that work has been an absolute privilege. There’s no doubt that the lessons I’ve learned during these past three months will be pivotal to my success after college and beyond. For that, I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity, thank you!in 40 Degree weather (the fact that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was on the speaker
list helped too).
2019 LWVMD Intern
Hood College ‘20
Honestly, I’m not sure what I was expecting from my internship with the League of Women Voters of Maryland. I do know, however, that I never expected it would lead to sitting in on committee meetings with members of the Maryland General Assembly (MDGA), meeting a delegation of Costa Rican Congresswomen, and coming within a few inches of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The LWVMD has given me the opportunity to do everything from using social media to educate citizens on MDGA happenings to rallying to end gerrymandering on the steps of the Supreme Court. Along the way, I’ve become familiar with the streets (and tunnels!) of Annapolis.
The League’s fight for voting rights has been one of my favorite parts of this internship. I sat in numerous committee hearings where Nancy Soreng spoke brilliantly in favor of reforms to our electoral system to make it more democratic and more accessible to all Marylanders. I’ve always been passionate about redistricting reform, but my time here has shown me just how important (and just how difficult to achieve!) redistricting reform actually is. Something that should be a no-brainer, such as making sure Maryland’s Congressional delegation actually represents the people of Maryland, is incredibly controversial. This session, every bill introduced to the General Assembly that would reform redistricting for the future received either an unfavorable report or died in committee. We only have one session left to put redistricting reform on the ballot before the 2020 Census triggers the next redistricting cycle, so it has been incredibly frustrating to watch this happen! It has been such a privilege to learn about redistricting from someone actually on the Emergency Commission on Sixth Congressional District Gerrymandering, and I am inspired by Ashley Oleson’s work with the Commission and her optimistic outlook. Even if the Commission’s bill does not pass this session, their work has set a precedent and serves as an example for the next attempt at redrawing the districts.
Over the past 90 days, I have had the opportunity to meet some incredible people and to work for an incredible organization. I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have had through this internship and for the support and generosity that League members have shown me throughout my time here! Thank you to Ashley Oleson for showing me how to work hard and put in the extra mile for long-term results. Thank you to Nancy Soreng for being an example of true dedication and advocacy for what’s right. Finally, thank you to Nadia Monnier for being the best co-intern I could’ve hoped for! I have spent the past 90 days working with so many dedicated people who do their work out of the goodness of their hearts and their passion for the issues. It’s hard to truly describe how this internship has impacted me, but I know that the lessons the League has taught me are lessons I will carry with me through the rest of college and beyond.
2019 LWVMD Intern
University of Maryland, College Park ‘21