The summer of 2018 was a wonderful time for our interns! With a myriad of internships and experiences where we learned about our personal and professional growth. Over the course of living together at UC Washington Center and attending Cal in the Capital organized summer events such as the pool party at the Watergate Hotel, the Pentagon Tour, the public service project at the Capital Area Food Bank, our cohort connected with each other and developed a sense of community. Some of our summer highlights were meeting and networking with Cal alumni at the D.C. Alumni Club Annual Picnic, Annual Gala, and Dr. McGinnis’ annual barbeque, where one of Cal in the Capital’s original founding member spoke about the evolution of Cal in the Capital over the past 53 years. Our cohort shared their own individual experiences with each other this summer and soon will bring D.C. back to the greater Cal community upon the beginning of the new academic year.
Our time this summer brought us meaningful lessons and insightful knowledge that we hope to bring back to share and prepare our next cohort of interns with the tips and tricks around the ins and out of D.C., opportunities to maximize internship experience, and enriching personal and professional development opportunities. Cal in the Capital prepared us for our summer in D.C. and we aspire to continue that legacy as we lead the program into our 54th cohort of interns next summer. Go bears!
Q&A with Donor and President of the DC Cal Alumni Club Kathy Molina, BS Conservation of Natural Resources, MA Education
How were you involved in Cal in the Capital?
I became involved with the CITC program when I became President of the Cal Alumni Club of Washington DC a little over 2 1/2 years ago. Our club had been donating to CITC every year and I became personally interested in making sure the donations continue and in helping students find internships.
Why do you continue to be involved in Cal in the Capital? What do you get from continuing to be involved?
It's been gratifying to see the program grow so much and meet the students personally. This year I became a mentor which was truly a wonderful experience. I think as a mentor I was supposed to inspire the interns assigned to me but I think it was the other way around - They all inspired me! And I ended up getting to know many more students than those who were assigned to me (and my husband), at our various club events, including the Culture Club, Happy Hours and Culture Club Events. The students really shined at our Annual Picnic where they were able to connect with Cal's newly admitted students from this area, allaying their fears about going to school so far away and not knowing anyone when they stepped onto campus for the first time.
Why is it important for alumni to be involved and how can they get involved?
I think if you ask the students they will tell you that alumni involvement has been critical, from finding them internships, supervising them at work and helping them get to know the "ropes" in DC to mentoring them while here, giving advice and guiding them in future career choices. Alumni can also be involved by contributing to Cal's 50th Anniversary Endowment or to CITC directly. The earnings from the endowment will be used to offset housing costs in D.C. for CITC interns. This is an important program, which produces some of Cal's best ambassadors and will need some alumni to help it to continue and thrive.
UC Berkeley Class of 2019
Political Economy Major
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
Washington DC is the place where change happens, or at least the place where nationwide change can happen.This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to go to a civil rights coalition meeting where I got to see first hand how this community keeps each other informed and supports the work each is doing. The sense of community I have encountered gives me hope in the work we are doing and the work I wish to continue. Knowing that there is community actively working towards protecting the most vulnerable individuals in our country is why I am excited to be in DC and contribute to their work.
Juan Barrera Alcazar
UC Berkeley Class of 2018
Psychology Major, Education Minor
Human Rights Campaign
At HRC, I was able to hear stories from some of the most vulnerable communities and that has allowed me to understand how I can be a better ally. I heard many of these eye-opening stories during the #keepfamiliestogether march, where thousands of people came together for one purpose. Wherever I go next, whether it’s back home or back to Cal, I am taking back a better understanding of what community building means and what it looks like on an activist scale. Friends, coworkers, and family are part of my community and it’s the force that helps me figure out what my next step in life will be. Both UC Berkeley and Cal in the Capital have been transformative experiences in my life. They have exposed me, an immigrant gay man from Long Beach, California, to countless opportunities that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Now, with everything that I have learned and the connections I’ve made, I can share this knowledge with people from my community and cultivate relationships to increase Latinx representation in institutions like UC Berkeley and in cities like Washington, D.C.
UC Berkeley Class of 2019
Conservation and Resource Studies Major
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
Out of the many places to intern this summer, I am grateful to be in Washington DC because of the strong Cal Alumni Club here. The Cal Alumni Club of Washington DC is comprised of alumni with diverse experiences and careers who voluntarily host regular events ranging from museum visits to happy hours. Although I was 2,800 miles from California, I felt overwhelmingly welcomed by the Cal Alumni. Cal Alumni interaction is vital in providing mentors who will advocate for, empower and encourage you through their guidance. This internship has given me a glimpse of the life of a working professional and insight into what to strive for post-graduation. The alumni have taught me to take the opportunities available to me because they are opportunities for growth. My mentor Kathy hosted a brunch for a few interns and me at her apartment! This brunch became a reflective time to recall our experience working as interns and the lessons learned from our four weeks here. It was a special time to learn more about the work of other interns and to gain wisdom from her experience living in DC. After the few connections I had with alumni, I am excited to become alumni myself to connect and give back to the Cal community. Go Bears!
Rachel Klein-Kirtcher, Partnership for Public Service --
“Janelle very quickly understood there could be different roles and levels of work available to her as an intern, and adjusted her expectations with an open mind. I had the opportunity to brainstorm with her on a brand new project that called upon her to be strategic, tech-savvy and to use her writing and graphic skills. She elevated our end product beyond my initial vision and brought value add to the project. Her attention to detail, responsiveness to feedback and deadlines and overall output was at a higher level than I've seen from some full time staff members and she exceeded my expectations. Would love to have worked with her longer!”
Sonja Breda, Girls Inc. --
"The Girls Inc. Public Policy team was fortunate to have had Morgan Hartig as a member of our team this summer. We found Morgan to be a highly insightful champion of girls' rights with a great deal of expertise in the field of violence prevention. We learned from her experiences advocating at the grassroots level within Berkley schools and this knowledge was a huge asset to our National Policy work. At many times she challenged our thinking and helped us refine our understandings of how sexual harassment affects the lives of girls. She is a strong, smart, and bold advocate and we are grateful for her contributions this summer."
To date, 3,968 CITC interns have performed 1,697,689 hours of service over the past 53 years. This summer, 2018, 83 interns contributed 33,200 hours to our grand total!