Being one of Jaimie’s Interns is a title I hold with honour and gratitude. Without a doubt, my summer spent in Ottawa was the most rewarding and incredible experience of my life.
I will never forget my first day working on Parliament Hill. Walking through East Block, I was greeted with a friendly handshake; I then found myself promptly taking notes, and preparing memos for my new boss. From day one, within the first hour of being an intern I was sitting in a committee meeting of National Defense. The energy on Parliament Hill was palpable- and I was hooked.
As one of Jaimies Interns, I had the fortune to work with the incredibly passionate and talented Member of Parliament, John Williamson. John tasked me with meaningful and challenging work, truly embracing the grassroots spirit of the Internship. He was not only a boss, but also a teacher. This included often working with residents of New Brunswick Southwest, wrapping my head around Parliamentary procedure, preparing memos or even researching in the Library of Parliament. I loved every moment of my job. May I add, the Library of Parliament is the most spectacular indoor space in the country!
However, this program is unique because it creates lifelong and genuine relationships. I accredit this to the Clanderson’s humor, warmth and love of people. Being welcomed into the JAPI family with fellow interns, and by extension, friends and colleagues of the program provided me with my most cherished memories. I was astounded by everyone’s willingness to answer my endless questions, their candidness, optimism and support for young people who are passionate about the political process, and civic engagement.
There is something about this program that leaves you with a real sense of place in Ottawa. I often return to my second home (it may be time I invest in a VIA Rail pass) to catch up with friends that were made over my four short months in the city. The Internship values the role of young people and the importance of civic engagement in Canada. For these experiences I am forever grateful. I continue to be inspired by this program, and Jaimie’s incredible legacy.