Thanks to the generosity of donors, the Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Government was able to provide funding to students in the Menard Family Tocqueville Fellowship during the summer of 2022. Six students received funding from the CCCG to defray costs related to internships and conferences during the summer.
Corrinne Carlson received funding for an internship with Senator Ted Cruz. As an intern, Carlson corresponded with constituents and assisted legislative staffers with projects related to education, pro-life policy, and religious liberty, among other topics.
“Through this experience, I gained a deeper understanding of the Constitution, representative government, and the inner workings of our legislative system. I developed friendships and professional relationships that I believe will continue long after my time in Washington has concluded, and I grew both personally and professionally as I navigated the rapidly-changing—and often challenging—heart of American politics,” Carlson said.
Nico Schmitz also spent his summer on Capitol Hill as an intern with Congressman Dave Joyce’s office from Ohio’s 14th district.
“Whether it was dealing with constituents on the phones, or doing legislative research and projects, working in Congressman Joyce’s office offered a unique opportunity to witness the struggles of an ever-shifting Republican Party as well as the realities of the problems facing small-town and rural Americans,” he said. Schmitz was particularly impressed by the office’s focus on constituents and locality, and he gained insight into the impact of federal legislation on local communities.
“My time on Capitol Hill ultimately was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reflect face-to-face on the shifting ideological landscape of our times and on the shortcomings of our political framework to make room for and assert any comprehensive morality within the law, especially on the right,” he explained.
Merlot Fogarty and Luke Dardis received funding that allowed them to attend a Pro Civitate Dei conference in La Londe Les Maures, France. The students celebrated daily Mass, prayed liturgy of the hours, attended lectures on economics, political theology, philosophy, and French history, and traveled along the French riviera, which included a pilgrimage to the grave of St. Mary Magdalene.
“This conference was a life-changing experience which gave me wonderful insight into the traditional liturgy, as well as to interact with many prominent
Catholic political philosophers,” Fogarty said. As a student of political science and theology with a minor in constitutional studies, she particularly enjoyed the lectures and opportunities to connect with students from other universities while attending Pro Civitate Dei.
“I am very grateful to have visited the beautiful riviera and formed wonderful friendships with the people I met,” Dardis reflected.
Dardis also received funding from the CCCG to attend the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s Honors Program, which was themed “Recovering Justice: Civilization Between Order and Chaos.”
“I attended daily lectures and seminars with top students and scholars, now dear friends and mentors. [...] The ISI Honors Program provided an unparalleled opportunity to carry the torch of the American intellectual tradition alongside its finest sons and daughters,” he said.
Supported by CCCG funding, Edward Brunicardi interned with Unite Here Local 1, the largest hospitality union in Chicago, where he assisted union organizers in major Chicago hospitality businesses to create better labor benefits and safer conditions for workers. He gained on-the-ground experience by conducting house visits on Chicago’s South Side and shadowing union leaders at bargaining negotiations and contract ratifications.
“Without the generosity of the Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Government, I would not have been able to see first-hand the power of ownership when forming successful grassroots movements,” he said.
Funded by the CCCG, junior Luke Thompson interned in the office of Indiana's Representative Larry Bucshon.
"This internship gave me an up-close look at how our federal legislative branch works and exposed me to the day-to-day actions that influence the work of Congress," Thompson said.
He was grateful that the time spent in DC gave him the chance to develop relationships with mentors who have been successful working in law, politics, and government and with peers from all around the Washington area.
The CCCG is grateful to the generosity of donors whose support makes this funding possible.