Introducing Friends of the Institute

As a tribute to Senator Kennedy's 47-year career, gifts of $47 and up recognize you as a Friend of the Institute.

About the Institute

May 29, 2020

Impressions of an internship during a historic experience

By Eileen Donovan

This time of year is typically a time for college students to joyfully celebrate the end of the academic semester. Students around the country get to close their books, pack up their dorms, and finally begin their summer. For the Kennedy Institute, we approach the summer a little bittersweet as we say goodbye to our spring intern team and thank them for their hard work during the semester. As this spring has ended radically differently for our interns and for students across the world, we want to take an extra moment to pause and celebrate their contributions to the Institute.

The Institute’s intern team works with the Education and Visitor Experience department to provide excellent exhibit interpretation, educational tours, and assist with activities for our visiting members of the public and school groups. The internship is primarily completed by college students in the Greater Boston area, but we have also been fortunate enough to have graduate and even advanced high school students join the team. Their passion for history, political science, civics, and education enliven our building and exhibits with fresh perspectives. This spring, the interns demonstrated great perseverance as they pivoted their studies, and lives, throughout these uncertain times. Most of the interns returned home in March to continue their classes virtually while assisting with work-from-home research projects for the Institute. Now, after some rollicking weeks, the seniors graduated with video conference commencements and mailed diplomas. The interns showed impressive dedication to their learning and the Institute despite the interruptions.

The students in the internship program truly fulfill the Institute’s mission of “inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders.” Their efforts to serve the public and educate students at the Institute this semester, and every semester, is inspiring in so many ways. We thank them for their work and wish them all the best of luck! Some of the interns shared their thoughts about their time with the Institute.


“The Kennedy Institute has an amazing community of people who genuinely care about what they do and that’s what makes it special to me. The great people who work here do a great job at condensing so much information in just a couple hours, but it is also never overwhelming for the students and the tour guides. The students have a lot of fun during any given tour. It has been a privilege to be given the opportunity to teach so many bright and enthusiastic children about something as important as the United States Senate.”
–– Matthew M., UMass Boston, intern, fall 2019 and spring 2020

“When I was brought on for a summer internship with the Kennedy Institute just before my senior year, I couldn’t have been more excited! I had attended a Senate Immersion Module program while in high school and absolutely loved it. Still, I had no way of knowing how much I would learn about our own government and history or myself. This internship inspired me to broaden my horizons as I finished up my college career, reinvigorating my love of history and inspiring me to seek out jobs that will impact the legislative- and decision-making process of our country.”
–– Casandra O., Boston University, intern, summer 2019, education staff fall 2019-spring 2020

“Coming to the institute, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was coming from a musical background, but I was excited to learn more about the Senate. I learned so much about the Senate, government, and myself in a teaching capacity. While teaching the students that came to the Institute, I learned so much myself and sparked a passion that I will be continuing after my time at the Institute is through.”
–– Autumn P., Berklee College of Music, intern, spring 2020

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, civic education organization in Boston envisioned by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Through a range of exhibits, interactive educational offerings, and topical programs, the Institute engages students and visitors in a conversation about the essential role each person plays in our democracy and in our society.