Meet The Interns: Kenzie Helmick
MEET THE INTERNS: KENZIE HELMICK
(Public Policy Intern - Orlando)
Tell us a little about yourself...
My name is Kenzie Helmick and I am a student at Rollins College with a double major in Philosophy and Public Policy and a minor in Sexuality, Women’s, and Gender Studies. At Rollins, I am a contributing writer and designer for The Independent magazine, co-president of the feminist club Voices for Women, and student ambassador for the Democracy Project, a non-partisan campaign that promotes civic engagement and political participation. Outside of class, I am an avid documentary watcher and like to spend my free time browsing Netflix, reading, or running.
Why are you involved with LGBT activism?
I was fortunate enough to be raised in a family that preached the importance of treating others with equal respect, an atmosphere that fostered my strong belief in promoting equality. Studying at a liberal arts college has only compounded my passion for social justice, as I am surrounded by inspiringly passionate students and professors and provided countless opportunities to participate in community outreach and activism. Ensuring LGBT rights is a critical facet of social justice, especially considering how extensive and all-encompassing the issue is. Nearly everyone, whether themselves or through someone they know, has experienced discrimination related to sexual orientation or gender identity. Yet this sort of vitriol is unacceptable in a society that champions freedom, and I believe we all have a moral obligation to protest this culture of ignorance and fight to provide equal rights and opportunity for everyone.
Why did you want to intern at Equality Florida?
I first heard about Equality Florida through professors and classmates who had previously worked with the organization. Before I learned about Equality Florida’s work, I was unaware of the various opportunities available within the field of public policy and thought my future career would be limited to politics or lobbying for the interests of businesses, neither of which seemed like the right fit for me. Political activism, or the work done by Equality Florida, appeals to me because it allows me to combine my interests in public policy with my goals of fighting for social justice and creating a positive impact on my community. After seeing the progress made by Equality Florida and meeting members of its incredibly smart and inspiring staff, I knew that I wanted to be involved with the organization and contribute to its mission in any way I could.
What are your plans after you graduate?
No matter what career or post-graduation plans I decide to pursue, I know it will be impossible for me to disentangle myself from politics or activism. Consequently, I have committed myself to a life and career that promotes political empowerment, feminism and equality, though I have yet to decide through what specific means I will follow this goal.