Activist Alicia ready for Capitol Hill internship

January 14th, 2023 8:00 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Alicia will be working with Sen Ed Markey, described as an icon to Gen Z activists. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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SKIBBEREEN climate activist and campaigner Alicia O’Sullivan is going to Washington after being accepted for an internship on Capitol Hill.

The founder of Safety Over Stigma is currently in her third year as a law student at University College Cork.

As part of her Bachelor of Civil Law (Clinical) degree, Alicia added an extra year to do a work placement.

Her first semester was with legal affairs at Cork City Council, while for her second she will work at Senator Edward J Markey’s office in Washington DC.

Ed Markey is an American lawyer, politician, and former army reservist who has served as the junior United States senator since 2013.

During his career he has focused on climate change and energy policy and was chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007 to 2011.

Markey’s progressive policies have led to widespread support among young voters and The Hill has called him ‘an icon to Gen Z activists.’

Although Alicia has taken a step back from activism to focus on her studies, she regards her placement as extremely important.

‘I’m still working on the Safety Over Stigma campaign, which I co-founded in 2021,’ Alicia said about the campaign which focuses on ending online abuse and harassment.

Meanwhile, fellow UCC law student, Bailey Lane, and Alicia recently delivered an interactive presentation on anti-bullying to fourth year students and it was well received.

It was in July that Alicia received word of her internship on Capitol Hill. ‘

I had reached out to my friend the US climate envoy John Kerry to see if there was potential for an internship in the Department of State,’ she told The Southern Star.

‘Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything available there, but he directed me to apply to an internship programme with Senator Markey.’

This involved an application and an online interview with his office.

Alicia confirmed she will be working in DC from January 17th until May 18th.

She will return in June and complete her final year at UCC.

Alicia says she is looking forward to the challenge.

‘Capitol Hill, being the central of US politics – between the White House, the Capitol Building and the Supreme Court – this is where all the action is happening,’ she said, ‘not only domestic matters but also international affairs, which makes it one of the most interesting places for anyone interested in law and politics to work in, especially a young person interested in a career in this area.’

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