Ferris State University’s Kaylia Ervin was one of 12 students selected for an internship with The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
About 60 students applied for this internship and Ervin, a junior in the Criminal Justice program and a Ferris Youth Initiative student, was selected to participate in the two-month internship in Washington, D.C. As an intern, she will work with Congress on youth initiatives. She leaves on Tuesday, May 27, and returns on Wednesday, July 30.
“The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a very prestigious internship geared toward people like myself who were raised in foster care,” said Ervin, whose hometown is Muskegon. “The goal of the internship is to devise a presentation that contains both researched factual knowledge as well as personal experience to present to Congress on behalf of foster youth around the nation. Our report should explain the hardship and current issues within the foster system so that something may be done about it.”
This summer, Ervin will research policy issues that impact children in the U.S. foster care system, which will help her and the other interns create a policy report that they will present at a Congressional briefing. Following the briefing, the report will be released to child welfare advocates across the country. Though Ervin is excited about this aspect of the internship, it is not what has her the most excited
“Although this will be a life-changing experience, and I’m looking forward to rubbing shoulders with senators and members of Congress, that is not my greatest excitement. The thing I’m most excited about is meeting the other interns,” Ervin said. “Of all the people in the nation who could apply, only a dozen of us were chosen. I simply can’t wait to share space with these phenomenal individuals and learn about their stories.”
The CCAI is a nonprofit with a mission to engage members of Congress in reforming the U.S. foster care system by linking them with foster care alumni whose firsthand experience can serve as a road map for reform. It was founded in 2001 by advocates for the world’s orphaned and foster youth. Along with the experience, interns will receive a stipend for a business wardrobe, media training and exposure, and informal career counseling through the Sara Start Fund.
Founded in 2011, the Sara Start Fund helps former foster youth transition “from their
lives in care into the professional world.” The fund was named in honor of grandmother
and child advocate Sara Rosenberg.