Tyler Junior College freshman Patrick Smallwood just finished a six-week internship in the office of U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert in Washington, D.C.
Smallwood is a political science major from Tyler. After graduating from TJC, he plans to further his education at Baylor University and eventually go to law school. He has his sights set on a career in politics.
Smallwood developed an interest in politics in the second grade, when he was assigned a project on President Abraham Lincoln.
“I have aspired to be president of the United States ever since that time, and this summer I was afforded the opportunity to work for Congressman Louie Gohmert in Washington,” he said.
Of the handful of students chosen as summer interns in Gohmert’s office, Smallwood was the only one to be selected from a two-year college.
“I took great pride in representing Tyler Junior College in that regard,” he said.
“I just returned to Tyler last Saturday, and I can tell you with great enthusiasm it was a worthwhile experience,” Smallwood said in a letter of thanks to Dr. Juan E. Mejia, TJC provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, who wrote a letter of recommendation for the internship.
“To intern in our nation’s capital was a rare and amazing opportunity, and to observe our government at work and up close was awe-inspiring,” he said. “It was a pleasure to work for Congressman Gohmert; and after spending six weeks with him, I can say with 100-percent certainty that he is the real deal.”
Smallwood is also serving as a TJC Apache Chief this summer.
The Apache Chiefs serve as TJC orientation leaders during the summer months and as campus leaders throughout the rest of the school year.
Their primary role is to assist new students and their families as they transition from high school to college, but they are also leaders in other campus organizations and throughout the community.
“The Apache Chiefs are a family of fellow Apaches who were chosen through a challenging process for their display of leadership and heart for TJC and the lives that this school impacts,” he said.
“I never thought I would have the opportunity to be a part of such a close group. That is what I love the most, how close we’ve actually grown because true leadership is more of unlocking the potential in others than self-empowerment.”
For more information, go to www.tjc.edu/orientation.