My name is Aime Bita, and I am the Capitol Pathways intern for the 2019 legislative session at the Great Plains Institute. As GPI’s Capitol Pathways intern I am working at the Minnesota State Capitol and at GPI’s office with a focus on transportation policy. This internship is a continuation of my interest in making a positive impact and pursuing new experiences.
I was born in Tanzania, and, at the age of seven, my family moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It’s easy to imagine the mixed emotions of such a move: the excitement of a new future, the sadness of leaving family, and the fear of the unknown. But, the change happened, and my life hasn’t been the same—opportunities became possible that were previously unimaginable. In high school, my time was filled with service-based clubs like warrior reads, where we read with students in our school, and link crew, where we helped freshmen with their transition to high school.
I currently attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where I major in political science and minor in environmental science. My time is also filled with enriching activities, including show choir and Black Student Union, and my favorite club is the Bipartisan Issues Group. Here, we discuss different topics while letting everyone express their point–of–view, no matter where on the political spectrum it may be. I also work with America Reads, which is an after-school mentoring program that helps kids around the Twin Cities area.
My Capitol Pathways internship is providing a valuable and unique pairing of hands-on experience in policy making and specialized work in a field in which I am interested. So far, I’ve really enjoyed going to legislative committee hearings. It’s been great to hear directly from lawmakers and to see different groups and organizations testify before them to get legislation passed. As a Capitol Pathways intern, I also meet monthly with other Capitol Pathways interns serving at different host sites. When we reunite, it feels like a family reunion. We talk about our shared experiences and grow together. In the short weeks that I’ve been an intern, I’ve already learned so much. I’m sure that by the end of the experience, I will have invaluable information that I can take with me wherever my career may lead.
The Great Plains Institute has served as a host for the Capitol Pathways program since 2016. Capitol Pathways is a program of the Citizens League, which states that “With the long-term goal of making our government truly representative of our communities, this paid internship program opens access to the Minnesota State Capitol to the next generation of leaders of color.”