by Taylor Evans

From August 2017 to May 2018 I served as a Legislative Fellow for Representative Spencer Frye (D) of the 118th house district of Georgia. I started off working as an intern at Habitat for Humanity, which is how I met Representative Frye. Rep. Frye is the Executive Director of Habitat, and I worked under him in an administrative capacity, sending letters to donors, logging files, organizing spreadsheets, and helping at times with the Habitat ReStore. The latter example helps provide affordable furniture and appliances to those in need (and those looking for a good deal) and provides employment and internship opportunities for countless people, including exchange students. I couldn’t help but think what an amazing opportunity I had stumbled into during my time at Habitat.

During the internship, my supervisor mentioned that Representative Frye hosted a Legislative Fellowship in conjunction with his position as a State Representative of Georgia. I applied to this position after I finished my internship, but during the summer, after interviewing with the Chief of Staff for the position, I received an email that I had been wait-listed as a candidate. I was, of course, disappointed, but also proud that I had made it so far through the process.

The first classes of the semester had almost started during the fall of 2017 when I received an email from the new chief of staff telling me that they had an opening in the program. She offered me the position in the program. I enthusiastically accepted the opportunity, and within a few weeks, we were meeting as a group to discuss our plans for the upcoming semester.

Our officers, in conjunction with Representative Frye, worked to enrich our educational and professional experiences at UGA with workshops on networking, resume building, and interview prep and critiques. Additionally, as a group we were able to volunteer for amazing community outreach opportunities such as building porches and walkways for the new Habitat builds.

During the legislative session, we were given legislation to analyze for Representative Frye which helped him make informed decisions about the potential impact of legislation he would be voting on. This was such a rewarding experience for me to be able to devote myself to such an amazing cause, and I was able to give back to the people of Athens-Clarke County and Georgia who demand quality legislative decision-making in the General Assembly.

I thank Representative Frye for the amazing opportunity, and I sincerely hope that more SPIA students consider this fantastic opportunity right here in Athens. Individuals like Representative Frye help students become policy practitioners and future business leaders of integrity through his mentorship excellence and excellent moral leadership. I was lucky to be a part of such an amazing opportunity.