Amy Rong

Amy Rong

Amy Rong

Psychology

Why did you participate in the Washington Program?

As an education minor, I wanted to broaden my perspective on careers in the field of education. I had experience interning in special education classrooms, but I wanted to learn more about pertinent national issues related to education.

Tell me about your internship – what kind of work did you do?
As a Center for Workforce Development Intern, I assisted staff of the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) with collecting information on youth programs, policies, and initiatives, editing project/program publications, and coordinating outreach and dissemination activities, such as updating the national newsletter email list and hosting Twitter Chats. Additionally, I assisted in planning IEL’s annual Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT) National Conference, a training for youth with disabilities and their allies to further increase youth transition outcomes.

The most influential work I did was researching practices and policies relevant to study abroad among college students with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to create recommendations for post-secondary institutions to increase participation of U.S. college students with disabilities in international education programs. I examined various publications, and conducted interviews with current and past college students who studied abroad, and representatives from post-secondary institutions across the U.S. that had strengths in supporting and encouraging students with disabilities to study abroad. 

Internship team
Amy posing with other interns at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL)

Has your internship influenced your future plans?

My experience at IEL solidified my passion toward supporting disadvantaged students in education. I learned about the value of scale versus impact toward public service and realized I wanted to pursue systems level work in education. 

What did you do for fun in Washington?

I enjoyed evening runs around Tidal Basin, straddling the border between Virginia and Washington DC, and traveling along the East Coast! I traveled to Philadelphia to try a "Philly cheesesteak" and to visit their Chinatown. For Memorial Day weekend, I saw the view of New York through the Empire State Building and rode my first ferryboat ride to Rockaway Park. Also, I tried Ethiopian food for the first time!

What would you tell students who are considering DC?

This program is just as influential as a study abroad program! I was surrounded by passionate individuals who were motivated to make a positive influence in the world, and I am most grateful to have learned about their career paths and life experiences. You will grow professionally though your internship experience and meet people who genuinely care about making a difference in the world.

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