1. Background

FCNL 2019 Summer Interns: Beginning with Hope and Agency

By Adelle Pitsas, July 15, 2019


Coming to FCNL, I have been impressed at the dedication FCNL has in engaging young adults with Quaker advocacy work. The work that I see on a daily basis at FCNL is both inspiring and contagious, and I am so excited to be part of the 2019 summer intern cohort!

Since 1968, FCNL has created opportunities for young people to work on advocacy with its experienced staff and lobbyists. These days, the opportunities are much expanded. Young people can apply for paid summer internships, a year-long Fellowship program, and part-time organizing opportunities in the Advocacy Corps. Hundreds of young people from around the country attend Spring Lobby Weekend every year. FCNL is constantly bustling with young people!

the 2019 summer interns in two rows, in front of 245 2nd Street, holding a "Love Thy

This summer, I am one of the six interns who are at FCNL for 8 weeks working on a variety of projects. These projects range from Quaker and social media outreach, to young adult program organization, to assisting lobbyists, to creating FCNL documentaries. We get to work with so many incredible people at FCNL and gain experience in a non-profit setting.

As summer interns, we are trained to lobby, and have a chance to lobby our own representatives and senators. We have recently been visiting our representatives’ offices to talk to staffers about the REAL Act (H.R. 2168) that would lift the ban on awarding federal Pell Grants to incarcerated people.

The professional norm at FCNL is to do work out of passion and caring, and it models the kind of work that we seek to bring into our lives in whatever we do.

By becoming involved in FCNL, young people begin a professional career with hope and agency. As Emmett, a Young Fellow alumnus, put it, “FCNL has figured out how to put hope in a bottle and pull it out whenever we need it.”

At the end of July, FCNL will hold the Washington Summer Intensive—a 10-day intensive training for 20 new Advocacy Corps members. For 10 months, these young people will be organizing their community around gun violence prevention.

The advocacy work that we are taught to do here at FCNL engages us politically, and we take it with us wherever we go. Any one of these programs allows young people to dip their feet into the world of Quaker lobbying. My fellow 2019 intern, Emily, put it well. “FCNL is a great way to gain Capitol Hill, advocacy, or non-profit experience while being firmly grounded in the knowledge that you’re doing great work.”

Adelle Pitsas

  • 2019 Summer Intern, Executive Secretary/Governance

A first-semester senior, Adelle is a Political Psychology major at Hampshire College in Massachusetts. She is writing her thesis on Left Wing Activism and has worked in sustainable, non-profit farming for two years. She has been a research assistant for the Hampshire College Child Cognition Lab and has completed two environmentally focused independent research projects.