In the fall of 2014, English major Cassidy Mayfield took the valuable opportunity to travel with the LCU Washington program and intern for a semester in the District of Columbia.
“It was a chance to get myself out of my comfort zone, to remove myself from everything I’d grown up around,” said Mayfield, who grew up in San Angelo, Texas. “Being in the District helped me learn more about myself, who I was as a person. My environment in West Texas wasn’t affecting me anymore. Getting out of my comfort zone and having new experiences helped me to clarify who I was as a person, emotionally and spiritually.”
In the District, The Washington Center (TWC) helped place Mayfield in an internship in the education department at the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States (NARA). NARA is home to the Declaration of Independence and Constitution as well as billions of documents deemed permanently politically relevant. There, Mayfield worked with the public, especially school groups, to teach them about the Archives and develop curriculum.
NARA had interns from TWC and other internship placement programs. “I made a lot of friends at the Archives. I had teammates from Boston, California, and even another student from LCU. I got to know all these different people; we still stay in touch. I think the friendships I made with them are some of the best memories I have.”
The TWC program included an academic class, an advocacy group, and professional programming in addition to the internship. Mayfield’s favorite aspect of TWC was her advocacy group, Sustainability and Energy Resources, which studied businesses and locations in the District that are using alternative resources and striving to lower the city’s carbon footprint.
Mayfield strongly recommended LCU Washington to other students. “It’s really fun, it’s a great way to expand your horizons, and it’s not an opportunity that everybody has. For the experience you get, it’s very affordable, and you learn a lot.”
Mayfield also had some practical advice for anyone going to the District: “Learn how to cook some things at home. Eating out can get expensive real quick. If you learn to cook just a few simple things, that can help you make friends and keep you within your budget.”
“Also, don’t be afraid to say yes,” Mayfield added. “If someone invites you to a neighborhood, museum, a zombie walk, or trick-or-treating at Embassy Row, then say yes. You’re only go to be in D.C. for one semester, so you should get the most out of it while you’re there.”
During her time at LCU, Mayfield was a member of the Praise Choir, worked backstage tech for theatrical productions and Master Follies, and was active in the Honors Program. She graduated in spring of 2015, after returning from the District of Columbia.