September 6, 2019
Read time : 8 min

The Up to Us program empowers students to educate peers on the long-term national debt and what our generation can do to have a voice in raising awareness of our fiscal challenges. Participating in the Up to Us Campus Competition offers exciting career development and networking opportunities for students across the country. 

Every year, we continue to be inspired by the individuals leading change on their campuses and creating meaningful advances towards their career goals. Today, we are highlighting three of these individuals who are past Up to Us participants and recent Leadership and the American Presidency (LTAP) interns. 

LTAP is an academic internship program, co-sponsored by The Fund for The American Studies and the Regean Foundation, that gives students the opportunity to spend the summer in Washington DC, intern with local organizations, take leadership courses, and attend numerous networking events. Interns participate in programming based on the power of leadership and civic engagement. 

Here is what our three Up to Us participants achieved in Washington DC this summer!

Maria Calderon, University of Pittsburgh

Maria Calderon is a rising student studying Global Management, Marketing and Asian Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She was an Up to Us participant in the Spring of 2019 and an LTAP intern through the summer. 

Maria Calderon in Washington DC.

For part of her LTAP internship, she accepted a Marketing and Communications position at the Prevention of Blindness Society. Here, she helped with social media and the planning of the grand opening of a new thrift shop where every $35 spent provides someone in need with free eyeglasses. “I left this internship with much more expertise than I came in with,” Maria explains. 

Her favorite part of the LTAP program was the lecture series speech events held at the Senate Building every week. “I made countless connections that I fully intend to utilize in the future,” says Maria. Her internship allowed her the opportunity to hear from impressive leaders in a variety of fields and share her thoughts on some of the world’s most pressing issues.

“I participated in Up to Us last spring and it opened up many new opportunities for me to take advantage of, one of them being the Leadership and American Presidency program!” - Maria Calderon, Up to Us participant, Leadership and the American Presidency intern.

Matthew Zimmerman, Recent Graduate

Matthew Zimmerman is past Up to Us participant and recent college graduate pursuing a career in economics. 

As a part of his LTAP experience, Matthew interned with the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration in Washington DC where he had the opportunity to meet with individuals from across the department, including the Secretary of Transportation. “At my internship...I arrived at a better understanding of the interworking of the Federal government and its bureaucratic systems,” explains Matthew.

Matthew also attended a weekly lecture series on Capitol Hill and was able to hear from speakers ranging from Senator Rand Paul to Swedish Economist Johan Norberg and author and former Federal Prosecutor Sydney Powell. The LTAP program also hosted an alumni networking dinner event where Matthew was able to meet with local journalists and writers and gain valuable ongoing connections. “Networking is the key to success in DC” says Matthew. 

“One of the questions which was constantly impressed upon us throughout the program was: what does it mean to be a leader? At first, I did not know how to answer this...however, through my experience...I concluded that to be a leader means to be a creator of oneself, to ambitiously create one’s own purpose.” - Matthew Zimmerman, Up to Us participant, Leadership and the American Presidency intern.

Tambwe Safalani, Georgia State University

Tambwe Safalani is an international student from the Democratic Republic of The Congo. She is currently a rising senior at Georgia State University majoring in Economics with a minor in International Business. 

During her summer in Washington DC, Tambwe had the opportunity to be mentored by an emerging leader in her career of interest, attend classes and earn college credits at George Mason University, and assist with a weekly lecture series on Capitol Hill. “I will never forget the joy I felt the day I received my acceptance letter from LTAP...I can honestly testify that the same joy accompanied me throughout my time in the American Capital,” says Tambwe.

LTAP participants in Washington DC.

Through LTAP, Tambwe was able to intern with AMP Global Youth, an organization that works with selective high schoolers from across the world to learn about international relations, public policies, and global leadership. “My highlight from my internship was the ability to hear from younger minds about the world issues they care about,” explains Tambwe.

“A big thank you to Up to Us for trusting me by offering me $7,750 in full scholarship to participate in the LTAP program.” - Tambwe Safalani, Up to Us participant, Leadership and 
the American Presidency intern.

We are so proud of our Up to Us participants who lead their campus communities during their time in the competition and we love to hear how they continue to pursue their passions and rise in their perspective fields!