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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

OCTOBER 2016

59

AFSA NEWS

“One of the Best Decisions I’ve Made”

—ATLG Intern’s Experience

Each year, AFSA partners

with the Thursday Luncheon

Group to sponsor a minority

college student for a summer

internship at the Department

of State. TLG’s mission is to

increase the participation of

African Americans and other

minorities in the formulation,

articulation and implemen-

tation of U.S. foreign policy.

The internship helps reach

students who may not oth-

erwise hear about possible

foreign affairs careers like the

Foreign Service.

This year Camille Swinson

spent 10 weeks interning

with the Office of Brazil and

Southern Cone Affairs in the

Bureau of Western Hemi-

sphere Affairs. Camille is

currently in her senior year at

Spelman College in Atlanta,

Georgia.

AFSA/EUNICEAJAYI

TLG intern Camille Swinson meets with AFSA President Ambassador

Barbara Stephenson.

Camille attended many dif-

ferent events and discussions,

prepared summaries for

WHA/BSC staff and assem-

bled documents for the assis-

tant secretary. She says that

she particularly enjoyed tasks

under the umbrella of public

diplomacy, as they allowed

her to see the mechanisms

used to cultivate strong ties

between the United States

and other countries.

Camille also used her

summer in Washington,

D.C., to visit think-tanks and

local groups to gain other

perspectives. In July she

had a chance to meet with

AFSA President Ambassador

Barbara Stephenson for an

informal chat about life in the

Foreign Service.

During her internship she

was able to see firsthand

how important changes are

effected every day through

diplomacy, Camille says, and

this has encouraged her to

pursue a career in the Foreign

Service.

The internship also gave

her an insight into the skills

required in a Foreign Service

career, and ways in which she

can cultivate those skills for

herself. These experiences,

she said, “will not only allow

me to grow into a better

diplomat but also a more

competent global citizen.”

Camille says she is

particularly grateful to the

Thursday Luncheon Group,

because they have enabled

her to access mentors of

color, Foreign Service officers

who can provide insight into

navigating the Foreign Ser-

vice as a minority individual.

“Interning at State under

TLG has easily been one of

the best decisions I have

made during my college

career. I grew a lot, learned a

great deal about diplomacy,”

says Camille. “Once I become

a diplomat, I hope to serve as

an equally helpful resource to

students.”

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—Gemma Dvorak,

Associate Editor

FLTCIP Counseling at AFSA

In July, the Federal Long

Term Care Insurance

Program (FLTCIP) sent

enrollees letters announc-

ing dramatic increases in

premiums, included a “2016

Enrollee Decision Period”

packet of personalized

options and gave a Sept. 30

deadline for decisions on

coverage.

AFSA wrote to Congress

to call for hearings on the

steep premium hikes and

worked to provide accurate,

constructive information to

members via special email

messages, online newslet-

ters and the AFSA website.

With many AFSA retiree

members struggling over

their FLTCIP decisions, AFSA

scheduled one-on-one coun-

seling sessions for them with

LTC Partners on Sept. 9.

Twenty-nine enrollees

attended a session at AFSA

HQ to review their choices

with an experienced LTC

Partners counselor. Virtu-

ally every attendee found at

least one option that would

work for their circumstances

and exited their session with

confidence.

We are pleased that

so many of our members

found the sessions helpful.

Feedback included com-

ments such as “Extremely

helpful!” and “Great advice;

I’m in good shape.”We

recommend that all FLTCIP

enrollees should talk with an

LTC Partners counselor over

the phone before making a

final determination about

coverage.

Email

retiree@afsa.org

or call (202) 944-5509 for

more information.

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