Office of Massachusetts State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Boston, MA
I interned remotely for the Massachusetts legislature under Massachusetts State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier. Rep. Farley-Bouvier, who represents the City of Pittsfield, prioritizes policies that support women, people with disabilities, immigrants and K-12 education. Her legislative aides, who were my internship advisors, organize caucuses, communicate directly with constituents, and compile and summarize relevant information for policy research.
Rep. Farley-Bouvier’s policy work pays special attention to child care and family livelihood as a whole. She has advocated for and passed legislation supporting, for example, children in foster care, mental health care in public schools, and mobility rights for immigrants.
I attended virtual briefings several times a week, on which I took notes and wrote and voice-recorded one-page summaries. These briefings were hosted largely by research and advocacy groups seeking legislation that supported their target demographics. Rep. Farley-Bouvier, whose schedule cannot accommodate many briefings, referred to my summaries and voice memos to gauge her constituent’s current needs. I found these briefings to be incredibly rewarding experiences—never before had I felt so connected to policy research and development.
Alongside attending meetings and drafting occasional social media graphics, I wrote, designed and edited a YouTube video outlining 2022’s primary and general election voting process. I discovered what it takes to write a concise and simple video script with engaging pacing. Because this video was a long-term project open to flexibility, I found myself communicating with my supervisor throughout each week to receive edits and structural feedback.
This internship served as a huge stepping stone toward my passion for child advocacy, specifically for accessible and equitable educational opportunities. My biggest career goal lies in securing equal access to academic and career exploration for all children.
Before this internship, my post-graduation plan involved attending law school and working as an attorney specializing in child advocacy. Through this work, I hoped to provide legal and educational support to children from low-income backgrounds. I now realize that this goal allows for work outside of the legal field. Working for a think tank or directly in legislation are strong opportunities for furthering child advocacy research and action. I was especially inspired by my internship advisors. As legislative aides, they work to connect constituents with their state representatives, demonstrating what it takes to effect tangible changes within the communities we care about. I was also inspired by the conversational substance of the formal sessions and briefings I attended. The speakers at these meetings were responsible for determining many new state policies, and I had the opportunity to learn about their missions and think critically about legislative issues. These speakers inspired me to consider pursuing their line of work—to stand in the front lines of advocacy, dedicating my career to civil rights innovation.
I thank the Estate of George Mead for providing the resources to pursue and complete this internship. I also thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for helping me through the internship process and enhancing my overall experience with career guidance.