LeMieux Center for Public Policy intern Emily Dennis will graduate, head to an international internship and return to an AmeriCorps job.
Dennis, a politics major and music minor, and fellow PBA students Faith Allen and Annabelle MacIntosh will intern with Exarcheia Church in Athens, Greece five weeks. They will work with youth and children and the church’s refugee ministry, Faros.
Faros helps immigrants, particularly unaccompanied children and refugee youth, integrate into Greek culture, learn Greek and English and reconnect with their families. Dennis was seeking an international opportunity to serve others when the internship opened up through her church, First Presbyterian Church of North Palm Beach, which supports the Exarcheia Church leaders and is backing the students with financial aid.
“This lines up two big parts of the career I want to go into,” Dennis said.
Dennis’ desire to serve others in a cross-cultural context stems from a mission trip to Cuba with First Presbyterian, along with her family’s experience hosting an exchange student from Beijing for three years.
“I knew I wanted to learn more about different areas of the world and get out of my America bubble,” Dennis said.
Upon her return, she will serve for one year in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps as a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Corps. In that role, she will help communities prepare for and respond to disasters. AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time service program that allows young adults to serve on a team and make an impact in communities across the country while gaining valuable leadership skills.
After accepting the job with AmeriCorps, Dennis heard back from the Peace Corps, which informed her she is a strong candidate for fall 2023. She is exploring whether she can do both if accepted to the Peace Corps.
Dennis said she’s grown a lot through her internship with PBA’s LeMieux Center. She supported day-to-day operations, planned and uploaded The Quill podcast, assisted with LeMieux Center speaker events and updated the LeMieux Center’s Facebook page.
“I’ve recognized where my strengths lie,” Dennis said.
Dr. Robert Lloyd, executive director for the LeMieux Center, said Dennis’ competency, work ethic and positive attitude greatly contributed to the success of the center. Lloyd helped Dennis navigate her post-graduation options.
“Oftentimes I would forget I was working with a student and not a trained professional with years of work experience,” Lloyd said. “Emily never ceased to amaze me not only with her attention to detail but her creativity in thinking of new ways to develop the LeMieux Center.”
PBA’s ethos of service appealed to Dennis, she said. She is a lifelong Girl Scout, and her family prioritizes volunteerism, she said.
“PBA’s emphasis on that was definitely going to carry over into a career,” Dennis said. “My faith was strengthened during my time here.”