Madison Lane lived a summer which she hopes serves as a glimpse into her future.
The Oakdale High School Class of 2013 alum and University of Pennsylvania senior spent 10 weeks of her summer break interning on Capitol Hill. During her time on ‘the Hill,’ she spent her volunteer time in the office of Senator Barbara Boxer of California.
“My major is PPE, an interdisciplinary major in Philosophy, Politics and Economics,” Lane said. “I feel PPE gives me a really good foundation in writing as well as quantitative skills. I wanted to do something that allowed me to learn more about the intersection of government and economics.”
The small town girl shared she enjoys the pace as well as the energy of Philadelphia as well as Washington, DC. Her sights are set on perusing a career in DC
“There’s a really good energy in DC,” the intern stated. “Living in a city is definitely a transition, but I like it. I like living in a city.”
Prior to her summer internship, Lane spent her 2015-16 Fall Semester in Washington DC as part of the Penn in Washington Program.
“I interned full time at the Environmental Protection Agency and took classes in the evening all for credit,” she shared.
That internship lasted from September through November and concluded with program finals in December. During her time working with EPA, Lane shared she worked in the Office of the Administrator, Public Engagement division. It was an opportunity that gave her experience in stakeholder engagement, as well as public opinion of different EPA rule role outs.
“I did a lot of research on different policies that came out last fall,” she said, “such as the National Ambient Air Quality Standard of the Clean Air Act and the increased Worker Protection Standards. I was able to learn a lot and convey the goals of the EPA to different groups in business, industry and public health sectors. It was a great experience that entailed a lot of hands-on work and research.”
The intern stated she and the other Fall interns applied for programs they had researched the preceding summer, as well as taking full course loads within their major in the evening.
“The highlight of the internship was probably when I was able to assist my supervisor in planning and coordinating a meeting between an advocacy group called Protect Our Winters and (EPA) Administrator McCarthy,” she shared.
Protect Our Winters is a group of winter sport athletes as well as past Olympians lobbying and educating Congress, as well as the government on the effects of climate change.
“I was fortunate enough to sit in on the meeting and hear what Administrator McCarthy had to say about the work being done at the EPA,” she noted. “I was also able to take a tour of the west wing through my program; it was absolutely surreal being able to see the oval office.”
The fall experience may have been just what the then-college junior needed to fuel her to return this summer. She noted that both internships were a good starting point for her future aspirations in public policy.
“Everyone seems to love what they do and work really hard,” she said of her time spent in DC. “I think it’s really cool to have a job that’s involved in what’s going on around the world. I always wanted to do something in Political Science.
“One of the most exciting moments,” Senator Boxer’s intern added, “was when I had to sprint to the Democratic Cloakroom in the Capitol to get an amendment in on time.”
Lane shared she also enjoyed attending congressional hearings, as well as writing memos for Senator Boxer’s staff.
“Hearings on the hill are very exciting and of course discuss some of the most important issues going on in the world today,” Lane stated. “Senator Boxer is on the Foreign Relations Committee as well as the Environment and Public Works Committee, so I was able to attend a number of hearings discussing topics like climate change, Zika and global terrorism. It’s very surreal sitting in a pretty small room with seven or eight senators.”
As for her time at OHS and how it shaped her for future endeavors Lane stated, “I think my OHS education has given me a good foundation and I had a good idea of what to expect going into college. My participating in Academic Decathlon honestly probably helped me the most in forcing me to get in good studying habits.”
Lane is set to graduate from University of Pennsylvania in spring 2017. She’s currently entertaining the thought of attending Graduate School and majoring in Public Policy and then pursuing a career in government.