We continue highlighting this year’s Capitol Pathways students with David Mesta a senior at Minnesota State University, Mankato interning with Second Harvest Heartland.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in Capitol Pathways?

My friend invited me to attend Latino Day on the Hill last year. When I was at the Capitol for the event, I got to meet alumni and staff from the program who encouraged me to apply in the fall. I decided to apply to gain inside experience working at the Capitol and firsthand experience of the role I can play in the decision process.

Q: What is a highlight of your internship experience so far?

One highlight of mine is getting the chance to work in the Capitol and connecting with legislators, staff, and other members involved in advocacy. It has been very valuable being able to attend hearings and seeing how decisions are made. Being part of an organization that focuses on ending food insecurity has been really eye-opening, as we work on bills to help college students and the general public have more access to SNAP and other resources.

Q: As a result of participating in Capitol Pathways, what impact do you want to make in your community?

Being able to participate in the Capitol Pathways program has helped me focus on the impact I want to make in my community: supporting low-income communities to have the same access that everyone else has. As a student leader and advocate, I want to be able to work in nonprofits or government agencies to help make everyone achieve their dreams by providing access to SNAP, mental health resources, and other resources. My internship has given me the chance to see the work multiple organizations and people have done to increase food access for many Minnesotans so that they can thrive with less hurdles and improve their quality of life.

> Click here to learn more about Capitol Pathways, including this year’s students, host organizations, and more.