My Experiences at America's Promise Alliance

From day one at the Initiative for Military Families, I realized that this would be a fast paced and fun environment. But in all the time spent with the initiative, there are two moments that stick out as paramount in my mind, two experiences that will stay with me for my entire life. As a Marine Corps veteran, the opportunity that the Initiative for Military Families provided me was one of the most meaningful I will ever have—helping the families of my brothers and sisters in arms.

The first stand out moment started with a basic enough assignment, researching on consumer protection in regards to predatory lending. During this research, I was able to find a paper on predatory lending near military bases. The author, it turned out, was an extremely well known attorney and advocate for individuals who may be disadvantaged and taken advantage of by these types of lending processes. At the time, he was serving as Associate Dean of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. I emailed Chris Peterson fully expecting to receive a “thank you for the interview offer, but no thank you,” but what I received was an enthusiastic response on how he would love to speak with me and America’s Promise. The excitement that I had for being able to discuss best practices in consumer protection may seem like an odd way to “geek out,” but this was one of the issues most common with my Marines.

Mr. Peterson’s work represented an opportunity to protect real people that I had sought to protect in different ways before. The conversation I had with Mr. Peterson exposed me to a whole new thought process on protection and because of the name recognition that America’s Promise has, Mr. Peterson made time to not only speak with me but also to speak with me for as long as I was available, which is common place when people have the opportunity to discuss their passions with an organization with the prestige of America’s Promise.

The second experience that stands out in my head was being able to attend a conference on issues in the Army at which was one of the guest speakers, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry, one of the few living Medal of Honor Recipients. While in passing, I met Sgt. 1st Class Petry. This truly unique experience was facilitated by America’s Promise Alliance and the Initiative for Military Families. While to most, meeting a person in passing may not be a story they tell their friends and family about, to me meeting Sgt. 1st Class Petry was just that moment. Had I not been a member of the Initiative for Military Families I would not have been at the conference and I never would have been able to meet a living Medal of Honor recipient; that experience will always remain one of the most exciting moments of my internship and of my life.

These are the types of experiences that I had and they were common place with the internship at America’s Promise. America’s Promise puts an emphasis on quick learning and a fast pace environment that allows interns to grow and become more competitive in the world. I will always cherish the time I spent at America’s Promise.