Jack Murphy, a senior political science major at University of Denver, is interning with Equitas this fall. Learn more about Jack’s passion for advocacy and his plans for the future in the Q&A below.
Are you a Colorado native? If not, where are you from originally and what brought you here?
I am originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but have always loved Colorado and have wanted to go to school here since I was young. I am now a student at University of Denver.
Why did you choose to major in political science?
Since I was in grade school, I was very interested in politics and social sciences. In high school, I found that I loved to write, so naturally political science became one of my interests and, eventually, my major.
What interested you about interning with Equitas?
After I worked on Capitol Hill for a U.S. Congressman, I became interested in the role of political advocacy in policy making. In my former boss’ district, mental health resources are scarce and there is a rampant substance abuse problem. I became personally invested in this issue, and Equitas offered me a chance to continue to work toward solving this problem.
What types of projects will you be working on?
While interning with Equitas, I hope to use my time to develop a more complete communication network among Colorado state and federal officials. In Washington, I was struck by the level of connectedness required to establish and maintain successful dialogues with other policy makers and stakeholders. In addition, I plan to research new legislative and community proposals that seek to mitigate the relationship between drugs, incarceration, and mental health.
At this time, what are your goals for after you graduate?
After graduation, I plan to return to Washington, D.C. and continue to work on Capitol Hill. I’m not specifically sure which part of the government I’d look to work in, but I really feel that being in Washington presents many opportunities to be involved and work on behalf of something I am passionate about. In addition, I would like to earn a law degree, which will be helpful in Washington.
Who or what inspires you?
I think what most inspires me is the will of people to set aside their differences and band together in the face of trial. There are so many negative forces in our world today, and it is very easy to focus on these forces. However, I think it is important to recognize how positively people act when they are forced to come together. This simple notion inspires me to do everything I can to bring the best out in other people.
What’s on your “bucket list”?
More than anything else, before I leave this world, all I hope is that my work positively impacted society in some way. This could mean holding an elected office, working on behalf of those who are unable to advocate for themselves, or even writing an essay that changes the way people view the world. I hope my time on Earth now will eventually lead to someone else’s life being more comfortable and positive.