By: Emily Whitehead ’20, Business + Government Relations Program Advisor
Kenlee Foskey ’21 came to Washington, D.C. hoping to build off of her campus involvement and to grow as a student leader. Foskey found that the TFAS D.C. Summer Program was a perfect opportunity to build her confidence and skills as a leader.
At Mercer University, Foskey is the co-founder and vice president of Mercer Network of Enlightened Women, a national conservative women’s organization that aims to educate, equip, and empower women. “My best friend and I started our chapter to give women on campus a place to grow politically and professionally in an environment of like-minded people,” Foskey explained. She is also the external director of MU Miracle, an organization that raises funds for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. “I joined this organization because I wanted to be able to put my passion for helping and advocating for others into action,” she said. She also writes for the Mercer quarterly business newspaper, Bear Market, and helps to manage the admissions department’s social media accounts.
Foskey engaged in several opportunities to develop as a leader throughout her TFAS summer. She jumped at the chance to participate in the Braver Angels Debate Leadership Team. Foskey helped pick a debate topic and took on a speaking role to initiate the debate. Debating students from all around the world allowed her to truly appreciate differences in opinions and to hone in on her ability to express her own beliefs. “This program allowed me to have a purposeful dialogue with others that have different beliefs than I do and to truly discover new ways to advocate for what I believe in,” said Foskey. She also gained many role models from TFAS events and networking opportunities. “It was remarkable to become accustomed to having such prominent people in the same room as you, which is what most of the TFAS events offered us,” Foskey revealed, looking back on some of the Business + Government Relations Guest Lectures, Washington Briefings, Professional Development Seminars and Career + Industry Exploration small-group discussions.
Talking with professionals and leading her own discussions, TFAS led Foskey to think about the kind of leader she wants to be when she returns to campus. “I hope to be a leader that facilitates important conversations and encourages others to pursue their passions,” she explained. Through the TFAS D.C. Summer Program, Foskey grew both as an advocate for her viewpoints and as a mentor to her peers. “TFAS has taught me how to be confident in my beliefs and leadership abilities, and I will take this back with me in hopes that I can motivate other students to do the same,” she said, excited to return to campus this fall.
When asked if she recommends the TFAS Summer Program to others, Foskey responded:
“Absolutely! TFAS provides so many ways to grow as a student leader, such as learning how to network, making those important connections, and helping figure out which career path you do (or don’t) want to take! The opportunities are endless. You will be able to develop and sharpen your beliefs while learning different ways you can advocate for them. The program really is all that you allow it to be, and it has been the most valuable experience I have ever had!”
Learn more about the Business + Government Relations Program Track offered during the TFAS D.C. Summer Program.