This summer, we were fortunate to be joined by Civics Learning Project alum, Jessica Motley, who reached out to volunteer her time as an intern. In middle school and high school she participated in CLP curriculum, Mock Trial, and We the People programs. Over the last several weeks, Jessica spearheaded development of a plan for our new CLP Alumni Program, researched content for our new 2020 Election Workshop, quality tested our Digital Summer Institute, and pitched in on a range of other projects.
This month, Jessica will be starting her second year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, majoring in Honors Law. Before she heads back to school, we got the details about her experience with CLP and what she’s been working on this summer, and also found out about her favorite bookstore to visit in Edinburgh!
Tell us about your experience with Civics Learning Project before you joined us this summer as an intern.
Civics Learning Project had a significant impact on my schooling throughout both middle and high school. My teachers used the election curriculum provided by CLP, and I had the unique opportunity to talk in front of the Oregon Board of Education alongside CLP to promote a bill that would provide funding for a civics day for teachers. Furthermore, in middle school, we participated in Mock Trial and the We the People program, which caused me to join the We the People team at Lincoln High School.
Where are you currently studying?
I am studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and I am majoring in Honors Law – hoping to specialize in Family and Human Rights Law.
Did your experiences with CLP as a student encourage this path?
My experiences with CLP completely reshaped my future. I come from a family of engineers, and I always thought I would study engineering at university. After completing the Mock Trial and We the People programs with CLP, I became enamored with the law. I had always known that I wanted to help people with my career, and CLP provided an avenue into politics and lLaw that I was previously unaware of.
What have you been working on this summer with Civics Learning Project?
My main task at Civics Learning Project has been to structure possible alumni programs. This involved reaching out to alumni from over the years to get their perspectives on what they would like to see in such programs. These conversations with alumni have also allowed me to see how many people CLP has positively impacted. On top of the alumni program, I have also done quality checking for the 2020 Digital Summer Institute, research for Election Curriculum, and had the excellent opportunity to meet with the different board members of CLP.
What’s your favorite thing about CLP?
My favorite thing about Civics Learning Project is the passion of the staff I have worked with. They provide so many different resources and opportunities for teachers and students. All six of them are dedicated to their work. Their enthusiasm and love for their jobs show through the materials and curriculums that they produce. They have positively impacted hundreds upon hundreds of students, and I am so glad that I could have been part of such an inspirational group for a few months.
What do you have coming up in the next school year?
This coming year I will hopefully be in Edinburgh working through my second year of Law School. Otherwise, I will be enjoying it through Uni’s online options for international students. I am part of the University’s Mooting Society, and I am looking forward to competing in mock legal competitions and debates for the second year. I am also the Director of Speakers for the University’s Women in Law Society and a Barnardo’s Society representative. I will have a fantastic opportunity to run and learn from different events and positively impact Edinburgh.
Tell us about one of your favorite places in Edinburgh.
One of my favorite places in Edinburgh is a tiny hole-in-the-wall bookstore called Armchair Books. It is so inconspicuous that you could walk past it if you were not specifically looking for it, but the store is so cozy and stacked literally to the rafters with modern and classic novels alike. I spend way too much time in there between lectures and walking home from campus.
If you’re an alumn of Civics Learning Project visit our Alumni page to sign-up for updates, volunteer opportunities, and ways to connect through our social media channels!