On May 26, the NAACP Maryland State Conference (MSC) held the Recognition in Service Excellence (RISE) Luncheon honoring the 2021 cohort of interns and capstone students from the School of Public Policy (SPP).
The five capstone students honored—Alysa Conway, Monet Creech, Maddie DiNino, Devante Jones, Bradley Russ—partnered with the NAACP MSC as part of their semester capstone project, PLCY400. The group researched, analyzed and recommended alternative programs the state of Maryland can implement to fund public systems.
“The most important thing is to remember that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said NAACP MSC President Willie Flowers, speaking directly to the substantive effects of the students’ works. “You are the ones who are leading the way now.”
Two SPP students who completed internships with the NAACP were also honored at the luncheon. Fransiska Dale and Jasmine Melak were both recipients of the new Dean’s Internship Award, a fund that supports students pursuing unpaid internships with organizations led by or serving underrepresented groups throughout the metropolitan Washington, DC area.
“I cannot wait for future Dean’s internship awardees and future capstone projects,” said Bryan Kempton, SPP director of career services and alumni. “Academic or experiential, the work these students did was really impressive to read about and will only grow in really exciting directions.”
The luncheon celebrated the partnership between the School and the NAACP Maryland State Conference. Each student took a moment toward the end of the luncheon to thank their mentors and reflect on what they’ve learned throughout the experience, and in return members of both SPP and the NAACP MSC expressed their gratitude for the partnership and the hope that these seven students represented for the future.
“The NAACP’s work in education, the environment, justice, are what our students are passionate about,” said SPP Dean Robert C. Orr. “We can build from this a foundation, a collaboration in the policy space, the research space. I look forward to putting [our student’s] talent in [the NAACP MCS’s] capable hands to make magic happen.”
View photos from the event on the SPP Flickr account.