Another weekend of adventures! SPS students went to an outdoor movie in Rockville and dinner at the District Wharf.
Welcome to the St. Albans School of Public Service page! Email our office to see if availability remains for summer 2012!
Lots of updates/photos during the program, and here's a link to our full photo blog: http://schoolofpublicservice.blogspot.com/. The School of Public Service is a four-week summer public policy and public service program for qualified rising high school seniors in Washington, D.C. We begin accepting applications for the summer session on December 1 each year, and use a rolling admissions process.
Another weekend of adventures! SPS students went to an outdoor movie in Rockville and dinner at the District Wharf.
Shots from a busy Fourth of July weekend at SPS! SPS students attended a Washington Nationals game with fireworks afterwards, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Eastern Market, a Maryland Country Carnival, Old Town Alexandria, the Iwo Jim’s Memorial, and Mount Vernon. Students Katya B. and Mary Emma W. were even chosen to participate in a wreath ceremony at Washington’s grace at Mount Vernon!
Last week, former Senator Chris Dodd took SPS students on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Capitol!
This week, students were assigned a role of lawyer or Justice in the SPS Mock Supreme Court. The lawyers represented students and School Districts in a First Amendment Case building on the unanswered questions from the Supreme Court’s 2021 Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. decision.
On Tuesday, SPS students had the amazing opportunity to visit Business Roundtable with CEO Josh Bolten (STA ‘72). Dressed in business professional for the first time this session, students sat in the very seats that the organization’s Fortune 500 CEOs sit in at their quarterly meetings. SPS students Jack K. and Phillip S. interviewed Mr. Bolten and fielded questions from the group. He then took them up to the roof for a great view!
Enjoy some shots from the first social activities of the summer: ice cream party, an escape room, and walking around Georgetown!
Happy first day of SPS 2022!! We are bringing back a long-standing tradition of crowning the first students to arrive. This year's winners are Jaila K. and Ray W.
In-person SPS is BACK in just 4 days!! Interns David D. (SPS '20), Theo S. (SPS '21), and Sonia W. (SPS '21) are getting binders ready for this year's students!
An SPS 2020 meetup in Chicago this fall! Thanks to Simrun S., Aidan M., and Maya G. for sharing the picture.
Keep the pictures coming! It was great to get a recent picture from Kareen G., Arya B., and William B., especially since SPS 2021 was entirely virtual.
Camilla D., Ali T., and Salma K. of SPS 2015 reunited recently. SPS forever!
The second in-person meetup of SPS 2021! Ms. Duke and Miranda S. met up outside this summer after the program. SPS alums, if you meet up in person please send us pictures so we can feature them!
The first in-person meeting of SPS 2021! We hope there are many more to come...
For our final Mentor Spotlight, we’ll highlight mentor Olivia White (SPS ’20). Olivia is from Indianapolis, Indiana and graduated from Park Tudor School this past spring. There, she was president of the Young Democrats club, a founding member of her local chapter of Students Demand Action, class Vice President, and a model UN participant. She studied abroad for a semester in Brest, France, and also was a three-sport varsity athlete in lacrosse, cross country, and track. Outside of school, she loves hanging out with friends, going on runs, exploring her city, and finding new music. Next year, she’ll continue her studies at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, where she’ll major in International Studies and minor in either French or Business.
Today’s Mentor Spotlight is on Kaitlin Price (SPS ’20). Kaitlin is from Louisville, Kentucky and just graduated from the historic Louisville Central High School. There, she was the founder of the M.E.M.E. (Mental Emotional Mindful Encouragement) program, which helped students learn about and cope with mental health. She currently works for the Legal Aid Society and PeaceCasters, and she owns a cosmetic company called KissedByKai. She enjoys learning about all things beauty, and she is studying to become a lash technician in the state of Kentucky. Next year she’ll attend the University of Louisville, where she’ll major in Criminal Justice with a minor in Business.
Today we’ll highlight mentor Zach Leiter (SPS ’20). Zach just graduated from St. Albans School, where he was President of the Government Club and the Model UN team, Opinions Editor for the school newspaper, and captain of the short distance track team. In his free time, Zach draws, cooks, listens to 60s–70s rock, reads about politics and current events, and plays competitive Magic: the Gathering and casual chess and bridge. Next year, he’ll attend the University of Chicago, where he plans to study Public Policy and will continue to write a book on the history of American offshore fisheries policy and the U.S. seafood industry, fields he’s researched and explored for the past three years. His favorite SPS memories are of the friends he made and the discussions and collaborations in which he participated.
