Winter 2015| Posse D.C. Quarterly


Summer Leadership Awards Enable Scholars to Explore Careers

Pepperdine Scholar Khaliun Amarburen (right) with Piper Anne Wind Campbell, the United States ambassador to Mongolia.

Sewanee Scholar Fridien Nana Tchoukoua.

Twelve Posse D.C. Scholars were recipients of Posse Summer Leadership Award funding in 2014. This funding allows Scholars to experience important professional development opportunities that are either minimally paid or unpaid. This year’s recipients interned at government agencies; traveled abroad to Haiti, Italy and Mongolia; and volunteered with nonprofit organizations focused on tropical conservation, poverty alleviation, and strengthening civic participation, among other issues. Below are highlights from several summer experiences.

University of Wisconsin-Madison sophomore Diana Sanchez interned with the D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB), through which she explored her passion for education reform. Diana calculated and tracked expulsion and attendance rates, created presentations, and served as the point person for school profiles, including assisting school leaders to correct any discrepancies. 

“I think what I gained most was confidence in my ability to promote change," says Diana. "This internship gave me the opportunity to voice my ideas and the chance to create my own proposals for D.C. education reform.”

Pepperdine University junior Khaliun Amarburen secured an internship at the Mongolian Parliament. An international relations major, she welcomed the opportunity to utilize her skills and enhance her experience abroad. Fluent in Mongolian and English, Khaliun translated official documents, witnessed diplomatic negotiations and signing agreements, and networked with ambassadors and high-ranking officials. In addition, Khaliun worked with the inner Mongolian director of foreign relations to purchase and donate computers to an underprivileged school on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar.

“It was such a great experience to be a part of something that was giving back to the community through diplomacy,” says Khaliun.

Sewanee: The University of the South sophomore Fridien Nana Tchoukoua interned with the Summer Medical and Dental Educational Program, which aims to increase the acceptance rates of medical school applicants from underrepresented communities. At the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Fridien took classes, shadowed doctors, performed clinical work, attended seminars, and gained knowledge about the medical field.

“The connections I made at Columbia have given me hope that I can achieve my goals,” says Fridien. “It was inspiring to be with people who I will work alongside to save lives and make a difference in the world.”

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