Internship Location: Waterford, Wisconsin
Organization Type: Non-profit, Public sector
Policy Areas: Healthcare, Education
This summer, I had the distinct honor of serving my alma mater–Waterford Union High School (WUHS)–as a health policy intern instructed to help rewrite the School Board policies and administrative guidelines. We updated these policies to be in compliance with state statutes, existing precedents, and the greater WUHS goals. Our main project included reviewing 11 WUHS health policies with a special emphasis on the school’s broad Wellness policy for students and staff and the Human Growth and Development Curriculum for Health students. Both individually and through team meetings, we undertook an in-depth examination of the policies, focusing on using the most inclusive and flexible language in our drafts. Our goals included promoting stakeholder wellbeing and equity and giving each student the policies and protections needed to prepare them for college or career and life, which is the mission statement of WUHS. From my internship experience, I learned about the importance of assessing all stakeholders and the implications of each decision and the significance of the challenges of administering and funding a public high school. Throughout the internship, I strengthened my verbal and written communication skills. The skills I reference particularly include being able to articulate health policy in understandable, yet comprehensive terms, which is a task I only had academic instruction and no previous experience in. I also strengthened my presentation skills through our final public address to the School Board. Overall, I greatly enjoyed my internship, and I appreciated the opportunity to contribute back to my high school and hometown even after I graduated.