Allison Turner, 21, a Camden native and rising senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, has been named a summer Congressional intern by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute.

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Allison Turner, 21, a Camden native and rising senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, has been named a summer Congressional intern by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute.

Camden native named Congressional intern

By Corinne Saunders

The Daily Advance

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The Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute selected a Camden native as one of its summer Victory Congressional Interns.

Allison Turner, 21, was one of eight interns selected from 89 applicants, according to a press release.

The program places LGBT college students in internships with an LGBT or LGBT-friendly member of Congress in their Washington, D.C., office, with the goal of building and supporting a network of LGBT leaders, the release stated.

Turner, a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is interning with Georgia Rep. Sanford Bishop this summer.

“I really like the mission of the organization,” Turner said, adding that the Victory Institute internship seemed to be a good fit for her, since she’s “interested in doing communications in a political context.”

Turner is double-majoring in public relations and women and gender studies at UNC-Chapel Hill.

She said she had always been an avid reader and writer, and according to her mother, in the third grade she declared she wanted to write for a newspaper.

“I guess that feeling never quite left,” said the 2011 Camden County High School graduate. “I realized I was really interested in being able to advocate for something I care about through writing.”

She took the introduction to women and gender studies course her first semester at college and discovered a passion for that subject, as well, she said.

Turner co-chairs the organization Feminist Students United on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, in addition to other volunteer and activist work, she said.

This is her third internship. She previously completed a summer communications internship with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh and served as a communications intern for the Durham nonprofit Three Dimensional Women last fall, she said.

So far, this press internship has involved working with social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and taking photographs of meetings Bishop holds in his office.

Turner has been having a great time and is already learning skills “very applicable to what I want to do with my life,” she said.

“I love the office,” she continued. “The fact it’s Georgia doesn’t hurt; I can kind of relate a lot of what’s going on in their policies with what’s going on in North Carolina.”

Victory Institute Press Secretary Steven Thai said the internships were first offered in summer 2011, and there are three classes of interns annually — summer, fall and spring.

Turner said she was “very, very excited” when she received word she was selected for the internship, and immediately called many friends and family members.

They were all supportive and enthusiastic, she said, noting her family took pride in her coming from a small town and going off to a big city “to do big things.”

She said that as her internship continues, she is excited about further opportunities it may present.