Student Spotlight: Adrienne Beck

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Please introduce yourself (name, year, concentration, activities or positions you might hold here at Heller):
My name is Adrienne Beck. I am a second year MPP concentrating in Women and Gender Studies and I have been a part of the LGBTQIA+ and Gender Working Groups while at Heller.

What were you doing before you came to Heller?
After college I completed a term of service of ten months with AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). I was based in Denver, CO serving the southwest region of the United States. I served on a team that lived and worked together completing community service projects including mentoring kids at Boys and Girls Clubs and providing free tax preparation services. Since then I have worked in customer service and donor services, most recently with Heifer International, a non-profit organization geared towards ending poverty and hunger worldwide.

Why did you decide to come to Heller?
Coming from a direct service background, I love being able to work directly with individuals. However, through my experience I also learned how important the overall policies and systems in place is to the success of the work happening on the ground. The Heller School became the ideal place to combine my interest in policy and structural change to address social issues, especially those impacting the LGBTQIA+ community.

What are some of the classes/activities that you’ve really enjoyed here at Heller?
The two classes that I have enjoyed the most while at Heller have been the Law and Social Justice courses taught by Professor Hill. These courses challenged the way I think about and address social justice within public policy. Our class regularly had thought provoking and dynamic conversations that have defined my experience at Heller and how I plan on addressing social policy in the future.

If you have done a summer internship, can you say a little about where you were and what you did?
I spent my summer internship at Greater Boston PFLAG here in Waltham. PFLAG is a non-profit organization that works for the LGBTQIA+ community and their family and friends through support, advocacy and education. I led the Advocacy Intern team working in conjunction with the Freedom Massachusetts campaign to pass statewide legislation that would update the existing public accommodations law to provide protections for gender identity. I also collaborated with the Impact Team to make program recommendations to schools and organizations for best practices trainings and workshops to create and foster safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQIA+ individuals.

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