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Madeira student advocates for climate change and HBCUs during Capitol Hill internship

September 28, 2021

Amanda Oliver ‘22 gained excellent experience during her junior year Co-Curriculum internship and impressed her office so much that she was invited back to work over the summer in an elevated role.

Amanda interned with Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and immediately made substantial contributions relating to climate policy.

“In only my third week as an intern, I wrote a letter to the Biden administration about establishing a climate change research facility at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), in honor of Congressman Alcee Hastings. As a Black high school student, being able to advocate for HBCUs and the importance of climate change on behalf of the Democratic Caucus to the President of the United States was an incredible and unique opportunity.”

In addition to her climate change policy work, Amanda also led stakeholder meetings, performed research for the Congresswoman’s constituents, and wrote social media content for the office. 

Amanda appreciated the wide range of tasks, from communications to policy to advocacy. She noted, “I was able to build on many different types of skill sets and become  a better writer, conservationist, and analyst.”

Amanda was so impressive in her role that she was invited back as Deputy Intern Coordinator over the summer. 

“I was in charge of onboarding all the incoming interns, who ranged from high school students to graduate students, and fostering a sense of community, especially in a virtual setting. I also crafted letters to Secretary Buttigieg and wrote memos for Congressional briefings.

Amanda had never worked in politics before. Because of Co-Curriculum, she not only gained valuable experience, but also contributed to policy in meaningful ways and supervised college interns while still being a high school student. 

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