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Name: Marianna Yearboro
Hometown: Pleasanton, California
Year: Junior
Major: Political Science and Philosophy
Activities: Franke Global Leadership Initiative

Marianna was one of five students who interned in Washington, D.C. last summer thanks to privately funded stipends from UM’s Baucus Institute, housed within the Blewett School of Law. Interns were placed in the offices of Sen. Steve Daines, Sen. Jon Tester, Rep. Greg Gianforte, the Senate  Committee on Finance and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Why was being a Baucus Fellow meaningful to you?
It was a huge reason I went to Washington. It would have been very, very difficult to go without it. DC is very expensive – even food! The grocery store, compared to Montana, and rent, too. It was a lot. Not everyone can afford it on their own.

How did your internship in Senator Tester’s office impact how you see the world?
One of the main things it taught me was that what the constituents feel and want is actually reflected in policy and the legislative process. A large part of my work was answering phone calls from constituents and logging correspondence. There was an instance when, I think around June, the family separation controversy around the border was a huge deal. Senator Tester had not made any public statement on the issue. After weeks of getting hundreds of calls from Montanans, Senator Tester signed on to the Keeping Families Together Act. That wasn’t necessarily advantageous for him to do during the midterms. I really appreciated how the voices of constituents mattered to him.

How has your UM education changed you so far?
Being from California, just moving here and seeing the different perspectives. For example, Missoula is definitely more rural than the Bay Area. It’s taught me the importance of something as simple as being in tune with nature, hiking – it kind of shaped the way I learn. The professors here are amazing, the different walks of life that they’re from. The students as well. I was never accustomed to people who grew up on farms or in high schools that had a graduating class of 20 people. Being around students that have those different perspectives, that’s opened my world view.

What are your plans for the future?
I plan on attending law school directly after graduation. Once January starts, I’m taking an LSAT prep course and putting all my energy into getting the best score I can. I’m brainstorming possible internships for next summer – I enjoyed DC so much. If I could be an intern in a more legal setting, whether that’s a law firm or a court, that’s my goal.