Summer Interns

Gisele Sonnier '23: Democracy Summer

Politics has shown up as an interest throughout Gisele Sonnier's '23 life. Her curriculum vitae is stacked with experiences assisting in local political campaigns and a growing book list on political theory. After spending six weeks in the Democracy Summer Program as a Jamie Raskin for Congress fellow, her love for public service has grown. The theme for this summer's program was Protecting Voting Rights. Gisele split her time between working on Congressman Raskin's campaign and participating in National Democracy Summer School. She helped raise funds for the campaign through phone banking, canvassing, and other outreach to the constituents.

While working on the campaign and as part of the National Democracy Summer School portion, Gisele had many opportunities to hear from local political leaders and speakers. She learned from political leaders such as Civil Rights Leader Bob Moses, Elaine Weiss, author of "The Women's Hour," Harvard History professor Alexander Keyssar, Congressmembers John Sarbanes, Darren Soto, Eleanor Holmes-Norton, Andy Levin, Katie Porter, Barbara Lee, Sean Patrick Maloney, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Former Governor Howard Dean. "Hearing from so many incredible people opened my eyes to the wide range and possibilities of a career in politics and gave me a greater understanding and appreciation for what our elected officials do and how much power really is in the people," Gisele says.

Her experience has inspired her to pursue work in public service and embrace more leadership roles leaning on the educational foundation as a student at Stone Ridge to guide her. "Stone Ridge prepared me for this experience by helping me develop the leadership skills, confidence, and critical thinking skills needed to engage fully in the program," leading group research projects, asking thoughtful questions, and embracing whatever came her way—skills that will serve Gisele for years to come!

Paige Kenny '22: Internship with Chief Judge Kimberly Moore, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Paige Kenny '22 spent two weeks over the summer working under Chief Judge Kimberly Moore, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Paige assisted the Judge's law clerks to prepare a case memo (similar to a research paper) and attended oral arguments. Paige was challenged on the second-to-last day of the internship to devise a debate on an issue chosen by Chief Judge Moore and argue the case to a panel including the Judge and her law clerks. "It was a nerve-wracking experience to research, write, and polish my argument in just a day, but the adrenaline of arguing in a real courtroom in front of someone I truly admire made me push through my anxieties," Paige reflects.

Overall, the experience has deepened her interest in social justice and law. "I think justice can mean a lot of different things depending on the communities you're a part of—I'd like to see a world where everyone's needs are met," she says. Paige leaned on the confidence she gained as a writer and speaker while at Stone Ridge. She connects the strong foundation in grammar, word choice, and creative and narrative writing she gained from her Lower and Middle School English classes to her success in the internship, researching and preparing for her debate. "Stone Ridge gives students endless opportunities to voice their opinions and practice thoughtful conversation. I'm no longer nervous if what I have to say is valuable or 'smart enough' to add to the conversation because I have confidence in my ideas and knowledge," Paige concludes.

  • Upper School