Government Education Extends Beyond the Classroom

Robertson School of Government (RSG) graduate Rebekah Lloyd ’15 went beyond the classroom to get an education in government. For two days per week, she served as a liaison between the people of Chesapeake and their Rep. Randy Forbes.

“All of the staff members answer the phone,” said Lloyd. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the district representative, the constituent service representative, an intern, everybody answers the phone. You all have to answer the same questions. So, that patience and humility level is a pretty general skill-set that you need to have. You also need to be able to deal with people.”

Her Regent education prepared her for an experience that would apply what she knows about government to help improve her community. While serving as constituents’ eyes and ears to relay their concerns to the lawmaker, and bringing answers back to them, she helped get casework moving. The journey took her through the topics of identity theft, military affairs and even ISIS.

“Some of the things I learned in my class were some of the things I could tell the people on the phone,” said Lloyd. “They would ask what happens in relation to this and previous terrorist attacks? I could explain those things and say, ‘Well, the president has to take into consideration this, this and this.'”

Lloyd says her education has prepared her for the future, making her interested in a number of careers. She enjoys working with those in the military, has a heart for the homeless and for educating young people. She says the internship provoked an interest in possibly running for local office one day.

“I think that’s the best thing about Congressman Forbes is they really feel like he cares, so they’re more willing to voice their opinions and give him their honest perspective,” said Lloyd. “Some people will give their opinion no matter what, because everyone has an opinion, but I think that was the biggest takeaway was seeing that they have an opinion and they really feel like he listens. I would love to be in that position too.”

Lloyd is now considering her future by reflecting upon her experience as an intern, leaving possibilities open for her future career path.