The art of advocacy: Finding meaning in policy

Added April 25th, 2018 by MLPP | Email This Entry Email This Entry

I have had the incredible experience of interning with the Michigan League for Public Policy during this never-ending winter. The people I have met, and the knowledge and heartbreak (from researching student homelessness) I have experienced, provided me with immense opportunity to reflect on my personal life and be grateful for what I have. Working at the League has enabled me to research topics I had never really thought of before,  providing me the opportunity to find my passion—advocating for those less fortunate than I am.

Education has always been something extremely important to me and I will forever be grateful to my parents for supporting me and granting me with the opportunity to receive the education that I have. Last summer I had an internship with a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that focused on providing support to youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) to help them find employment. Upon starting at the League I had the opportunity to pick what I wanted to focus on, so naturally, I picked something closely related to education—student homelessness. These two internships have allowed me to gain a better appreciation for what I have and drove me to further shape my future goals to help students that have not had the same opportunities I have had.

Collaborating with the big-hearted individuals at the League and the incredibly passionate people I have met throughout the past four months has contributed to the development of my long-term goal to start a nonprofit to advocate for students in Michigan to receive the best education they can, while having a stable environment to thrive in. Life is not all about academic education, but also about what is learned outside of the classroom, through work, sports, clubs or whatever else students may be involved in. Learning should not just be confined to a classroom, although the classroom plays a big part in the overall structure, there is so much opportunity out there to learn and grow as individuals. Often times people look at the bigger picture of how we can help, and focus their resources abroad or nationally, but it is extremely important to understand that so much can be done much closer to home.

During my time at the League, I have worked on the 2018 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book to help determine that the economic, health, education, and family and community sectors in the state of Michigan still have a long way to grow. To better the national standards, we must first start by bettering the standards in Michigan.

Thank you to everyone at the League for the huge hearts you have for advocating for the people of Michigan and for accepting me into your family. Special thanks to Alicia Guevara Warren, my incredible boss, for providing me with this amazing opportunity to grow and learn so much about the disparities in Michigan. There was never a day that I didn’t look forward to coming to the office to see what problem was being tackled that day. Thank you to Rachel, Gilda, my fellow intern Spike, and everyone else at the League for providing such a fun, hardworking environment to advocate for change. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to intern with the League this semester. I will never forget all of the things I have been able to accomplish with the help, advice and guidance of the advocates at the League!

— Alexa Krout

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