Over the coming weeks, we'll be highlighting NPP's amazing summer interns. The stellar efforts of talented student interns throughout the year allows NPP to expand and deepen what we do across all aspects of our work. This week's Summer Intern Profile is Molly Grover, who joined NPP as a Research Assistant this summer.
By Molly Grover
Hi, I’m Molly Grover. I grew up near Burlington, Vermont and I’m presently study sociology at Smith College in Northampton, MA. I’m an Ada Comstock scholar which means that I’ve been in the race a bit longer than the average college student, and can remember such historic events as “hanging chads” and the Titanic movie mania.
In the decade since I graduated high school, I’ve served food in some interesting places, including an Iranian café in San Francisco, a mega-resort in Killarney, Ireland, and a posh retirement home in Shelburne, VT. By the time I came to Smith, I was very ready to depart from food service and to devote my evening hours to the library and laptop instead.
My summer internship at NPP has been a great extension of my academic studies. I’m working on a project called Faces of the Federal Budget this summer. My job is to search for and contact people who write letters to the editor pertaining to federal budget policy, and ask about their personal experiences with taxes and federal programs such as Medicaid, Social Security, and SNAP. By sharing their stories, NPP is putting a human face to federal budget policy analysis.
So far, I’ve conducted interviews with people from Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Utah, and Washington. It’s been especially fascinating to talk to people who have different political views from my own—as a sociology major, this kind of thing really gets me going! The interviews and accompanying research have also allowed me to feel much more connected to distant corners of the country that I’d wished to know more about.
Being part of an organization where budget transparency is the primary goal, has definitely been an uplifting experience. I find myself more hopeful about democratic involvement and the future of policy-making efforts in the US as my summer at NPP progresses. We’ll see how long that starry-eyed notion lasts!