A church conference the summer before high school gave PC junior Emily Green a look into the work she wanted to pursue.
Emily, who is Presbyterian, spent time at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) conference center in Montreat, N.C. Emily says her mom made her go, but looking back, she’s glad she did.
“It was amazing to see 1,000-plus high schoolers worshipping together in community, but also talking about real issues facing the world,” she said.
Her interest in world issues continued in high school, where she also got a closer look at government.
When she was 16, she spent her spring break as a messenger for the Florida House of Representatives. She ran errands for staff members and took field trips where she met leaders like former Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Studying Religion and Politics
When she toured colleges, one thing stuck with her about her visit at PC: community. PC also became a place where her interests could collide.
She chose to study political science. After taking a Christian education class at the College, Emily said she found a deeper purpose in her major.
“I grew up with such an idea that church and state should be separated,” she said. “Then, I got to PC and thought, ‘Wow. I can incorporate my faith with my passion for political science.’ PC makes it so easy to double major and pursue what you love, and I am incredibly thankful for that.”
Within her first three weeks at PC, she got involved with student government.
The summer after her freshman year, she interned with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in his Tallahassee office. There, she answered constituent phone calls, carried out office tasks and attended events while representing the senator.
In Emily’s second year at PC, she served as president of the sophomore class. She decided to run for student body president and won the following year.
Emily is now spending summers on Capitol Hill. Last summer, she earned a fellowship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C.
She was able to live at the Alpha Delta Pi house at George Washington University, since she’s a member of the sorority’s chapter at PC. During her commute each day, she walked past the Library of Congress, the Capitol and the Supreme Court to get her office, which was located right across the street from the Supreme Court.
Love of people and policy
The fellowship was a chance for Emily to apply her love for people and policy in a real-world experience.
“Everything we learned from our Christian doctrine and everything we were talking about in devotion every morning was being transferred onto Capitol Hill into public policy,” she said. “It was really awesome to hear those devotions about creating love and a compassionate environment and then also translating that love and compassion into public policy.”
On her first day, she experienced a community of faith gathering to pray for legislators. The summer also included several bill briefings and Advocacy Day visits to Congressional members and their staffs.
Emily was chosen out of applicants across the nation for the prestigious opportunity. She believes her involvement at PC helped her stand out.
“I think besides the rigorous academics, which allowed me to submit quality pieces on time for my office, PC also forces you to get involved,” she said. “So, I think the involvement that I had in different organizations on campus definitely gave me the people skills you need to be able to interact and communicate with strangers in the workforce, which is very, very useful.”
Emily is working on her Christian education capstone titled, “Necessary Trouble: The Need for Faith-Based Advocacy in Local Congregations.” Her capstone stems from her work at the Office of Public Witness.
After PC, she wants to pursue a master’s degree in international affairs or international law. She is also interested in faith-based advocacy after her work this past summer. In the meantime, she has advisers and professors to help guide her, as she works toward her purpose after college.
Be a Blue Hose
Check out the Christian education and political science pages to learn more about the majors that prepared Emily for her internship on Capitol Hill. Scheduling a campus visit and applying to PC are only a click away.