The student attending the Georgia Institute of Technology will begin his internship in the Georgia Senate come Jan. 9, and it’s an exciting stepping stone along his career path.
“It’s going to be at the state capital as a part of Georgia’s Legislative Internship Program,” said Morgan. “I haven’t gotten my committee assignment yet, but I’m looking at appropriations or higher education.”
Morgan, who grew up in Rome and graduated at the top of his class at Pepperell High School, said the internship was offered through Georgia Tech via the University System of Georgia. Morgan said he’s glad he will get course credit for the job.
He said once he is assigned to a committee, his job as a legislative aide will kick off. He expects he will be tasked with going to meetings, taking diligent notes and even meeting with constituents.
“From what I’ve gathered from people who have done it in the past, basically you’re there for whatever they need,” he said. “If they need someone to go to a committee meeting, take notes, you’ll go and step in. You give tours if constituents come. Other than that, I haven’t been really exposed to what I’m going to do.”
He said there even have been some occasions where interns presented legislation on the floor, but those moments were essentially flukes.
“I know on the rare instance … someone last year actually had to propose a bill, just because the legislator that they were assigned to was unavailable at the time and they just had to get something proposed on deadline, but I don’t think that I’ll be doing that,” he said, chuckling.
But Morgan, a 20-year-old public policy major, said the internship will help open doors for what he really aims to do in the future.
“The plan is to go to law school and practice law for a couple of years, and then become a political consultant,” he said. “I don’t actually want to be an elected official, I just want to help people get elected. I like the background scene much more than the forefront.”
Morgan said rather than standing on the platform himself, he prefers to learn how the system works from the inside.
“I want to set it in motion,” he explained. “So, things like fundraising, getting your messages out to constituents and advising (politicians) on stances.”
Morgan, who works at the Rome-Floyd YMCA, said he enjoys being involved in public service, and he spent time working on the center’s community support campaign. Ever since 2008, he’s gotten really interested in politics.
“It was just one of those things where it strikes a chord with you,” he said. “It’s so dynamic, especially on the state level because it’s issues that really affect people who vote on it.”
He said he hopes he gets assigned to the Committee on Higher Education. When changes were made in 2011 to the criteria for recipients of the HOPE Scholarship, Morgan said it affected him personally.
“If I do get Higher Education, one of the things the state’s actually looking at is the possibility of opening casinos in the state,” he said. “And the governor actually had a commission issue a report that said they could generate close to $800 million if they had three casinos in the state by 2014. And that would either be general revenue or it could be appropriated for the education revenue to supplement HOPE.”
He said by improving the education system, more quality teachers would be attracted to the state as well. Both Morgan’s parents are educators, so it’s a committee assignment he would take to heart.
“I’m really interested in the education system,” he said. “I want to give them a voice, and say, ‘hey the decisions you’re making are impacting some of us and I know that the state’s budget has taken bad turn, but you have to be mindful of the impact you have.’”
Noting that it’s convenient he goes to college in Atlanta, at the end of the day Morgan looks forward to getting started.
“The nice thing is, I’m already at Georgia Tech so I don’t have to pay for different housing,” he said. “It’s a really nice arrangement. I’m really excited.”