Hemophilia Federation of America is pleased to introduce our Summer 2019 Policy and Government Relations Interns, Jasmin Wyatt and Dylan Edwards. As members of the bleeding disorders community, they understand the mission of HFA firsthand. Jasmin and Dylan were selected for the internship because of their leadership qualities and interest in the field of policy and government relations.
Jasmin and DylanÂ will engage in a variety of hands-on activities throughout the next ten weeks, including:
- Team and network building
- Professional development training
- Legislative, policy and advocacy training
- Building communication and media skills
- Attending Congressional hearings, briefings and Capitol Hill office visits
- Collaborative activities with HFA’s partner alliances and coalitions
- Producing a public communication project that includes a specific policy work paper or issue brief that includes a written or oral presentation component
- Authoring a bi-weekly blog about internship experience
- Supporting HFA staff on activities including: Dear Addy, Action Alerts and social media outreach
- Attending other conferences per 2019 schedule and availability
- Evaluation of internship program
Over the summer, Jasmin and Dylan, will share what they’re doing and learning in this blog. Get to know these two future leaders of the bleeding disorders community!
What school do/did you attend? What is/was your major?
- Jasmin: I attended my local community college in San Luis Obispo, California for three years and am starting at the University of California Berkeley this fall as a political science major.
- Dylan: I attended Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in History. Currently, I am halfway through completing a Master of Public Administration degree at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
Why did you apply for the HFA policy internship?
- Jasmin: I applied for the HFA internship because I have a strong passion for advocacy work and for seeing positive change through policy! Additionally, I have a special interest in health policy and hemophilia as my younger brother has Hemophilia B.
- Dylan: Since 2018, I have become increasingly involved in the Bleeding Disorders Community at a national level. As my awareness grew about how policy effects our quality of life, I kept wanting to be an advocate and use my education and interests at an organization that focused on these issues. Applying for the internship at HFA was a means of taking my involvement to a new level and being a community leader and voice for our needs.
What does it mean to be an advocate in the bleeding disorders community?
- Jasmin: In my opinion, being an advocate means using your voice and actions to raise awareness. As an advocate for the bleeding disorders community, this can be especially challenging as it is such a rare disorder. Advocacy for the community often must encompass education and a wide-range of support, including training on policy issues.
- Dylan: An advocate in our community is anyone who speaks up and out about the rights and needs of those of us who have or are affected by bleeding disorders. They can be anyone from parents fighting to ensure their child with Hemophilia gets the accommodations they need to receive a quality education, to community members who speak to Congressmen and Senators about how a policy impacts them. Advocates can even be kids and young adults who take the time and opportunity to share their stories with friends and others. In our community, being an advocate means using our experiences to educate others and making changes that benefit members of this community.
What excites you most about being at HFA?
- Jasmin: I am excited to develop a deeper understanding in policy and to become a stronger advocate for the bleeding disorders community! I also am looking forward to working with such an inspiring and passionate team.
- Dylan:I am so excited to get to know the staff and engage with the people who make HFA the success that it is. Being in Washington at the heart of the action for HFA’s policy priorities and national programs is an amazing opportunity to make a difference. I am a go getter and enjoy being part of a team and this feels like a great one to be on.
What is one thing you hope to get out of this internship?
- Jasmin: By the end of my internship, I hope I will have a better understanding of the legislative process and health policy. I also hope to increase my networking and public speaking skills.
- Dylan: I hope to gain a better understanding of how HFA works and improve some of my workplace skills, particularly public speaking which is a major struggle for me. I hope to take advantage of every opportunity I can better myself as an advocate for our community when I return to Ohio.
What are you most excited about living and working in Washington, D.C.?
- Jasmin: I am excited to explore the city and see what it has to offer! I hope I can attend plenty of events and see many museums in my free time.
- Dylan: Unrelated to the internship, I love a good zoo! The National Zoo is free and there are few things in this world that make me as happy as watching the big cats. I also have numerous friends who work in the city and it will be nice to network with them and their friends in the area in a more social, less formal setting. Working in Washington is also thrilling because you never know who you might see or what opportunity will come up next.
Anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
- Jasmin: In my free time I like to read, paint, hike, and travel!
- Dylan: I am a mild von Willebrands patient with a fiancÃ© who also shares my condition. We are both involved in the community and I owe her for pushing me to apply for this internship when I was convinced I was not going to have a chance at getting it.