SGA President Gaining Top-Notch Experience

Martha BradleyJunior year at Central Methodist University was an exciting time for Farmington native Martha Bradley. When it comes to gaining leadership skills, most would agree she definitely took huge strides.

The 20-year-old is double-majoring in Criminal Justice and Political Science at CMU, and also is president of the pre-law program. She participates in track and field for the CMU Eagles, has been Editor-in-Chief of the campus student newspaper, The Collegian, and is a member of Pi Gamma Mu honor society for social sciences.

During the spring semester, not only was Bradley elected CMU Student Government Association President for the 2017-18 academic year, but she also found out she was accepted to participate in a very prestigious summer internship in Washington D.C.

After attending the Missouri Governor’s Student Leadership Forum in Jefferson City, Bradley was nominated by her facilitator, Monica Hashemi-Bozarth, for the National Student Leadership Congressional Fellows Program.

According to the National Student Leadership Forum, only a small group of about 15 to 20 students are selected for the internship, which offers work in Congressional offices or with other organizations in the D.C. area. Students additionally take part in community service activities, as well as leadership and training days.

“I was hesitant to even apply because I feared rejection,” Bradley said of the internship, which had an application process including a questionnaire, and submission of resume, transcript, and photo. “I was notified a few weeks later that I had been accepted, and I was shocked because I knew people were applying from all over the world.”

She set up an online fundraiser to help with the costs of the attending, raising approximately $2,000 through the support of family and friends. The funds are being applied toward rent, meals, transportation and other needs.

Since the beginning of June, Bradley has been living, working and learning in D.C. as she participates in the two-month summer opportunity designed for undergraduate students.

The internship, itself, is only half of what the opportunity offers, according to Bradley, who said she is living in a house with approximately 30 other people who are focusing on building relationships, leadership values, and faith.

“We do so much together,” Bradley said. “On Mondays, we do community service projects. On Tuesday through Thursday, we intern either on the Hill, or for me, a law firm in D.C. On Fridays, we dive into some devotion and talk about Jesus. Then on the weekends, we have the opportunity to bond together in our free time, and go to cookouts at some of the adult mentors’ homes.”

Bradley is working at a lobbying firm called Williams & Jensen, PLLC. She is conducting legal research, listening to Congressional hearings, sitting in on client meetings, attending events for the firm, and more.

“I feel very lucky to be where I am,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to visit D.C., so to have the opportunity to live and work here for two months is just a dream come true.” 

The connections, professionalism, and personal growth she’ll gain from the Congressional Fellowship portion of her summer will probably be the most important, according to Bradley.

“Being in a fast-paced workplace is a great way to learn and prepare for my future,” she said.

Bradley will be a senior in the fall, with plans to graduate one year early.

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