Meet the Fall 2021 Victory Congressional Interns

We are proud to announce the congressional placements of four interns for the Fall 2021 Victory Congressional Internship cohort!

The Victory Congressional Internship (VCI) is developing the next generation of out public leaders. This fall’s ten-week program will include a rigorous in-person and virtual weekly leadership development series and mentorship component. The interns are completing virtual and hybrid placements in congressional offices as each office adjusts to re-opening rules and regulations. Victory Institute is proud of our continued and growing partnership with the LGBT Equality Caucus, its members, and other LGBTQ-friendly members of Congress.

Gerald ‘JJ’ Briscoe (He/Him)
Hometown: Gardner, Kansas
School: New York University
Placement: Rep. Sharice Davids

Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Kansas, JJ Briscoe experienced drastically different parts of the United States at a young age and has become fascinated by the different realities that we Americans face every day. Growing up in a childhood that depended immensely on the government and its safety net programs, JJ learned gratitude for the government and wants to commit his life to saving and expanding the assistance that helped him come from foster care to a first-generation college student attending New York University. He is double majoring in Global Liberal Studies and Politics and is deeply invested in public service and making sure that the United States finally sees a true multi-racial democracy.

Elyssa Goswick (She/Her)
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
School: American University
Placement: Rep. Adam Schiff

Elyssa Goswick is a senior at American University in Washington, DC, studying International Studies and Spanish Translation. She is passionate about equitable and sustainable development around the world and has focused on how grassroots activism can effectively translate into for progressive policy and candidates. She has worked with several national non-profits working on pressing social issues such as LGBTQ representation, reproductive justice, and ending child marriage and focuses on the intersection of race, sexuality, and gender throughout her activism. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in the legislative process, in which she can help to craft policies that protect and extend opportunities to vulnerable communities both in America and abroad.

Alejandro Rodriguez (He/Him)
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana
School: Indiana University Northwest
Placement: House Democratic Caucus

Alejandro is a current undergraduate student at Indiana University working towards a bachelor’s degree in Law & Public Policy, with dual minors in Political Science and Criminal Justice. Upon graduation, Alejandro plans to enroll in law school. He aspires to be a Senator in Congress or a Federal Judge. Alejandro is driven by his experiences growing up in a single mother, low-income, minority household, and attending inner-city public schools often plagued with disparities. His heart is dedicated to public service, and he aims to make a lasting impact in all communities, especially those that have fallen victim to corruption & social inequality. Alejandro was born in northwest Indiana, however, grew up in northeast Indiana. Upon graduating from South Side High School (Fort Wayne) in 2016, he immediately left home to attend a summer scholarship program at Indiana University (Bloomington). Upon successful completion of the summer program, Alejandro attended IU-Bloomington for just shy of two years, before stepping away from academia due to the unexpected loss of his sister. Nevertheless, Alejandro returned to school more motivated than ever. He is currently pursuing his degree at Indiana University-Northwest. His most recent accomplishments include achieving the Chancellor’s List Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, holding a successful community-wide Holiday Food Drive during which he organized and made pickups for donations in his vehicle all while following Covid protocols and being named an official Youth Advocate, serving on the panel of advocates dedicated to “Engaging Community around HIV Organization.”

Allyson Smith (She/They)
Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
School: Howard University
Placement: Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Allyson Smith is a youth activist, poet, and all-around creative from Memphis, TN. Currently attending Howard University with a major in Political Science, she is carrying that legacy of changemakers and visionaries over to the Memphis community in various ways of serving. Allyson is heavily involved with politics, with a strong emphasis on acknowledging Southern Black Women in the artistic and political sphere. She says no to the status quo and is using her voice as a stepping stone to an equal society. Allyson does this by uplifting and working for Black women who understand and see her. She has been an avid supporter and intern for Shelby County Commissioner, Tami Sawyer and has also completed her internship at Impact Strategies, a political strategist firm headed by CNN analyst, Angela Rye. Through her work, which has been featured in Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed News, The Commercial Appeal, WMC Action News 5, and The Guardian, she is authentically herself and does not shy away from topics that spark hard conversations. Allyson believes that her future is one that is free of limitations and societal normalities, and she will do everything in her power to make it so.

Fellows & Interns