Meet Olivia Lassman, Summer ’17 UELIP

Olivia_LassmanDCPS Office: Office of Talent and Culture, Strategic Staffing
Education: Rising Senior at Franklin and Marshall College
Program of Study/Major: Government
Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Last summer, I worked as a program intern at Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area with their Youth Haven Programs leading and organizing camps for kids and teens affected by HIV/AIDS. This summer, I chose to be part of UELIP because I’m considering going into education policy, and it seemed like a great opportunity to get a real look at what education ‘behind the scenes’ is like. The individualized projects and workshops that DCPS offers are also an incredible opportunity to learn more about what it is like to work for an urban public school system.

I am looking at the quality of substitute teachers hired by DCPS and how we can make sure we’re hiring quality substitutes. I am also remaking the substitute teacher handbook. A typical day at DCPS for me usually starts with onboarding. Two other interns and I set up onboarding, check everyone in, make sure everyone has the right  materials, and photocopy any necessary documents. I then go work on the substitute handbook that I’ve been editing for the past week. Next, I take my lunch break outside and longingly look at all the food trucks while eating the lunch I packed. Then I go back and read any emails, continue working on the substitute handbook, and take down the room from onboarding.

I remember sitting in on a meeting with Labor Managment and Employee Relations during my first week. They were giving a talk about what the Human Relations department can legally say and not say to employees and it was really interesting, since it was something I’d never even considered as important before sitting in on that meeting.

So far, the most rewarding experience has been working with the best team I could’ve been placed with. The other interns in my department, my supervisor, and the other supervisors in the department have all been spectacular.


Meet Christina Dedrick, Summer ’17 UELIP


DCPS Office: Office of Teaching and Learning
Education: Rising Senior at American University
Program of Study/Major: Psychology & Education
Hometown: Belle Mead, New Jersey

I’ve really started to gather a huge passion for education, but hadn’t had much practical experience outside of the classroom. Going into this summer, I really wanted to immerse myself in a school environment and learn about how DCPS functions, especially because I want to teach one day!

I’m currently working on site with the Kelly Miller Middle School in Northeast DC. My main project is to not only revamp their current Staff/Faculty handbook for the 2017-2018 school year, but to construct a new website for their school, as well as construct a Canvas page where the principal can communicate important information with all staff members. A typical day at Kelly Miller really varies–a lot of the time, I’m behind the front desk in the Main Office answering various phone calls while working on the Canvas webpage. I’ve also gotten the opportunity to observe various classes, and even meet with (and shadow) the School Psychologist, because I am considering going into that field! I really enjoy the fact that each day has something new for me, and that it’s very on-the-fly. It keeps me on my toes and keeps me excited to come into KMMS everyday!

I have strengthened my multitasking skills a lot! I’ve also picked up some basic coding and website design, as I didn’t have very much experience at all when I started the UELIP Program. It’s been extremely useful and rewarding, especially because code has always interested me.

I really do want to be in the classroom, and enjoy being in a school setting. I thought that it would be a bit overwhelming, but I really do enjoy getting to interact with so many new people. Also, I’ve picked up a neat classroom management trick: if a student is misbehaving and needs to be sent out of class, there is a teacher who sends them out into the hallway with an ice cube in a container to ‘chill out’. The student is then allowed back into the classroom when the ice cube has melted, which gives them time to reflect on their behavior. I might use that trick, because after graduation next May, I’m planning on joining the Teach for America Corps and teaching for a few years.

Meet Rita Hagos, Summer ’17 UELIP


DCPS Office: Office of the Chief of Staff, Resource Allocation
Education: Rising Junior at William and Mary
Program of Study/Major: Public Policy and Economics
Hometown: Arlington, Virginia

I’m passionate about education and interested to see how DCPS, an innovative school district functions. I want to be a part of improving the education system. My research project this summer consists of finding the best practices around planning, purchasing, storing, and distributing office supplies. My project consists of speaking with points of contact of each office and asking them how they purchase supplies within their respective offices. Compiling this information for each office will help me to evaluate current purchasing systems and to provide recommendations on best practices moving forward.

Typically, I am attending meetings with points of contact for my research project during the workday. I am also working on mini-projects such as tech labeling, helping out with a classification audit, and editing chief reports.

Besides strengthening my writing and communication skills in a real professional work setting, I’ve become more comfortable with Microsoft Excel and Outlook. I’ve learned the acronyms for each office, and one of the first things I picked up is that COB means “close of business” and that POC means “point/person of contact.” Recently, I learned that FTE stands for “full time employee.”

Summer 2017 Cohort: At a Glance

Introducing the Summer 2017 UELIP Cohort

Where we study….wordcloud-e1498225421547.jpg

Where we’re from…uelipstates

What we’re aspiring to do…

uelipcareersLiterature we love…

The Book Thief
The Pedestrian
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
The Kite Runner
Catcher in the Rye
Ender’s Game
Still I Rise
The American Street
Prince of Tides
Death of a Salesman
The Bluest Eye
Pride and Prejudice
The Lives of Animals
Harry Potter Series
To Kill a Mockingbird
Nine Short Stories
The Little Prince
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Pride and Prejudice
Book of Mormon
Kite Runner
Half of the Yellow Sun
Where’d You Go Bernadette?
Things Fall Apart

A few of the causes we care about…

Accessible pre-K education
Animal Rights
Children’s health
Closing the achievement gap
College and career readiness
Educational Equity
Ending mass incarceration
Equity in resource distribution
Foreign language learning
Funding the arts
Gifted and talented education
LGBT rights
Mental health
Race relations
Refugee aid
Social Justice
Special Olympics
Universal healthcare

What color was the dress, UELIPs?

                                                   Consensus: Blue & Black 
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,