The Capitol Pathways program this year allows over 30 students to expand their professional and educational knowledge in a mixture of virtual and in-person internships. Each student has excelled in their own unique experience throughout the program, but we’d like to highlight one student for our spotlight this month. Camille Terrell is a second-year student at Minnesota State University, Mankato majoring in communications.
During the 2022 legislative session, Camille is interning with Catholic Charities, where she has worked doing research and attending team meetings. She is passionate about advocating for BIPOC communities and is considering pursuing a career in policy work.
Camille is a sophomore at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is majoring in Communication Studies with a double minor in Health and Technical Communication. Camille is involved with Health Pros-Peers Reaching Out, which is a volunteer peer education program that is designed to increase student awareness regarding the choices and responsibilities associated with health-related behaviors. Health Pros possess qualities which include a sense of confidence, interpersonal skills, and enthusiasm. She would like to start a non-profit organization that helps women of color navigate life by helping them get a job, shelter, money, and an education. When Camille received the email from Capitol Pathways she was in shock that this internship program wanted people of color to join the legislative system and make a difference for BIPOC communities. She was very intrigued with this opportunity and couldn’t wait to be involved with making a difference in America.
Q: What did you hope to achieve by participating in Capitol Pathways?
I wanted to learn more about how Government bills and policies impact BIPOC communities and to better understand of how people of color can make a difference at the Capitol. Furthermore, I want to build a strong relationship with my peers and host organization who share the same passions and goals as I do. The Capitol Pathways program gives college students of color the opportunity to advocate for what they believe in.
Q: What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far during your internship experience?
I’ve learned that it’s important to have your own voice. No one can support you better than you can support yourself. Believing in your abilities is the key to success. It’s okay to make mistakes during your internship experience but learning from your mistakes allows you to grow into a better person. Being open and honest with your host site creates effective communication on both sides and prevents miscommunication from happening. Always do your best no matter what.
Q: How has Capitol Pathways affected your career aspirations?
Before participating in Capitol Pathways, I did not know what career path I wanted to pursue. However, through my internship experience, I am now considering a career in policy work or a position where I can uplift my community in any capacity. So many voices go unheard in communities of color but, if everyone comes together with a purpose, change can happen for the better. It takes a village to make a new beginning come to fruition.