Alumni Strike: Isabella DeSheplo

Alumnistrike-sabrina

BY SABRINA BLANDON
ONLINE FEATURES EDITOR

Alumna Isabella DeSheplo, who graduated from the Bay in 2016, has spent her last two summers at the United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya working as a political intern. During the first summer of her internship, she said she busied herself with the 2017 Kenyan General Election. This past summer, however, DeSheplo was able to learn more about human rights work in Kenya through attending her first United Nations Summit.

“I enjoyed having the opportunity to intern there because not many people can say they interned at the Embassy,” DeSheplo said. “I was lucky to get the opportunity that I did. It was an absolute privilege to represent the United States.”

When DeSheplo was 17, her father moved to Kenya. As a result, she said she decided to intern in Nairobi so she could be close to her family during the summers.

“I wanted to stay close to my family no matter what, so deciding to move to Kenya was not a hard decision for me,” DeSheplo said. “I enjoyed the opportunities I had [while I was there]. Many events stick with me. For instance, [during] my first summer, my favorite events were attending our embassy’s Fourth of July celebration and getting a taste of how foreign elections operate.”

DeSheplo said her second summer interning was an incredible experience, as she saw the president of Kenya speak at the United Nations Headquarters in Nairobi and visited a multitude of embassies in the city of Nairobi.

“Seeing the president [of Kenya] speak was really breathtaking,” DeSheplo said. “Besides seeing the president, I was able to witness a Kenyan choir perform the national anthem of Kenya for the Fourth of July. I teared up thinking that this is something special.”

Currently, DeSheplo is involved in many organizations while pursuing a master’s degree in Political Science at the University of Alabama (UA). She said she is involved in the Blackburn Institute, a civic leadership program dedicated to bettering the state of Alabama and the student government association at UA. According to DeSheplo, being involved in all these programs has helped her to better understand political issues.

“I wanted to make the most of my four years in [Alabama], so during the spring of my freshman year, I threw myself fully into the deep end. While I’m always busy, some of my closest friendships have blossomed from these different ends of campus,” DeSheplo said. “I can’t wait to see how these organizations help shape my upperclassmen years at Alabama.”

Sophomore Ryan Murphy attends UA alongside Desheplo. He said the internship she did at the embassy was perfect for her, as he has seen her love for being involved in foreign affairs.

“Diplomacy and statesmanship are obvious passions of [Deshplo],” Murphy said. “The goals she sets for herself are clearly aimed toward putting herself in the best position to serve other people.”

Murphy said he is impressed with DeSheplo’s drive to work at what she wants. He said her determined personality will get her whatever she wants in life.

“When you see her, you see how driven she is to work at what she loves,” Murphy said. “She’s always been involved in the organizations, but with her internship you can see her working harder.”

According to DeSheplo, the internship at the embassy will be one she will always remember because she made many valuable connections and unforgettable memories.

“The internship has helped shaped me into a better person because now I have a better handle on how politics work,” DeSheplo said. “I always knew I wanted to be in political affairs, but this internship has helped me finalize my decision when it comes to my future.”

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