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Alumni Spotlight: Braulio Colón

University of South Florida alumnus Braulio Colón has and continues to impact the field of public policy in Tampa, Fla. Using the experience he gained as a participant in Public Policy Internship Program, Colón maintains an active role in the field. Colón is the director of the Florida College Access Network, an institution that strives to promote underprivileged students, first generation college students and under-represented students with exposure, preparation and success for college.

Colóns’ duties as director include leading a network of multiple entities that share the goal of increasing college-readiness, access and success; engaging in public policy research community events, advocacy efforts, and provide technical assistance for development and program development; network management; resource development; knowledge development in dissemination; and resource sustainability.

Originally from Orlando, Fla., Colón attended USF from 1999-2003 and graduated with degrees in mass communications and Africana studies. During his time at USF, Colón participated in the Public Policy Internship Program. Colón took part in the Legislative Internship Program (LIP), which enabled him to work nine hours a week for an entire semester in the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. His experience allowed him to take part in activities centered upon the clerical work associated with public policy and be exposed to an environment filled with members who occupied positions in this field.

Colón described the benefit of this experience using these keywords--exposure, demystified and levels of government.

“The internship program allows you to gain exposure to leaders in the field, engage communities that have an interest in policy, and learn about the policy development process,” Colón said. “The internship demystified the perception of the inability to achieve this career status or develop relationships with figures in the field of policy. It also allows you to have conversations on the levels of government with other who have experienced different environments, which helps students gain perspective on the level. You can never underestimate the value of hands-on work.”

The experience and training gained through participating in the LIP has proven to be valuable to Colón in obtaining a career in public policy. Both current and prospective students are encouraged to seek out opportunities to obtain the necessary skills to perform successfully in their desired career.

“Just do it,” Colón said. It doesn’t necessarily give you a job after college, but it provides you with a credential that can set you apart from you peers.”


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Arts and Sciences Alumni Mass Communications Africana Studies  
Author: Justin McFatridge