Published on June 10, 2008 in the Antrim Review
(Archived version available at www.antrimreview.net)
By Melissa Lee
Many people only dream of getting to visit the White House and those who actually do make the journey are usually only allowed to admire it from behind a steel security barrier.
But one lucky Bellaire native recently not only got to step inside the secretive walls of some of Washington D.C.’s best known governmental buildings, he actually had the opportunity to work with some of the people most closely involved with the day to day operation of our federal government.
Brian Riedy, a 2005 graduate of Bellaire High School who is currently a student in the James Madison College of Michigan State University studying International Relations and Muslim Studies, spent this past spring semester working as an intern for the Department of Justice.
Needing twelve credits of field experience as an intern for his degree, avid political science fan Riedy could think of no better experience than working in our nation’s capitol. To get the job, Riedy sent out his resume to different government agencies such as the Department of Justice, the FBI, the White House, and the Pentagon.“It was really exciting when I got that call,” he said.
He made the move in January. That’s when the importance of what he was doing actually hit him, he said. Until then, the thought had seemed much more like a dream than a reality.
But for the next four months, Riedy made the half-hour daily commute from his hotel in Arlington, Virginia to the Robert Kennedy Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, putting together morning briefings before getting his afternoon assignments which ranged from answering phones to organizing conferences and writing and proofreading memos.
The job was not without perks. Riedy had the chance to be in the room when President Bush spoke to his Cabinet and members of the Cabinet’s staff as well as attend an oral argument of the D.C. Vs. Heller case at the Supreme Court, an appeal of a recent firearms ban ruling, which garnered much national media interest.
As Riedy finished up his internship, the Department of Justice offered him the opportunity to stay and continue working, but the third year student declined. “For the time being, at least,” he grinned.
Now back in Lansing taking summer classes to stay on track for a May 2009 graduation, the young man is considering what the future holds for him. “I’m not one hundred percent sure yet,” he said. “But if I don’t go on to get a doctorate in teaching, it will be government service in one form or another.”