Daisha Student Feature
Daisha Singleton, a rising junior at Manchester High School, completed Policy Pathways’ 2022 Summer Academy for Policy Leadership and Public Service Online (SAO) and ensuing Policy Research Internship with flying colors. The policy concepts and projects in which she engaged are giving her a step up in high school.
In addition to Art 3 Honors and Advanced PE classes this year, Daisha will be adding another year of Theater Production to her schedule. Her school has a Speech and Debate team as well, which she may join. After gaining a foundation in many policy topics through SAO, she feels confident in her ability to broach topics with others that she may not have before, particularly Trans Justice and LGBTQ+ Rights, the subject of her SAO Capstone project.
Daisha came to Policy Pathways through MEGA Mentors, an extra-curricular school mentoring organization in Chesterfield County, VA. Daisha had been involved with them for a year before they partnered with Policy Pathways to bring the Summer Academy to more students. “I love to try new and different things,” said Daisha, so when her mother found out about the program through MEGA Mentors, she was all in.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have spent the summer with Policy Pathways and how you were able to change my perspective on the world on different issues, especially the statistics and data part of it.”
Daisha enjoyed the deep dive into policy the research internship afforded her. “Outside of Capstone projects,” she said, “the internship focused more on detailed things in policy, statistics, and data. Before this program, I didn’t know what public policy was. It gave me so much information and I was happy I was able to be a part of it.” She also appreciated the wide variety of topics the Summer Academy and internship covered, like immigration, policy formation, law, advocacy, housing, international affairs, and more.
Daisha looked at data sets from Virginia maternity reports for the Policy Research Internship final project. “I compared different ethnic groups’ deliveries on a graph, taking into account different hospitals, doctors, and care.” Applying SAO concepts in this way opened her eyes to the world of healthcare. “I thought about bringing it to social media,” she said. “It would get many more people involved and raise their awareness of options and practices.”
With a passion in cosmetology, Daisha hopes to work in the beauty industry. If she does go to college, she said, “I want to major in art. School is now focusing on the technical aspects of art. Elective teachers introduce us to new websites, editing tools, and digital presentation methods.” Daisha has her eye on Howard University as a potential school to expand her artistic knowledge.
Daisha’s time with Policy Pathways this summer was a new experience that she loved. “It was very informative and helped me gain more perspective. There’s a lot more to public policy than the average person thinks.”