Historical Feature - 2005-2006 Interns
Walking up to Queen’s Park on the first day of her internship in September 2005, Jacqueline Caceres was extremely excited to be working at the Legislature. She felt a “deep sense of appreciation for the opportunity to leave a tiny mark on Ontario politics and be part of the huge machine that is Queen’s Park.” Jacqueline was joined by fellow interns Ana Curic, Jon Feairs, Nicole Goodman, Dan O’Brien, Marc Peverini, Meghan Warby, and Brian Wettlaufer as she entered the halls of power in downtown Toronto.
Led by the extremely knowledgeable Dr. Henry Jacek, the 2005-06 OLIP cohort quickly got to work supporting their MPPs. Meghan Warby describes feeling intimidated writing statements and speeches for “powerhouse women” like MPPs Deb Matthews and Laurie Scott, but also the “rush” she got hearing those words delivered in the Legislature and sometimes even making it to a major network. Jon Feairs remembers participating in a range of meetings with stakeholders, caucus, and community leaders.
The cohort also had many amazing experiences on their different study tours. In London, England, they saw Prime Minister Tony Blair in action during Question Period. They explored the history of the civil rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama, and even had a bill passed in their honour in the State legislature in Nashville, Tennessee. These study tours were definitely highlights for the 2005-06 cohort and provided them with valuable insight into the functioning of democracy in those jurisdictions.
Hearing the stories and reflections of the 2005-06 OLIP cohort, we were struck by how positively they talk about their experiences so many years later. They reflected on their practical work experience, the networking, the wisdom and insight gained, and the relationships built through this impactful internship.