Anna Gabriella Casalme is an alumna of Stanford University, where she received her Bachelors in Human Biology and Education. This summer she will be interning at the National School-Based Health Alliance in DC.
What major projects are you working on in your internship? What responsibilities are you most excited about and why?
At the School-Based Health Alliance, I am working on policy and advocacy projects. I am most excited to work directly with the organization’s Youth Advisory Council, a group of stellar high school and college students promoting school-based health care at the national level, and develop the curriculum for their program. I strongly believe in youth engagement as a best practice, especially for school-based health centers which primarily serve young people.
When did you realize you wanted to explore public service?
In the 6th grade, my social studies teacher, Mr. Castro, asked us to read the newspaper and present a clipping that was significant to us personally. Because of that assignment, I learned that girls in some countries are denied access to education on the basis of their gender. As someone who has always loved school and learning, this was deeply alarming and upsetting to 11-year-old me. Since then, I have paid close attention to issues and events that affect me profoundly and channel that energy into public service.
What are your plans after this internship? Are there any goals you want to accomplish this summer?
In September, I will begin my graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. I will be studying child health, especially as it relates to systems change and policy. This summer, I am excited to explore our nation’s capitol and policy at the federal level. I will continue attending congressional briefings and hearings, which have been an irreplaceable learning experience so far.
What are you looking forward to in DC / where your internship is located?
I am looking forward to immersing myself in all that D.C. has to offer. So far, I have been enjoying the virtually limitless opportunities there are to meet new people, attend cultural events, eat new foods, visit museums and learn about creative work in areas that I am interested in.
What is something that most people would not know about you?
I speak Italian, which has a cadence that I find so melodic and that I think fits well with my personality and how I express myself.
What has been the most interesting/ meaningful thing you’ve learned from CAPAL’s Washington Leadership Program so far? Why?
One idea that stood out to me is that sometimes, we cannot wait to be included and we have to create our own opportunities and spaces.
Meet all of our CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.
Posted by Nattacha Munakata
Nattacha Munakata is currently a rising sophomore at George Mason University, studying Community Health with a concentration in Clinical Science (Pre-med). On campus, she is Peer Health Advisor, working to raise awareness and educate students on health issues. She is also involved in TEDxGMU and Thai Student Association. Outside, she likes to volunteer for local organizations and events, such as the DC Sakura matsuri and her local FIRST robotics team. During her free time, she likes to watch Netflix dramas and explore new music.