Where are you from and what school did you attend?
I'm from Union Township, New Jersey, and I attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
What did you study?
I graduated with a BA in Political Science and Journalism/Media Studies (double major) and had a minor in Spanish.
What is your typical day like?
On a typical work day, I arrive at the office at 8am and get started on candidate research. This usually involves reviewing candidates' campaign websites and presence on social media outlets to determine how they stand on various issues on our Political Courage Test. Lately, I've also been working to help update the website with biographical information. After the work day ends, I'll usually eat dinner in the lodge and spend the remainder of the day reading, running, and/or relaxing.
What special projects are you working on?
Right now, I'm researching candidates for the Montana State Legislature to gather biographical information and update issue positions.
How do you think this internship will help you in the future?
As a student of political science, I think this internship gives me a new perspective on the political process. Researching candidates and hearing about different parties and ideologies is a good reminder that there is far more than the two-party system to which we often limit ourselves. Working with Project Vote Smart has made me more aware of both the expansive nature of American politics and the narrow view of it much of our country's general population has. In embarking on my professional life (which may well involve politics), I feel such a broadened view of the political sphere will make me better able to perceive others' ideas and shape my own personal ideology.
Why do you feel Project Vote Smart is important?
I came here because I believe Project Vote Smart is a valuable contributor to the United States and its people. Too often, we are so blinded by rhetoric and partisanship that it seems democracy is impossible. Oftentimes, we who are without wealth or influence may feel powerless. But this organization is a resource that empowers the average American and a reminder that this is a government of, for and by the PEOPLE, not the parties.