The Community of Support I Built During My D.C. Internship

Finding your community of support in Washington, D.C.

Throughout my time at The Washington Center this summer, I have been able to find so many amazing people to form a community with in Washington, D.C.

Having a community, to me, means having a group of people who love you no matter what you do, no matter where you have been and no matter where you are. My D.C. community includes my LEAD instructor, roommates and friends through The Washington Center, and my church friends from Triumph D.C. 

My LEAD instructor, Gadise Regassa, has been an amazing mentor for me this summer. Gadise is currently in graduate school for her Ph.D. I look up to her because she is on a  journey I hope to follow, and earn my Ph.D. in the future. Gadise is always there to provide encouragement, offer advice, or simply listen. Through our conversations, she helped me gain confidence in preparing for my doctoral studies. 

I was heart-broken the first time I really came to Gadise for help. I had been told by others that pursuing a Ph.D. in history would not result in finding a job in my field. As I was practically crying about never being able to have a job in the history field, Gadise approached the situation with love and understanding. She reassured me that, even though it’s not always going to be easy, I will find a career in the field because my passion speaks for itself. The next afternoon, she sent me a list of all of the amazing careers there are in my field, just to comfort me. Having her as a mentor has been so important because she is on the same educational path as I am, just a few steps ahead. 

My roommates and friends through TWC make my experience here so exciting. They are always down to go on random adventures, have movie nights at our RAF apartments or deep conversations about the world. I know they are always a safe place for me to go with my emotions and for me to learn about the perspectives of other people. 

We have discussions about how we can grow and make the world a better place. We often discuss how our language can have an impact on others (even if we don’t intend for it to), and the importance of being active in politics and policy-making. Our conversations aren’t always comfortable, but they are vital to our growth. This is important to me because my friends are taking the time to help me understand other perspectives and they inspire me to be firm in my own beliefs. 

My roommates and friends through TWC make my experience here so exciting.

Josi Lieb

Triumph D.C. is a local church here. The people who go to Triumph are extremely welcoming and full of love. Spending a couple hours on Sunday and Tuesday with this group is refreshing and supportive. The church and community group I’m a part of encourages me to be completely genuine. For example, I shared that I tend to think that I cause annoyance to people that I meet when I am my bubbly and affectionate self. My group at Triumph D.C. has allowed my heart to heal in ways that I never thought it would being myself.

Each person and group holds a special place in my heart. They are all helping me grow in my confidence, strength and faith. These people have filled me with nothing but love. I can’t thank them enough for the ways they have helped me, and I can’t thank The Washington Center enough for giving me the opportunity to cross paths with them and put together this incredible community.

Josi Lieb, Washington Center Student Blogger, Summer 2019

Josi is a student at Ohio Northern University where she is studying History and Political Science. Josi is a Summer 2019 intern at The Lincoln Archives Digital Project, a public service project dedicated to digitizing the federal records of the Lincoln Administration.

Student Blog