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Randolph student creates campus group to aid refugees as part of internship with U.S. State Department

Lauren Appel '20 leads an interest meeting at Randolph for the No Lost Generation Student Initiative

Lauren Appel ’20 leads an interest meeting at Randolph for the No Lost Generation Student Initiative

This fall, Lauren Appel ’20 is helping spread awareness about the international refugee crisis through a special internship with the U.S. State Department.

We asked her a few questions about the experience so far:

What is your title/the title of the internship and what do you do?

My official title for my internship is “No Lost Generation Virtual Student Federal Service eIntern” (It’s a virtual internship so eIntern is the correct term, even though it is not a real word). I was assigned with creating and organizing this new chapter here at Randolph College. Along with starting the chapter, I was also given the responsibility to connect with other colleges and universities with a No Lost Generation Student Initiative chapter to share information, work together on fundraisers, and to organize events with the local community to spread awareness of the refugee crisis and how to help.

Describe the “No Lost Generation” group you’ve been tasked with creating. How are you going about creating this group on campus and what will its mission be?

The No Lost Generation (NLG) Student Initiative is a State Department program that works with colleges and universities all around the globe whose mission is to promote support, aid, and education to refugees all over the world. Since this is the first year that Randolph College has been included in the program, I first had to gain student interest to make the chapter official. In the past few weeks, I have been hosting interest events explaining the main goals of our NLG chapter and reaching out to students to see what kind of programs they would prefer to focus on. In the next few weeks, we will be discussing which refugee support programs we will be working with and finalize what kind of community events we want to organize.

How did you find out about this internship and why did you want to do it?

I first found this internship by talking with the Career Development Center at Randolph, who suggested searching through USAJOBS, which is the federal government’s main job listing website. From there, I found the Virtual Student Federal Service internship program through the U.S. Department of State. This program included hundreds of potential internships offered from many different areas of the U.S. Department of State. From there, I narrowed it down to a few that caught my interest before applying for the internship I currently have! I chose to apply for this internship because I have always had an interest in working for the federal government in some capacity. In addition, I also have a strong passion for helping others who are in need of support; together this gives me the opportunity to do just that!

What are you getting out of this experience and how does it correlate with your political science/Spanish majors?

This internship is providing me with many different experiences that can help further my communication and leadership skills as well as giving me a more in-depth look at how the United States provides support for people in need around the world. As part of our chapter assignments, I am in charge of leading and focusing our decisions to achieve our mission as much as possible. In doing so, I am also responsible for organizing chapter fundraisers and other community-engaging, refugee support events all while working alongside other Randolph students and faculty as well as with students from other colleges and universities around the country. Working with these government-supported programs has also provided me with a better knowledge of how these government-based aid programs are organized and how they are implemented. As a political science major, the connection with the U.S. Department of State has helped me further understand the many different inter-workings of our government and how it relates to other international governments as well. My other major, Spanish, has also played an important role in what I learn from this internship as some of the refugees that we are working to support in our own country come from Spanish-speaking nations.

What are your future career plans and how will this help prepare you?

After I graduate from Randolph College, I plan to attend graduate school and focus on international relations and global studies. From there, I hope to continue to work for the U.S. government and have a career working in diplomacy and/or international crime with a focus in Spanish-speaking nations. The many educational and life experiences that I will receive from this internship will hopefully provide me with a better understanding of global conflicts and the support systems that are in place in the United States and around the world to provide for people who are in need.

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