UA Students from across Alaska have joined the Senate Bipartisan Working Group for the 27th Legislative session. The fours students are: Grace Abbott, interning for Senator Johnny Ellis’; Thomas Priestly, interning for Senator Bill Wielechowski; Katya Wassillie, interning for Senator Bettye Davis; and Shyan Ely, interning for Senator Lesil McGuire.
“Interning for the State of Alaska has been a whirlwind; and it’s just been a few weeks. The amount of information and pace of the Legislature has been, and will continue to be, a source of learning that I would not have been able to get anywhere else,” stated Presley in a press release.
Senator Ellis, a founder of the intern program, is excited about the opportunites presented to students and how the program can benefit both sides.
“The Legislative Internship Program continues to provide Alaska’s young people with the unique experience of learning about their state government by taking part in it. As a strong supporter of this program, I truly believe that it has the capability of providing a mutually beneficial experience for both the interns and their legislative offices,” Senator Ellis stated.
The UA Legislative Internship Program was founded in 1988 and provides UA students the opportunity to work in a Senator or Representative’s office for the legislative session. The program also includes weekly seminars with Senators, Representatives, administrative and private sector employees about the student’s experience with the program and advice about entering politics as a career.
The feedback on the program has been positive for both sides, both Senators and students praising the time together.
“So far my experience has been amazing. Thus far, I’m learning everything that I’d hoped for with this internship by gaining first-hand experience,” said Wassillie. “I already value the contribution it has made to my education.”