Former 2020 presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Indiana and current U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, is speaking to this year’s SPS students on Friday! We remember fondly when two small groups of SPS 2019 students got to meet him at campaign events.
SPS students really got into character as reporters from various news outlets at today’s Congressional Bill Project Press Conference Session. Shown here are William B. of BBC News who spoke in a British accent, and Kendall C. of Fox News who spoke in a thick Texas accent and donned a cowboy hat. Students drafted bills in small groups on topics such as gun control, immigration, and education. They wrote press releases, then yesterday and today the students held a press conference while the other half took on roles as reporters from various news outlets. The project wraps up on the final day of the session with a final Congressional debate, where groups bring their bills to the SPS Senate floor for debate and voting.
Today’s Mentor Spotlight is on Nina Hazra (SPS ’16). Nina just graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Chemistry and minors in Mathematics, Spanish, and Law and Society. She starts a new role as SPS Program Coordinator this coming year while she applies to medical school. At Cornell, she was active on campus as the Vice President of the Cornell Democrats, a mentor for Ithaca-area youth, a peer advisor in the Chemistry department, and the Diversity Inclusion Chair and Alumni Relations Chair for the pre-medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon. Before Cornell, she graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland, where she was a three-sport varsity athlete in basketball, lacrosse, and cross country. In her free time, she enjoys running, doing yoga, watching Gilmore Girls, and listening to Taylor Swift.
Today we concluded our new alumni lunch series, where SPS students could opt in to join informal chats with six recent SPS alumni to hear about internships and jobs in various public service sectors. These SPS alums have experience working as an intern on Capitol Hill, as a researcher on education policy, as a legal intern for the Department of Justice, as a policy expert for a campaign for the Mayor of London, as a field organizer, and as a teacher in the Department of Juvenile Justice, among many other things. We give our heartfelt thanks to each of these alums for sharing their wisdom with this year’s students. SPS forever!
Today we’ll highlight mentor Salmah Elmasry (SPS ’20). Salmah just graduated from Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she was the President of the Social Consciousness Club, captain of the speech and debate teams, and a guitarist in the jazz ensemble. Next year, she’ll study International Politics and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Georgetown University, and she hopes to pursue a foreign service career to codify women, peace, and security agenda in U.S. foreign policy. Salmah enjoys archival research, making and selling earrings, and is a strong advocate for eliminating the filibuster. Her favorite SPS memories are hearing from speakers and passing her group’s immigration bill with a 66% margin.
Today’s Mentor Spotlight is on David Donoghue (SPS ’20). David just graduated from St. Albans School, where he was the President of the Chorale and an a ca****la group, as well as the editor-in-chief of the online school newspaper. Next year, he’ll attend Washington University in St. Louis. David loves playing Spikeball and watching the Washington Nationals and his favorite SPS memories are the interesting Q&As with speakers.
This year we brought back the alumni mentorship program that began last year, with seven recent SPS alums serving as mentors. Each SPS student is assigned a mentor who’s their resource for all things SPS. We’ll highlight each of the seven mentors in a Mentor Spotlight in the coming days, with Henry D’Amico (SPS ’19) up first.
Henry graduated from Polytechnic High School in Pasadena, CA, where he played football and basketball and participated in debate and musicals. He just finished his first year at Davidson College in North Carolina, where he plans to major in History and is active in Greek life. Henry’s favorite SPS memories are hearing the various speakers, creating a bill proposal for the Congressional Bill Project, and meeting friends who he still keeps in touch with today.
Believe it or not, we’re officially halfway through SPS 2021! Students began the session by taking on roles as lawyers and justices in a mock Supreme Court case, using a recently-decided case on social media and student free speech as precedent. They’ve heard from ten speakers, attended a virtual White House event on The Equality Act, and discussed case studies on gay marriage rulings and New Jersey’s ban the box law. Our alumni mentorship program is back in full swing, with each student assigned to an SPS alum to be their mentor on all things SPS. Look out for a spotlight on each of our alumni mentors in the coming weeks!
Happy to see the Tax Reform group is still going strong on Zoom! 3 weeks out from the Congressional Debate...
Last day of SPS 2020! Wrapping up the program with our traditional Congressional debate followed by our closing ceremony. Students are in the process of writing their thank you notes to our speakers and they are a joy to read. It definitely feels like a window into the next generation of leaders.
Right now, students are hearing from former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Here is a screenshot from his opening remarks. Mr. Buttigieg says he is eager to hear from the students so Q&A to begin shortly.
