Voices for Virginia’s Children is seeking to fill a master level data internship position for the summer of 2021. This master level internship opportunity in applied data research would fill up to 120 hours, and would be paid a stipend of up to $1,800. The internship will be over the course of summer 2021 and/or fall 2021, if necessary to complete requirements. This position intends to primarily be remote with the potential for office time in the fall. This position will be directly supervised by our Research Director with the potential to work with other departments such as fundraising, policy, and outreach. Experience in research and data maintenance (downloading, cleaning) with excellent Excel skills is required.
Voices for Virginia’s Children is a statewide multi-issue policy, advocacy, and data organization. Our research and data program is home to the KIDS COUNT DATA center. We represent Virginia in being the go-to statewide source for child health and wellbeing data with the most variety and depth of topics at both the state and locality level. Tracking hundreds of indicators over time and by categories like race, education, income, and gender, we apply our data to the policy and advocacy process, creating the best solutions for all children in Virginia.
To apply: Please send an email introduction with resume and any internship requirements to email@example.com by April 16, 2021.
With a bang of his gavel, Chairman Emmett Hanger abruptly ended the May 29 Virginia Senate Finance Committee meeting, after declaring Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment out of order. Hanger realized just in time that Norment’s attempted parliamentary maneuver would prevent a vote on Medicaid expansion from reaching the full Senate, effectively shutting down the possibility of Medicaid expansion in Virginia in 2018.
The next day, the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates voted to expand Medicaid to an additional 400,000 low-income Virginians.
Dillon Wild witnessed first-hand the dramatic turn of events at the May 29 committee meeting. He attended the meeting on the second day of his internship with Voices for Virginia’s Children, which advocated for Medicaid expansion as a way to improve family health outcomes and economic stability.
“It was a really exciting introduction to my internship,” said the graduate student at University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. “I saw how something seemingly small could change the course of politics.”
“It was a really exciting introduction to my internship. I saw how something seemingly small could change the course of politics.”
Dillon learned about the Voices internship when a Batten School counselor sent around a list of internship postings. “I recognized Voices because I had used Voices’ KIDS COUNT data for a paper I wrote on children’s mental health,” he said.
He traced his initial interest in children’s issues to discussions with his mother, an early childhood educator. She often spoke of the lack of resources available to meet the needs of low-income children, he said.
This spring, Dillon explored children’s issues in more depth through a social policy course taught by a UVA professor who had lobbied Congress on behalf of children.
The FFPSA reforms federal funding of the foster care system in order to prevent children from entering foster care and to improve the well-being of children already in foster care.
“I read the legislation several times and thought about what Voices needs to do to be ready for the implementation of Family First,” Dillon said. “I met stakeholders and legislators working on this and assisted Voices’ foster care policy analyst Allison Gilbreath in creating an informational Family First webinar and the accompanying slides.
“My trauma research involved looking at how other states expanded trauma-informed policy and practice across institutions, agencies, and organizations.”
Now back at UVA, Dillon has been talking to his classmates about their internships.
“I realized I was lucky to work with Voices,” he said. “Voices does a really good job of exemplifying best practices for forming public policy, as we are learning about it in my program.
“Voices does a really good job of exemplifying best practices for forming public policy.”
“For example, Voices’ policy director Emily Griffey made a list of stakeholders and community partners who should be involved in the trauma-informed agenda. At the first meeting with our trauma-informed partners, she asked, who is missing? Who else should we invite? This taught me the importance of including all stakeholders when crafting public policy.”
He recalled a UVA classmate speaking about her internship with a nonprofit that had no data to back up its policy agenda. “By contrast, the KIDS COUNT data supports Voices’ public policy,” he said.
Dillon will continue his internship with Voices on a part-time basis this semester and will work with Voices on his master’s capstone project next semester.
“I feel very lucky to have had this experience with Voices,” Dillon said. “I learned a lot more than I thought I would. Going forward, I want to stay involved with children’s policy.”