Joshua Brogi ’22 — I spent this summer in the heart of Washington D.C., soaking up the sticky atmosphere of both the humidity and the politics. The program I was a part of is called The Fund for American Studies, a non-profit which brings together college students from all over the country to, as their slogan reads, “Live, Learn, and Intern.”

As part of the “live” aspect of my summer, I was housed at the George Washington University, located several blocks from the White House, and spent most of my free time wandering around

Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson (left) & Josh Brogi ’22 (right)

the city, visiting countless spectacular (and free) sites, including Smithsonian museums, famous monuments, and Congressional offices.

The “learn” component of my experience involved a captivating bi-weekly class called, “Leadership and The American Presidency,” taught by a renowned Princeton political-science professor and a former congressman. In these classes, we openly discussed our perspectives on current politics, along with the role of the American presidency throughout history. We had lots of educational experiences outside of the classroom too, for example, the lectures on Capitol Hill, in which prominent political figures such as Sens. Rand Paul and Angus King, would give us first-hand experience and advice on DC, politics, and our blooming professional lives. Along with this lecture series, I was fortunate enough to learn hands-on about the American presidency, from visiting presidential landmarks like Lincoln’s Cottage, Mt. Vernon, Monticello, and The University of Virginia.

Lastly, the “intern” aspect of the program allowed me to work with the Homeland Security Today Magazine, researching and reporting on DHS topics like counter-terrorism and immigration, at a time when these issues are more relevant than ever, due to the Southern Border issue and rampant lone-wolf mass-shootings. More than anything, this internship changed the way I watch and read the news. I now have a far better understanding of how important and impactful the talking heads on TV are to our very democracy, and I got a glimpse of the arduous and expeditious production that goes behind the daily print.

This summer couldn’t have laid a better foundation for my professional and (hopefully) political life, and the connections and knowledge I’ve gained here, I know I’ll be utilizing for years to come. I want to express my boundless thanks to the Graham Fund and The Reagan Institute for allowing me these truly life-changing experiences.