Meet Courtni Reese, a senior at the University of Georgia, who has joined Penn Hill Group as an intern for this winter/spring! Courtni is an early childhood education major with interests in political science, education policy and advocacy. See our interview with Courtni below to learn more about her and all that she brings to our office. Welcome, Courtni!
Why did you choose to come to DC?
I chose to come to DC to help play a role in providing equity throughout education to students in all areas. After spending three semesters inside the classrooms of varying demographics, I witnessed the day in and day out issues that occur in schools and communities. I felt that many schools would benefit from the promotion of positive policy, and DC is the perfect place to be to make a change in legislation. I am currently participating in the University of Georgia’s Washington Semester Program, where I am spending the semester interning, taking courses, working on research and volunteering.
What do you hope to do or learn during this internship?
Throughout my time with Penn Hill Group, I hope to grow and establish myself professionally as I learn effective lobbying techniques. I hope to complete substantial work that will aid me in a career in education policy. By interning with Penn Hill, I hope to further my knowledge and understanding of legislation and the role that lobbying and consulting plays in the process of lawmaking. I am most excited to gain firsthand experience on how to successfully work in a bipartisan office and meet the needs of a diverse client base.
What interests you most about education?
Growing up in a family full of teachers, education has always been a topic of interest to me. I grew up in a rural school district and student taught in low-income communities, which gave me firsthand experiences as a student and a teacher of some of the many issues schools in America face. My personal experiences with education are some of the driving factors of why I am passionate about ensuring quality education in America. It was not until college that I began to take education issue and policy courses, where I became specifically passionate about education in rural and low-income areas and women’s rights regarding education.
What are some of your future goals?
I plan on staying in the field of education, possibly earning a graduate degree in education policy. I hope to start a career that helps ensure that all students in America receive a valuable education, specifically students in areas and populations that are often marginalized. Whether that is working for a non-profit, teaching or staying in lobbying and consulting, I plan to continue working on education equality.
What’s something exciting you’ve recently gotten to do?
Since being in DC, I have had wonderful experiences throughout the city. This past Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, I visited his monument and got to see Dr. King’s eldest son, Martin Luther King III. This was a powerful experience, and we had the privilege of listening to him give a speech and commemorate his father’s legacy. I also participated in the 2018 Women’s March, which was an exciting and empowering experience.