By Natalie McGill - 07/11/06 12:00 AM EDT
An internship with Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is the only thing separating Debbie Ferney from the real world.
Ferney, 20, will graduate from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in August with a degree in political science after earning her final credits interning with Flake.
A Colleyville, Texas, native, Ferney learned of her internship through BYU’s Washington Seminar, a network for students who want to work on Capitol Hill. Flake, a BYU alumnus, went through the seminar system himself.
When not answering phones, opening mail and responding to constituents, Ferney’s favorite part of her internship is giving Capitol tours.
“Learning about the Capitol and the history and getting to go there every day is an experience,” Ferney said.
Though she did not pursue it at BYU, Ferney previously lived the real-life version of the movie “Bring It On” as a Colleyville Heritage High School cheerleader. Ferney’s squad made many trips to national competitions.
Her most memorable moment came in 2001, when her squad tied for first place with its big rival, Grapevine High School in Grapevine, Texas.
Pompoms aside, Ferney said she is considering working for a few years before pursuing post-graduate work, specifically a master’s degree in political management at George Washington University.
If she does not return to the Hill, Ferney’s love for local politics might lure her back to Utah. Or she might not even take the full political plunge. The teaching bug has bitten Ferney, who was a political-science teaching assistant for an American-government class last semester. Ferney taught two classes a week.
But if Ferney does take the plunge, don’t expect to see her face on campaign buttons anytime soon.
“I just prefer to be behind the scenes than be the public figure,” she said.