The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is pleased to welcome a new cohort of young leaders to Washington, D.C., for the 2021 Capital Semester on Leadership + the American Presidency.
Held in partnership with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute, the Leadership + the American Presidency program offers future leaders in public service and politics the opportunity to explore their leadership potential through the lens of past American presidents.
In just the first three weeks of the program, participants attended several exciting events to kick off their semester in the nation’s capital. On Aug. 28, they joined a “Moonlight Monuments Tour” to explore their new city and see historical sights like the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.
“The monuments tour really reinforced my appreciation for American history,” said Biola University student Mickaela Ramos ’21.
Over the course of 13 weeks, participants from Hungary and the U.S. intern at various policy groups, congressional offices and think tanks across D.C. while taking courses for academic credit in international economics and government at George Mason University (GMU). Taught by world-class TFAS faculty including TFAS Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Anne Bradley, Richard Benedetto, Karen Czarnecki ’88, Gabriel Scheinmann and The Honorable Glenn Nye, these courses are designed to complement students’ internship experiences by teaching them how economic freedom can contribute to human flourishing.
Ramos shared that in the first month of the program, she has already noticed a difference in her leadership skills and perspective on global policy issues. She attributes this growth to her internship and TFAS coursework.
My internship experience coupled with my economics and public policy classes has really allowed me to build my skills not only as a writer and a leader, but as a citizen of this country.” – Mickaela Ramos ’21, Biola University
“I came to TFAS looking for the opportunity to hone my skills in leadership in Washington, D.C., and explore my future career,” Ramos said. “My internship experience coupled with my economics and public policy classes has really allowed me to build my skills not only as a writer and a leader, but as a citizen of this country.”
In addition to their courses and internships, students also have attended site briefings at government agencies and professional development seminars with TFAS alumni. On Aug. 31, the cohort was joined by several TFAS alumni for a networking dinner, which allows students to build connections with young professionals who were once in their shoes.
TFAS alumni in attendance were Sarah Markley ’16, policy analyst for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Patrick McGarry Jr., regulatory associate at Stateside Associates, and William Dumais III, government relations manager at the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
Western Michigan University student and Central Union Mission intern Scott Verduzco ’21 shared that the opportunity to meet these alumni working in policy and government has inspired him to aim for success in his future and make a difference in his community.
“The most impactful part of the semester so far has been meeting with the TFAS alumni who have talked to us about their experiences in the program,” Verduzco said. “It’s been very helpful to hear their advice and raise the bar for my career and the change that I want to make in the world.”
The most impactful part of the semester so far has been meeting with the TFAS alumni who can talk to us about their experiences in the program. It’s been very helpful to hear their advice and raise the bar for my career and the change that I want to make in the world.” – Scott Verduzco ’21, Western Michigan University
Students also had the chance to meet with their mentors on Sept. 9 during a mentor breakfast at TFAS headquarters. Over the next several weeks, students will continue to meet with mentors in their fields of interest who can offer career guidance, review their resume and share insider tips for success in Washington.
On Sept. 14, the fall class networked with TFAS alumni and supporters at the 31st Annual TFAS Scholarship Dinner. They had the chance to meet the 2021 Congressional Leadership Award recipient, Sen. Dan Sullivan, and hear his advice for establishing a successful career in public service.
In October, Capital Semester students will continue to participate in exclusive briefings and professional development seminars, including a congressional briefing with TFAS alumni congressmen Rep. David Kustoff ’89 of Tennessee and Rep. David Rouzer ’93, ’94 of North Carolina, a Braver Angels Debate, a “Building Your Brand” event, a briefing at the Coolidge Presidential Foundation and a visit to the Embassy of Sweden.
For up-to-the-moment fall program coverage, please follow us on social media: @TFASorg.