TFAS D.C. Summer Programs are just around the corner and that means more than 300 young leaders will soon descend on Washington, D.C., ready to soak up all of the lessons, opportunities and experiences afforded to them. Who better to distill advice and knowledge on these rising leaders than TFAS alumni volunteers?
TFAS alumni volunteers play a vital role in the success of our programs and have a lasting impact on the lives of students. TFAS alumnus Jeremy Harrell ’07, PPF ’10, knows the value of TFAS volunteers firsthand. He was a student in the TFAS D.C. Summer Programs in 2007, and in 2010, he was selected as a TFAS Public Policy Fellow. During those programs, Harrell benefited from volunteer speakers, mentors and internship hosts who gave generously of their time and expertise to assist him as he navigated through his TFAS Journey from a student intern to his established career today as managing director of policy at ClearPath.
I want to give back so other students can take advantage of the experience and grow into thoughtful, pragmatic leaders. I want to help position them to have the best impact on society. – Jeremy Harrell ’07, PPF ’10
Now that the tables have turned, Harrell pays it forward by volunteering as a TFAS mentor, a panelist for our professional development seminars, an alumni roundtable participant and as a small group host. We talked to Harrell about why he makes time to give back to TFAS each year.
Q&A with Alumni Volunteer Jeremy Harrell
Why do you find it worthwhile to volunteer for TFAS?
JH: TFAS has given me so much over the course of my career. I would not be where I am now without the TFAS experience and network. I want to give back so other students can take advantage of the experience and grow into thoughtful, pragmatic leaders. I want to help position them to have the best impact on society.
I’ve also gained much – professionally and personally – by participating in the program. I have met friends, future hires and colleagues by volunteering with TFAS. Everyone may start at the bottom, but TFAS yields fast movers. Multiple “students” I’ve met through the program are now top policy advisors on the Hill or influential staff within the executive branch.
Have you made any lasting connections through your TFAS volunteer work?
JH: Absolutely, I made life-long friends with a handful of people in my 2007 program, as well as TFAS staff and fellow alumni. Professionally, friends and colleagues I’ve met along the way have helped me secure multiple jobs, contributed to my success in those roles, and allowed me to further foster the growth of subsequent students. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the mentor program, making friends and professional connections through my direct mentee and their fellow students.
Tell us about the students you typically interact with as a TFAS volunteer.
JH: TFAS attracts smart, driven and focused students. The network is strong because it is comprised – from top to bottom – of some of the most talented individuals in public policy.
Be A TFAS Volunteer
Are you a D.C.-based alumnus ready to give back as a TFAS volunteer? See below for our volunteer needs this summer and fill out our survey to indicate your interest. Filling out the form does not commit you to volunteer. A TFAS staff member will follow up to discuss the specifics about the opportunities in which you’ve indicated interest.
If you have any questions, please contact Dana Faught, associate director of recruitment, admissions and operations, at dfaught@TFAS.org.
Ways to Volunteer with TFAS
Internship Site Host: Are you looking for an energetic and dedicated summer intern for your office this summer? You can serve as an internship site supervisor for one of the 2019 TFAS students.
Alumni Roundtable Participant: This roundtable dinner and discussion will be an opportunity for you and other local alumni to interact with students participating in the summer program. Students benefit from hearing from alumni in a relaxed atmosphere of networking and conversation.
Mentor a Student: The mentor program is an optional opportunity for students to be matched with a professional in their field. Mentors connect with students prior to their arrival in Washington, meet for the first time at our “Meet Your Mentor” breakfast, and then continue to meet and correspond for the duration of the program. Students are matched with area professionals who can offer career guidance by reviewing their resume, sharing insider tips or offering general advice.
Small Group Host: Host a group of 5-15 students for a visit to your office (or the TFAS office if you prefer) to learn about your company and what it takes to work in your industry.
Professional Development Panel Speaker: Every summer we host a variety of professional development panels on multiple topics. These panels are designed to complement the internship experience and promote professional growth. Past topics have included: resumes, networking, job searching, graduate school admissions and financial planning.
Large Site Briefing or Tour Host: Host a larger group of students (25+) for a site briefing or tour at your office. Example sites would be: Capitol Hill, government agencies, large corporations or nonprofits.