I’m very excited to be an NCLD policy intern through the BroadFutures program, which provides mentorship and workplace training. I received a BA in business management from Goucher College while awarded the Presidential Merit Scholarship. This spring, I interned at the Vegetarian Resource Group, a national nonprofit based in Baltimore that provides educational materials and outreach including a quarterly journal. I found it very rewarding to help review scholarship applications from inspirational high school seniors from across the country. Additionally, I wrote blog pieces, conducted product research, and happily taste-tested new foods.
In middle school, I was diagnosed with an executive function disorder. I faced difficulties in completing work, specifically around open-ended writing assignments and anxiety surrounding my high school transition. My initial frustration came from being misunderstood by the majority of my teachers as a twice-exceptional student. I felt I should’ve been placed in a higher math class, and thought I was falling behind. I wish I had the self-confidence to explain that I needed either more time or a way to lessen test-related stress so that I could better demonstrate my knowledge. I set a high bar for my work, and when I felt an assignment wasn’t up to my standards, I sometimes wouldn’t hand it in. Through my role now, I hope to help policymakers become better at recognizing the crucial difference between lack of effort and the burden of high expectations and self-criticism.
As I entered my upperclassman years in high school, I found success in athletics and played on state-championship-winning teams for both varsity volleyball and track. I was fortunate to be able to attend a liberal arts college that had small class sizes, more understanding professors and the ability for me to run Division 3 cross-country.
At NCLD, I am looking forward to attending coalition meetings, meetings with Capitol Hill staff and helping plan events. I want to share my background to make a difference with NCLD’s work in improving self-advocacy skills and allowing everyone the capacity to exercise self-determination in personalized learning environments.
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