Intern gives DC councilman valuable support

Senior and social work major Brandon Williams recently became the first Gallaudet student to intern for a Washington, D.C., Councilmember. Williams, an Andrew Foster Scholarship recipient, worked as a Community and Business Affairs intern for Ward Five Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie. It was important to Williams to find a position that fit his focus within the social work field, he said.

“I want to give back to deaf youth of color as a social worker,” he said.

Working alongside Councilmember McDuffie, Williams focused on neighborhoods surrounding Gallaudet, such as Trinidad, Ivy City, and Eckington. He worked with ward Councilmembers to address issues including rental assistance, homelessness, education, and economic security.

Ward Five has a high incidence of crime but is working to reduce incident numbers. Williams was responsible for conducting extensive research on crime statistics for his assigned areas, particularly Brookland. He was so thorough in his reports that McDuffie included his findings in a presentation to the Ward Five community in March.

This research allowed the Metropolitan Police Department to identify specific neighborhood blocks to more closely monitor for crime control after dark. Williams also presented some of his research to D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray at an open house event for the Committee on Government Relations.

The Councilmember’s office ensured access for Williams by providing an on-site interpreter for meetings, phone calls and other administrative tasks. It was a fast-paced work environment and demanded responsibility, diligence and accuracy from Williams, which he successfully delivered.

“From this experience, I learned never to be afraid to ask questions, because I get good feedback and become more resourceful,” Williams said, and he pointed out the importance of these traits for a career in social work.

Williams said it initially was overwhelming to digest so much information and become familiar with the range of services the Council offers, but he gained greater conviction that he belongs in this line of work.

This is particularly important to Williams, because after losing his hearing at the age of 12, he could not find many deaf role models of color to emulate.

Raised in Arkansas in a working-class family, he said, “I did not have high expectations of myself until after I met Glenn Anderson [the first deaf Black person in the U.S. to earn a doctoral degree].”

As a result, he said, he understands the hurdles that members of underrepresented communities in Ward Five face. That is why his long-term career goal is to help alleviate the pressures that come with being raised with little to no support system.

He hopes to enter law school after graduation and focus on advocacy for low-income deaf youth of color.

About Gallaudet
Clerc Center
Employment Opportunities
Fast Facts
Giving to Gallaudet
GU Press
Maps & Directions
Mission & Goals
Public and Media Relations
Visitors Center
Contact Us
Campus Photos
English Language Institute
Financial Aid
Graduate Admissions
Graduate Orientation
Professional Studies
Undergraduate Admissions
Undergraduate Orientation
Academics & Research
Undergraduate Majors
Graduate Programs
Professional Studies & Outreach
Academic Student Services
Career Center
Catalog & Course Info
General Studies Program
Campus Life
Campus Activities
Food Services
gBlog--How we see it...
International Programs
Residence Life
Theatre Box Office
Washington, D.C.
Tools & Resources
Daily Digest
Campus Directory
Gallaudet Alert (subscribe)
Help Desk
Maps & Directions
People @ Gallaudet
Gallaudet University | 800 Florida Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002
Copyright © 2011 Gallaudet University