This afternoon, students had the opportunity to hear from Fiona Hill, the former deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019 who testified before Congress during the 2019 impeachment proceedings of President Donald J. Trump (a recording of her opening statement is available below).
From 2006 to 2009, she served as national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at The National Intelligence Council. Ms. Hill is a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution.
In her opening statement before the House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearing, Fiona Hill, the former senior director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council, speaks first about her personal biography growing up poor in northeast England, earning a scholarship in the U.S., and....
This morning, cybersecurity expert Niloofar Razi Howe spoke with SPS students. Ms. Howe has been an investor, executive and entrepreneur in the technology industry for the past 25 years, with a focus on Cybersecurity for the past ten. She is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation's Cybersecurity Initiative. https://www.newamerica.org/cybersecurity-initiative/
Today and tomorrow, members of the SPS Congress are squaring off against the Fourth Estate in their press conferences as part of the Congressional Bill Project. Students take turns presenting their bills and serving as members of the media. Students are assigned to groups charged with writing legislation on one of six topics: Gun Reform, Education Reform, Immigration, Healthcare, Climate Change and Tax Reform. Below is a screenshot of some of the media outlets students represented today.
In 2018, a group of SPS students had a chance encounter with civil rights icon John Lewis while on Capitol Hill. Mr. Lewis was known as the “conscience of Congress” and encouraged young people to get into “good trouble.” Rest In Peace, Mr. Lewis.
Mentor Spotlight: Julia Barton-Biegelsen (SPS ‘18)
especially loved arguing a Supreme Court case to the “justices” in her class. She graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school in Maryland in 2019, where she was the captain of the beloved debate team. She is now studying Russian and anthropology at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She sings a capella with the Wellesley College Blue Notes and is not a big fan of the two-party system.
Below, Julia (pictured left) on the first day of the 2018 program.
Mentor Spotlight: We have two mentors from last year’s class: Henry D’Amico and Carlos Cruz. We even found a photo of them together at last year’s mock press conference!
A favorite memory for Carlos from SPS was seeing the participants reactions to seeing D.C. He graduated from Gonzaga College High school in D.C in 2020, where he was a boatman for the crew team. He will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the fall, where he will study Biomedical Engineering. He hopes to be able to use his knowledge in his field to come back and help the underserved communities in D.C.
Henry is from Pasadena, California and just graduated from Polytechnic School. In high school, Henry participated in debate, musicals, and ethics bowl, played football and basketball. Henry is attending Davidson College where he wants to study political science and is specifically interested in data analytics and polling. Some of his favorite memories from his time at SPS include hearing the other perspectives of his peers and the speaker program.
This morning, we heard from Josh Bolten, former White House Chief of Staff for President George W. Bush. Mr. Bolten spent twenty years in government service and is currently the President and CEO of the Business Roundtable.
This past Sunday, SPS ‘19 alum Clifford McKinney reported to the United States Military Academy (West Point) for cadet basic training. As a new cadet, he will undergo four weeks of basic training in advance of the start of the academic year.
SPS is so proud of Clifford for his appointment to West Point. The next few weeks will be extremely challenging (even with the training being cut two weeks short due to the pandemic). Cards and letters of support are much appreciated during this time. If you were a classmate of Clifford’s in 2019 or would otherwise like to send him a note with a favorite SPS memory, we are sure it will be enjoyed.
Those interested in writing can send us a private message for the mailing address.
Below, a picture of Clifford from the first night of the 2019 program.
Tonight, mentors Nina Hazra (SPS '16) and Gabriella Lewis (SPS '18) are hosting game night for our 2020 class. We plan on hosting several more informal gatherings to give our 2020 cohort a chance to meet outside of the classroom as their schedule allows. Here is a little bit about each of these mentors:
Nina attended SPS in the summer of 2016 and has worked at SPS every summer since! One of her favorite SPS memories is meeting Politico reporter Daniel Lippman, as she is an avid reader of the Politico Playbook column. She attends Cornell University, where she studies Chemistry and Chemical Biology, with minors in Mathematics and Spanish. She hopes to be a physician one day. At Cornell, she serves as the Vice President of the Cornell Democrats, works with an organization called YOURS to mentor local-area youth, and is a member of both the sorority Pi Beta Phi and the pre-medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon.
At SPS, Gabriella loved creating and advocating for legislation during the Congressional Bill Project. She is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and currently attends Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she majors in political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies. At Emory, she is involved with the student newspaper the Emory Wheel, the Residence Hall Association, and getting involved with politics and social justice.
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