Meet NCL’s public policy summer interns – National Consumers League

Sam Hamer – Yale University, ‘14 I am a senior at Yale University majoring in History. When not playing on the Yale Club Baseball team, I devote much of my time outside of the classroom to organizing a student-run clinic that prepares income tax returns for low-income individuals in New Haven. I am also a Yale Urban Fellow, part of a cohort of students interested in issues of poverty and urban development. From September – December 2012, I served as a White House Intern in the Office of Public Engagement. I’m originally from Chicago and am an avid White Sox fan. I come to NCL this summer via a partnership with the Google Policy Fellowship, a program that matches students interested in technology policy with leading nonprofit organizations in that field. I have a passion for social justice and I’m eager to learn how NCL is leading the charge to support consumers in the realm of telecommunications and technology policy. To that end, I will be spending my time abetting NCL’s efforts to stem phone bill cramming, expand access to telecommunications services for low-income consumers, and combat ID theft and fraud. With an eye toward a career in public service, I am excited to immerse myself in an organization that champions progressive causes. In addition to getting my feet wet in consumer advocacy work, I am looking forward to taking full advantage of the summer intern Mecca that is Washington, DC. 

Robert “RJ” Smith – Indiana University of Pennsylvania ‘14 Originally, I am from a town right outside of Philadelphia, called Pottstown. I am a senior at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, or IUP for short. At IUP, I am pursuing a double major in both International Studies and History as well as a minor in Economics. Being a History major, I was immediately drawn the NCL because the historic legislation and importance the League has played since its founding in 1899. During my American History Studies I developed a fascination with the early 1900’s and the Progressive Era. The fact that I am now working with an organization that was and continues to be so influential in passing legislation that helps and protects the average American, is a dream come true. During my internship at NCL, besides developing an understanding of the internal workings of a non-profit organization and Washington policy making, I am looking forward to representing and protecting consumers. There are many public policy issues that I feel strongly about and would love to work on, but if I had to pick one, it would be workers’ rights, not only in the United States, but also in the factories used by American-run companies around the globe. I am passionate about this topic because I am a firm believer that the relationship between a company and its employees should be mutually beneficial.


 Heather Yoon – Brandeis ‘15 I am a rising junior at Brandeis University majoring in International & Global Studies and Politics with minors in Legal Studies, Women & Gender Studies, and East Asian Studies. I love to travel and dream of visiting Africa, Dubai, and Egypt in the near future. Service has been at the heart of many of my previous travels abroad. After the devastating earthquake broke out in Haiti, I spent two summers there and in the Dominican Republic implementing the “Relief for Haiti Project.” Through this effort, my team members and I provided victims with medical aid, emotional support, and basic necessities. My growing concern for poverty, human rights, and gendered violence inspired me to join the National Consumers League this summer as a public policy intern to address international consumer and worker issues to a wider audience. During the past three years, I had the honor of interning for Mayor Steven Choi in Irvine, California. Shadowing Mayor Choi’s position helped me to adopt a very important philosophy for serving the community – “Listen, Learn, Respond.” With this philosophy, I will effectively help represent and respond to public interests and concerns of constituents on a daily basis at the League. I admire the League’s commitment to assisting consumers and workers on issues of fair labor standards. I am excited to be part of the team that continues to engage with a wide community of leaders and influencers. My goal is to use my international experiences and leadership skills to learn how to accentuate the rights of consumers and workers using public policies relating to consumer fraud.