Student Learns to Lead through Legislative Internship

The UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) is dedicated to encouraging and supporting experiential learning for its students. The VP Promise Initiative provides financial support for students pursuing internship, research, leadership, study abroad, or professional development opportunities. CALS senior Clayton Bush received funding from the Loop Legislative Internship Scholarship this past summer to buffer his expenses for an internship in Washington, D.C.

Bush and a fellow intern on Gator Day at Capitol Hill.

Bush is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in family, youth and community sciences (FYCS). This past summer, Bush was a Congressional intern with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Bush was also a communications intern for the Florida House

As a Congressional intern, Bush was tasked with writing and editing policy briefs, memos, and letters. These materials acted as the main source of communication with Rep. Wasserman Schultz. To do this, he attended committee hearings, advocacy group meetings and informational briefings.  

On Capitol Hill, Bush’s responsibilities shifted from professional writing to videography. His main project for the Florida House was to edit and create county highlight videos for social media. Each of Florida’s 67 counties has a video that was crafted by Bush. 

Bush with Rep. Wasserman Schultz and other interns.

“They have been able to effectively hone my skills for leadership, communication and advocacy this summer, as I have been able to effectively lead and complete several communication projects,” said Bush. 

Although Washington, D.C.’s fast pace was hard to adapt to at first, Bush persevered. He quickly found a groove and pushed himself to learn more about current political issues for the nation and Florida. Bush also found a new meaning of teamwork.  

“I was able to truly understand that no task is too small, as I made sure to continuously demonstrate my willingness to help wherever I was needed to better the team as a whole,” said Bush. 

In addition to sharpening his technical skills, Bush expanded his passion for public service and leadership. Under Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s leadership, he was able to see the importance of legislators having both local and community impacts. Bush plans to apply the skills and concepts he gained on his internship to his experiences at the University of Florida. 

“The past three years as a CALS student have been nothing short of life changing. The opportunities and experiences I have had as a CALS student are priceless. I cannot wait to continue my service and development as a leader this fall as I head into my senior year at the University of Florida,” said Bush.

The VP Promise is an initiative to provide financial assistance for students pursuing experiences in agriculture, life sciences and natural resources. CALS supports student success both inside and outside of the classroom and encourages students to broaden their perspectives through enriching opportunities such as study abroad programs and travel to conferences. For more information on the VP Promise visit the CALS website.


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Posted: September 29, 2023

Category: Professional Development, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: Family Youth And Community Sciences, Intern, Legislative Internship, VP Promise

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