For a student dreaming of a career in politics, it doesn’t get much better than earning experience at the White House. That is why Myeisha Boyd A ’15, ’17 was thrilled to be a White House student-volunteer this past spring while attending American University through the University of Hartford Study Abroad Office’s Washington Semester. She spent 15 hours a week working in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence.
“It was an amazing experience,” Myeisha says. “I worked in the greetings department. I read letters and requests and responded on behalf of President Obama.” Her responses included messages to people celebrating weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries.
She also attended marquee events at the White House, such as the Canadian State Arrival Ceremony that welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family to the United States and the traditional Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn. Myeisha did not get to formally hold a conversation with President Obama, but she did shake his hand and admits she was “starstruck.” (See her Snapchat video below.)
Myeisha first enrolled in the University’s Hillyer College that eases the transition from high school to college by offering smaller classes and personalized academic support. She expected to study communication, but once she took the “How to Change the World” class taught by Hillyer Associate Professor Bilal Sekou, everything changed. She realized she wanted to become a bigger part of the political process so, after entering the University’s College of Arts and Sciences in her junior year, she is majoring in politics and government. Now that she is back from Washington, D.C., she is getting more exposure to political life by interning in the office of Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and working in Hillary Clinton’s campaign office in Hartford.
After graduation, Myeisha plans to go to law school and then start a career in advocacy. “I want to know what more about voters’ concerns and what the American people care about,” she explains. “Through the Washington Semester program, I went to several Congressional hearings and realized how hard it is to get things passed. I want to help ordinary people have more of a voice.”