Kaitlin Carlon of Augustana College served as the Member Engagement intern for LSA during the spring 2015 semester, and shared her perspective on interning in Washington, D.C. with the national network of Lutheran social ministry organizations.
Hello! I’m Kaitlin Carlon and I’m the Member Engagement intern this semester. I am working with the Member Engagement team at LSA to help its members communicate with one another and collaborate on social ministry issues.
I’m from a Midwestern town called Council Bluffs, Iowa (right across the river from Omaha, Nebraska), and I attend Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. There I am a junior Government and International Affairs/International Studies double major and Religion/ Psychology double minor student. I am here in D.C. because of a wonderful program called Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS), which provides housing, classes, and field trips for students as well as assistance in finding an internship. During this process, I was especially attracted to an internship at LSA because of their faith background and how it permeates all they do in their work with social services. Plus, who wouldn’t want to walk by the Library of Congress, Capitol, and Supreme Court on their way to work?
I visited D.C. in high school for a journalism trip and liked the "vibe" of the area and all of its interesting things to do, so I thought living and working in D.C. would be a great experience.
What a wonderful whirlwind it’s all been! It's hard to believe I've already been in D.C. over two months. It seems like just yesterday I was in Omaha, hopping on a plane to venture out into this strange new world. It's amazing to think about how in less than 100 days I've learned how navigate the Metro, know the best restaurants and locales, and yes, even give directions.
I’ve found a wonderful faith family at Capital Life Church and their C3 young adult group, been to "tourist-y" places like the White House and the Capitol (and even the Pentagon) with the LCWS program, and also done more non-tourist-y local things like attend Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center and participate in snowball fights at Meridian Hill Park, Washington Monument, and DuPont Circle.
Living in D.C. has put me smack-dab in the middle of important events. Every day people here are making world-changing decisions, and I get to witness it. Whether it was the March for Life parade outside our windows or an ambassador nomination hearing down the street, I've had a front row seat to what I've always read about in history books. And for that, I'm extremely grateful.
While I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do after college, I do know that my passion is helping others, and LSA has certainly giving me experience in that area. I am interested in working for some sort of a non-governmental organization after college, most likely one that is focused on anti-human trafficking efforts. LCWS blessed me with the opportunity to hear from Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a Freedom Rider from Arlington, Virginia who also was a part of the infamous Jackson, Mississippi Woolworth Sit-in and its iconic photograph. It is people like her that inspire me to be a world-changer and stand up for what’s right with my faith as an anchor.
A woman I met here said that the people that come either love D.C. or they don't. Thankfully, I'm most definitely the former. Whether it’s the beautiful style of East Coast homes and buildings, the historical sites, or the chance to make a difference, this city has a special place in my heart. An impression, that I believe, will call me back someday.