NIAF Congressional Fellowship: Reflections by Anthony Falcone

Anthony Falcone was a 2020 NIAF Congressional Fellow and is a student at The Catholic University of America.

This past fall I had the honor to intern in the office of Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.-AL) as part of the NIAF Congressional Fellowship. My primary responsibilities included answering phone calls from constituents, sorting through constituent emails and mail, and assisting other staff members with any tasks or errands they had for me. During my internship, Congressman Gianforte and his office worked on legislation dealing with veterans, suicide prevention, and public lands.

This past year was certainly an interesting time for our country, so it was helpful for the Congressman to hear directly from constituents about how they felt about the many issues facing our country today. Working in the office of an at-large district with COVID-19 safety measures and social distancing practices in place, provided the unique opportunity to work for all of the citizens of a state, not just those of a particular district. This internship gave me a greater insight and appreciation for the legislative process that takes place every day at the Capitol and for all those who work diligently to make it possible.

As a person who values my Italian heritage, it was a privilege to work for a fellow Italian American who holds public office. To see his dedication to the citizens of Montana and our entire nation reminded me of the patriotism of my grandmothers, who passed on their rich Italian culture to their grandchildren, while instilling a love for the United States. This blend of working for the ideas and goals of the United States and our Constitution, while never forgetting the traditions and culture of Italy has been a driving factor in my life. My experience interning as a NIAF Congressional Fellow allowed me to experience this first-hand. I am very grateful to NIAF for this beneficial opportunity that has helped me to develop both professional and personal skills.

The 2021 Congressional Fellowship application is open now until June 1. For more information, visit: https://www.niaf.org/programs/congressional-fellows/.

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