Brantley finds calling during internship in D.C.

Release Date: 9/14/2012

Senior Brittany Brantley knew her future was in law, but what she didn't expect was to become involved with children. However, after an eight week internship in Washington, D.C., Brantley is one step closer to her goal of becoming a child advocate.

Brittany Brantley

Brittany Brantley, a senior political science and strategic communication major, spent eight weeks in Washington D.C. interning for the Institute for Philanthropy and Voluntary Service through the Fund for American Studies.

Brantley, a senior political science and strategic communication major from Benton, Mo., spent eight weeks in Washington, D.C., this past summer interning for the Institute for Philanthropy and Voluntary Service through the Fund for American Studies.

During her internship, Brantley worked with YMCA and the Department of Education to assist with their child literacy program called "Let's Read, Let's Move," a facet of First Lady Michelle Obama's youth and wellness programs.

The goal of the program was to help get students interested in reading by making the activities physical and fun. Brantley says, "We also had special celebrity guests come to read to the kids. We had NFL players, one of the actors from Star Trek, but my favorite was Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler."

It wasn't all fun and games and meeting celebrities, though. Brantley says, "We had to attend site briefings and meetings, which helped me get a feel for the fast paced life in Washington. I even got to attend a meeting at the White House."

Working with youth and wellness programs may seem out of kilter with Brantley's future legal career, but she explains it was the perfect fit.

"I became interested in law after being robbed my senior year in high school," she said. "I had to testify in court and follow all the legal proceedings. That's when I knew I wanted to make my career in law. Now, I want to use that knowledge to stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves."

Brantley's ultimate goal is to become a child advocacy lawyer.

"Participating in this internship gave me the opportunity to experience the social side of child advocacy, but I want to end up on the legal side of things. Children don't have the ability to stand up for themselves, so I want to represent them," Brantley explained.

In addition to working 35 hours per week, Brantley also took six hours of classes at Georgetown University.

"I was nervous about taking classes at a place as prestigious as Georgetown, but I'm happy to say that I was very well prepared," she said. "My classes at Ozarks easily compare to the classes I took this summer. Honestly, some Ozarks classes have been harder."

Brantley knows that such a learning experience doesn't come around every day, and she is thankful she was able to absorb as much as she did.

"I learned a lot in D.C.," Brantley laughingly remarked, "I learned that pigeons are fearless. I also learned that, as a professional, if you want something, you have to go for it. You can't just sit back, and wait for something to happen."

Brantley is preparing to take the LSAT in December and will begin applying to law schools in the spring.