By Maddie Frantz February 1, 2018

My internship experience with Defend Our Future began because I asked myself, “How can I turn my passion for the outdoors into action that contributes to the protection of the environment and the Earth I call home?”

When I discovered the organization and learned about its mission to engage people like me in advocating for climate change solutions, I found a community that I am so proud to be part of. Each day, we acted to achieve our collective goal of preserving the Earth for generations to come.

As an intern, I grew in ways I had not anticipated, both personally and professionally. I learned about the intricacies of political advocacy and the power that everyday citizens have in affecting change in governmental policy. I had the incredible opportunity to visit the offices of Ohio congressional representatives, discuss environmental issues with field professionals, and help organize events that brought awareness to fellow college students.

My work as an intern was by no means accomplished alone, as I was surrounded by a wonderful community of interns and leaders who challenged and supported each other in the work we tackled each week. I will carry the friendships that I developed during my time at Defend Our Future throughout the rest of my college career and beyond. From this team, I learned that change happens when people work together to improve the environment not only in our home community, but throughout the country.

My time with Defend Our Future has been such a transformative and fulfilling experience. I strongly encourage anyone who is passionate about the environment and building a community of leaders to join this movement and apply to intern with this organization.

Maddie Frantz is a junior at The Ohio State University.