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Summer Internship with Year Up’s Veterans Initiative

Johnathon Parker, MPP '17

In the past summer, over ninety Goldman School students interned in government, nonprofit and private agencies throughout the US and the world.

John Parker (second from left) poses with members of the Year Up Bay Area Veterans Initiative team.

Johnathon Parker was part of a small team piloting an initiative to recruit young adult veterans into the Year Up program.  Year Up is a non-profit organization that provides low-income young adults who are disconnected from stable career pathways with an education and skill development program, followed by an internship with corporate partners like LinkedIn and Salesforce. Johnathon worked with Year Up to conduct a policy analysis of the GI Bill and how GI Bill eligibility would impact Year Up's ability to recruit and serve veterans in the program.  In his analysis, Johnathan produces a set of short, medium, and long-term recommendations for navigating GI Bill eligibility and identifying Year Up channels that would best fit young veterans who seek to maximize GI Bill eligibility. 

Johnathon also conducted an analysis of populations of young veterans in cities across the country, which led him to identify a set of target cities for the veterans initiative - both in cities where Year Up currently operates and in others they might consider.  On the topic of GSPP coursework extending into his summer projects, Johnathon explains, “I applied the policy analysis framework I learned during IPA, and like IPA, I concluded my internship by delivering a policy analysis product/report to Year Up Bay Area leaders in a final presentation. I also relied heavily on Stata coding and data analysis skills that I learned through the Quantitative Methods sequence of courses. I was able to use Stata to parse through census microdata to find out where veterans reside nationwide.”  

For Johnathon, the internship proved the value of applying his GSPP education in real hands-on policy work.  In appreciation for the opportunity, he expresses, “Not only did I get to use what I learned in a practical sense, I also got to experience the non-profit world for the first time, all while working toward helping veterans.  My time at Year Up Bay Area was a completely new and unique professional experience for me, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to try something different!”