Intern Spotlight: Maria Luevano
This is the second of three spotlights on our spring semester 2016 student interns. Learning Life’s interns this spring are focused mostly on building our new Citizen Diplomacy Initiative, which will connect American families in Washington D.C. with families in other parts of the world through live online video-dialogue. Maria and our other interns are conducting research and making contacts locally and abroad to grow the Initiative. We are thankful for their work.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in San Francisco, California and raised in the Bay Area.
I am a Senior at the George Washington University studying International Affairs, with a concentration in Global Public Health and a minor in English Literature.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I enjoy spending time with my friends. Together, we like to explore DC and go to new restaurants or events around the city. I also enjoy watching new movies or television shows, I am currently working through House of Cards season 4 on Netflix (which I would highly recommend).
What is the most beautiful place you have seen on Earth, and why is it so beautiful?
As of right now, the most beautiful place that I have seen is the view looking up from the beach in Positano, Italy — probably because it is currently 34 degrees here in DC in early March. I spent some time on the Amalfi Coast of Italy last spring and Positano was definitely my favorite stop. It was a beautiful day, the beach was perfect, and as soon as you looked up you were surrounded by steep cliffs that were covered in colorful houses and tiny, winding roads (see attached photo). The vibrant colors and charming bustle of the town were an incredible setting and like nothing I had experienced before.
Is there a particular life experience you have had that has shaped you as a person? If so, what was it, and how has it shaped who you are?
Moving to Washington DC for college has been a particularly impactful experience for me. Not only did it mean that I moved across the country, but it meant moving to a new city that had its own unique qualities. Having moved three years ago I can now see how this experience has allowed me to become more confident and independent, knowing that I have made a big change and adapted to a new way of life. Moving so far from home gave me the courage to then study abroad in Europe and put myself even further from my comfort zone. While it was difficult in the beginning, I was able to overcome my homesickness and fear of the unknown and I have grown to love my life here in DC.
Why did you choose to intern with Learning Life?
I chose to intern with Learning Life because of my own passion for education and empowerment. DC has become a second home to me during the past three years and I wanted the chance to give back to the community in a way that I felt was impactful and relevant.
What are your career plans?
I am currently very interested in higher education as it pertains to study abroad and exchange. I would love to work with a program or university to encourage and facilitate cultural exchange. I am also very interested in working abroad to expand my own world view and continue to explore new cultures.