CU students spend summer interning in Washington, D.C.

Aug. 10, 2010
For Immediate Release

 Tori Baker, right, a senior at Campbellsville University, interned at Little Lights Urban Ministry in Washington, D.C. for the summer. Sophia Yoo, left, and Jonny Moy from Wheaton College in Chicago, Ill. interned with her. (Photo submitted)

Tori Baker, right, a senior at Campbellsville University, interned at Little Lights Urban Ministry in Washington, D.C. for the summer. Sophia Yoo, left, and Jonny Moy from Wheaton College in Chicago, Ill. interned with her. (Photo submitted)

By Christina Miller, office assistant

Campbellsville University students, Tori Baker of Danville, Ky., and Phillip Mitchell of Springfield, Ky., are spending their summer break walking among Capitol Hill, serving non-profit organizations and interning with U.S. Congressman Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) in Washington, D.C.

Max Wise, assistant professor of political science at Campbellsville University, is always encouraging his students to take such opportunities. “I think anytime a student has the chance to step outside the classroom and into a city like Washington, D.C., it is a definite advantage for networking and gaining invaluable work experience,” he said.

“Our department is a strong proponent of students performing internships so that they can ready themselves for graduate school or the workforce. Not to mention the chance to take classes at Georgetown University.

Baker, a senior who has a double major in political science and history, is working with a division of The Fund for American Studies called the Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service. All students in the institute have an internship at a non-profit during the day and take classes at Georgetown University at night, which is also where she lives for the summer.

“Washington is the perfect place for me to learn more about what I study at Campbellsville,” Baker said. “It has allowed me to experience things that will better shape me not only as a student, but as a person.”

Baker is interning at Little Lights Urban Ministry, an organization that seeks to minister to the most underserved regions of Washington, D.C. “We work with youth and families, but mainly children. During the year they have after school programs, one-on-one mentor programs for school, etc. Right now we have summer programs, which consist of an hour of academic time, an opening assembly with songs, games and a short Bible study, and then free time to do arts and crafts, play outside, play video games, etc.”

Baker’s role with the ministry is administrative work in the morning, and leading an academic station with the children in the afternoon. “Academics are incorporated into all of their programs since so many of the kids they serve are a few grades behind,” she said.

“I love working with the kids. They come from rough backgrounds and are taught at a young age that in order to survive, you have to be tough. So to be able to just love on the kids is amazing. I just want them to conform to the ways of the Lord more than they conform to the ways of the world. They’re growing up in such a dark environment, and hopefully I, along with everyone else at Little Lights, am shedding some light into the darkness they’re used to.”

Baker is unsure what she would like to do as a career after graduation, however, she said her experience in Washington is helping her figure that out.

Mitchell, a senior majoring in political science with a minor in homeland security, is spending his summer interning with Congressman Chandler. He has actually been out of the classroom and completing internships since fall 2009. He most recently completed an internship in Frankfort.

Mitchell has been interested in politics since a young age; he said “I watched (former President) Bill Clinton as a kid, that’s what inspired me.”

Mitchell has been to two informational interviews with legislative assistants, he learned “if you’re interested in politics, an internship with a congressman is the best way to do it… get your feet wet, learn the process.”

While in the nation’s capitol, Mitchell has been conducting research, attending committee hearings, taking notes and writing memos to legislative assistants.

After graduation, Mitchell plans to either go to law school or work full-time and go to school part-time, although he would really like to go back to Washington, D.C. “It’s a beautiful city with a lot to do. You get to work on Capitol Hill and see it every day, five days a week.”

Ben Randall, a senior from Versailles, Ky., will be spending the fall semester taking part in the “Capitol Semester” fall program where he will be working on International Relations issues.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 45 undergraduate programs, 16 master’s degrees and five postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is


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