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Cal State LA communication studies graduate interns at the White House

January 11, 2017

As a senior in high school, Crystal Miller dreamed of one day working for the then newly elected President Barack Obama.

Seven years later Miller's dream became reality. In the fall of 2016, she was selected to participate in the White House Internship Program.

“I was ecstatic to learn that I was accepted into the White House’s final intern class of the Obama Administration,” said Miller, who graduated from California State University, Los Angeles last spring with a degree in communication studies. As a student, she was a member of Lambda Pi Eta Sigma Phi Chapter, the honor society of the National Communication Association, and worked as a social media manager for Faith Central Bible Church in Inglewood.

Acceptance into the prestigious internship program was based on commitment to public service, demonstrated leadership in the community, and dedication to the mission of the Obama Administration. The White House Internship Program provides college students and recent graduates a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office and prepare them for future public service opportunities.

Miller was assigned to work in the Office of Digital Strategy at the White House from September to December. Her responsibilities included creating content for White House social media platforms, maintaining the president’s and vice president’s schedule online, writing entries for the blog, and helping to put on SXSL: A White House Festival of Ideas, Art, and Action.

“It was an amazing, life changing experience that I would not change for the world,” said Miller, who resides in Lynwood. “It was an honor to serve, not only our country, but to represent Cal State LA’s 2016 graduating class.”

A highlight of her internship was the opportunity to meet individuals who fight every day to make a positive difference in America. During her time at the White House she met the president, vice president, first lady, and senior staffers.

“Being able to spend time around such men and women of strength and wisdom was truly an unforgettable moment in my life,” said Miller.

Miller was also able to give back to the community through public service. While volunteering with Martha’s Table in Washington, D.C., she would travel throughout the city, providing meals and warm clothing for those in need.

After the internship ended, Miller returned to Southern California and accepted a full-time position working in digital strategy for a company located in Santa Monica.

“A motto I want to bring to my new job comes from when our intern class met President Barack Obama,” she said. “During our time together, President Obama gave our intern class advice that will stick with me forever: ‘Be smart. Be kind. Be fearless.’”

Photo: Crystal Miller. (Credit: White House Communications Department)

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Cal State LA is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 27,000 students and 247,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State LA has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit