Agoura High Grad Sets Her Sights on Nation's Capital

Agoura High graduate Jennifer Aaronson has her sights set on the nation's capital for a career, but she remains a California girl at heart.

An graduate just spent a memorable summer interning in the nation’s capital.

Jennifer Aaronson, 20, was accepted into the Machon Kaplan program at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. The summer study-internship program in Washington, D.C. aims to expose students to social justice issues.

Sharpening the saw

Through the program, and through her enduring passions in foreign policy, social justice and Judaism, Aaronson landed a plum internship at Americans for Peace Now (APN), an advocacy and public policy organization.

For six weeks, the incoming college senior met and interacted with such policy experts as Lara Friedman, APN’s director of policy and government relations. She also worked with the American Task Force on Palestine and collaborated with fellow interns during her DC stint.

“It was really an interesting and informative time for me,” said Aaronson. “The experience has broadened my knowledge about Israel and the Middle East.”

There were many high points during her internship, but Aaronson remembers being invited to sit in and observe one of the hearings as one of the most unforgettable.

“I was asked to write a summary about it and it was published online,” said the former high school yearbook staffer.

Budding policy-maker

At University of California-Santa Cruz, the politics major hopes to apply what she learned over the summer and engage other students on campus.

She has always leaned towards foreign policy and advocacy work. “I emphasized it in my application and that’s probably why I was chosen,” she said.

Aaronson’s summers and down time seem to be following a distinct pattern. Last summer, she interned at Congressman Henry Waxman’s district office. She also interned with another congressman the year before.

This winter, she will be heading back to DC for another two-month internship, facilitated by various UC schools.

California roots

Graduate school is definitely on the horizon for Aaronson. “It will be related to foreign policy for sure or something along those lines,” she said. “Eventually, I do want to work in Washington DC where all the action is.”

The California girl, however, is not turning her back on her roots. “I love baseball and the Dodgers too much not to be back,” she said.

illece Buckley Weber August 15, 2011 at 07:57 AM
Congratulations to Jennifer and her proud family. Our quality schools have helped shape the lives of the young people in our community who are the future of our state and this country. Just imagine the boy riding his bike down the street may be the next President of the United States. The girl who trick or treats in our neighborhoods may find a cure for cancer. I am proud of Jennifer and I have high expectations for her and all of our graduates. Keep up the good work.


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