Service At All Levels: Kevin Ballen '22

Throughout this summer, we will be spotlighting the summer experiences of our IOP students working in politics and public service through their internships across the country and globe.

The Director’s Internship program has been a signature of the Institute of Politics for nearly 25 years and each summer the IOP works with more than 150 government offices, non-profits, and news organizations to provide internships for students who are looking to pursue careers in politics and public service. The IOP also offers summer stipends for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors accepting non- or low-paying summer internships in local, state, or federal government, public interest groups, non-governmental organizations, political organizations, and political campaigns.

This summer, as in years past, many of those students will be spending their summer being of service in government at all levels - from state and local, to Congress, and the Executive Branch.  

Kevin Ballen '22 is spending the summer interning in the Detroit Mayor's Office.

What inspired you to choose this public service internship?

I've lived and worked in the Boston Area my whole life, so I was really excited to explore a new city. Detroit is at an incredible point in time with so much opportunity and the Mayor has incredible vision and coordinated direction. I wanted to be a part of the momentum.

What issue do you hope to focus on in your internship?

I'll be working on a youth engagement strategy for the City, thinking through how the Mayor's Office can drive engagement such as voting, volunteerism, interaction with government, and civic learning.

What are you most excited about working in public service and government?

I'm most excited to better understand local government's role in driving and initiating community change.

What are you hoping to learn and to get out of your internship experience this summer?

Since I will be working in a new and unique city for a brief period of time, I am hoping to learn how to quickly gain my bearings, partner with community, and support institutions and individuals in carrying our collaborative work forward.