Intern name: Elliot Edeburn
Major(s)/Minor(s): Political Science and Hispanic Studies double major
Title/place of internship/fellowship, etc.: Policy Intern at the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota/PODER and apart of Brandl Scholarship
How did you find out about your internship/fellowship/etc.? I was a Jackson fellow my sophomore year and was familiar with the Summer Leadership Fellows. In terms of Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM), I was able to connect with a Staff Attorney who was a Bennie. The Summer Leadership Fellows team also helped me to connect with the CEO of PODER, who is a Johnnie.
What were your responsibilities at your internship/fellowship/etc.? ILCM: Update and organize partner lists, update and organize info on local elected officials, attend meetings with community leaders and local politicians. Draft and write talking points to be used with strategic advocacy work.
PODER: Lead volunteer recruitment efforts, write a newsletter, and conduct 1-on-1 tutoring sessions.
What was the most beneficial aspect of your experience? The most beneficial aspect of the experience was definitely getting a better insight into the policy realm and how important policy decisions are informed and made. Meeting with local community partners and elected officials (virtually) was an incredibly interesting experience.
What was the most surprising thing you experienced or learned during your internship/fellowship/etc.? I was surprised at just how hostile the current administration is to the immigrant and refugee community, especially during a pandemic. Throughout my internship, there were consistent attempts to undermine the current asylum system, expedite deportations, and slow down the already notoriously slow legal immigration process.
How can you apply what you experienced at your internship/fellowship/etc. in the future? My experience with ILCM was eye-opening and I will certainly take some of the lessons that I learned regarding strategic advocacy, like organizing a strategic advocacy plan and finding consensus in talking points. The lessons I learned from this internship built a solid foundation for future work, which I hope to center around immigrant and refugee advocacy work.
I hope to use my tutoring skills from PODER as an English Teaching Assistant in Colombia for a year after I graduate.
What advice would you offer to future students interested in this experience? Be curious, ask questions, and reach out to people. Have interesting conversations, and seek opportunities and growth!