August 9th, 2012
Andrea Acosta joined POGO in June 2012 as an intern. Originally from Houston, TX, Andrea is double majoring in English and philosophy at Stanford, where she writes for the Unofficial Stanford Blog and volunteers at after-school programs. While at POGO, she’s contributed to research on defense sequestration, attended Congressional hearings, and assisted with POGO’s good government project. The Watercooler sat down with Andrea to discuss human rights, public policy, and falling in love with the English countryside.
AA: I ended up taking human rights classes at Stanford. Human rights aren’t exactly what POGO focuses on, but it got me interested in policy. I was just wanting to learn about the mechanics of everything. I don’t think you necessarily have to be majoring in political science in order to work at or be interested in things that POGO does, because as a citizen of the United States, I think it’s so important that you learn the difficulties of getting a policy through, the process it has to go through, things like that. POGO for me was an opportunity to really learn about public policy and be introduced into the D.C. world and how things work here.
Watercooler: If you had to sum up your experience at POGO in three words, what words would you use?
AA: Educational, because I have learned so much about the policy process here and about good government and accountability—things that were just kind of vague words before I came and now I see as achievable things.
Hilarious. I love all the interns that I work with. I feel like my POGO experience would have been really different without them.
And inspirational, in the sense that POGO has inspired me to continue looking into policy issues and maybe work in nonprofits after college. And just teaching people about what I’ve learned here—how to be a citizen and be in the know about your government—is something that I feel compelled to carry on.
Watercooler: Since you spend most of your time in very hot places, what’s your relationship with snow like?
Andrea Acosta: It’s a very estranged relationship. I have seen snow maybe twice in my life. The first time was when I was really young. I went to Oregon and saw it for like a day. It was really crappy snow; it was frozen and hard. And then our freshman dorms at Stanford do a ski trip every year, so that was my second encounter with the strange, foreign substance.
Watercooler: What one thing you’ve read has influenced you the most? Continue Reading »