Story last updated at 5:26 p.m. Thursday, June 13, 2002

Homer High graduate works on Capitol Hill
By R.J. Kelly
Managing Editor

photo: news
  Photo by Sen. Stevens staff
Homer High Class of 2002 graduate Jennifer Ward works the desk as intern in Sen., Ted Steven's offices in Washington D.C.  
When somebody asks recent Homer High School graduates what they did on their summer "vacation," not many will be able to say they spent a few weeks working amid the seat of international power in Washington, D.C.

By the end of June, Jennifer Ward, a member of Homer's Class of 2002, will be able to look back at four weeks of working as an intern for Sen. Ted Stevens, Alaska's senior senator.

"It's nice to feel like you're making a difference," Ward said during a Monday telephone interview from Stevens' staff offices.

Ward was among 12 high school graduates from Alaska selected to work for the senator as interns over a two-part program this summer.

The daughter of Lori and Ronald Ward, Jennifer is no stranger to the nation's capital. Last summer she said she studied foreign policy by taking a college course at Georgetown University.

"I've always been interested in politics," Ward said, so applying to be an intern seemed like a logical step in her education.

She's also had an interest in journalism and the former freshman Homer basketball player and school newspaper staffer did some interning at the Homer News writing sports stories during a work-study program in her junior year.

For the first week of June in Washington, it was mostly orientation and touring the Capitol building and other parts of the federal government complex. But it's a busy 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. job Monday through Friday, according to Melanie Alvord, a member of Stevens' staff.

With fisheries so important to Alaska, Ward said she has been assigned to research information about drift nets in Japan to gather background for the senator.

Before Ward's internship period ends June 29, Alvord said she is likely to be involved in other research efforts, correspondence and archiving work.

Although Ward hasn't finalized her college program, some area of government or foreign-policy studies is likely to play a role in her education when she starts this fall at Northeastern University in Boston.

All the high school interns are staying in dormitories at George Washington University, Alvord said.