Summarizing my SBCTC legislative internship
In December of 2020, I was notified that I had been selected to serve as one of two legislative interns for the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and my internship would begin in January of 2021. Initially, I was very excited for the opportunity, but I was intimidated because I had little experience with the legislative process prior to my internship. While that experience was limited, I had plenty of experience interacting with and advocating for my fellow students in community and technical colleges.
Shortly into my internship, I realized that extensive experience with the legislative process was not a necessity. If not experience, then what was a necessity? A necessity for the internship was a genuine interest and appreciation for the community or technical college education and experience. For many students, community and technical colleges are more than just an education; they are an opportunity to find and connect with your community.
Because my experience as a community college student at Skagit Valley College has had such a positive impact on my life, I feel passionate about giving back to my community. Through my legislative internship with SBCTC I have been able to give back to students throughout the state through testimony and connecting with students.
Although session only actively occurs for a small portion of the year, student advocacy does not stop there. I believe that sharing my story and experiences with other students motivates other students to become actively involved in legislation and networking with student agencies.
My internship has taught me more things than I ever could have imagined. Not only did I learn about the legislative process and testified for bills, but I gained a more robust understanding of the agencies in Washington that advocate for students in community and technical colleges. Student leadership is particularly important to these agencies and to legislators because students are able to provide firsthand experience and feedback on what is successful or needs improvement surrounding the college experience.