Meet the Fall 2022 Victory Congressional Interns

We are so proud to announce and introduce the Fall 2022 Victory Congressional Intern cohort in the LGBTQ Victory Institute’s history! Congratulations to these 8 incredible emerging LGBTQ leaders who will intern on Capitol Hill for the fall semester.

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 weekly leadership development series, community outreach, and mentorship component. The LGBTQ Victory Institute is proud of our continued and growing partnership with the LGBTQ Equality Caucus, its members, and other LGBTQ-friendly members of Congress.

A brief overview of our Fall 2022 LGBTQ Victory Congressional Interns:

David Cleland (he/she/them)

Hometown: Lexington, TN

School: The University of Alabama, Huntsville

Placement: Senator Edward Markey (MA)

David Cleland is a junior undergraduate student at the University of Alabama in Huntsville with a passion for the advocacy of LGBTQIA+ people across the world. David has dedicated their college career and plans to the advancement of LGBTQIA+ people by working to expand their knowledge of the law to increase the number of beneficial policies for LGBTQIA+ people. For their entire life, David has tried to act as a beacon of hope for LGBTQIA+ people by being confident and unapologetically themself. From wearing heels at their fraternity chapter meetings to winning the title of Homecoming King at their university with a face painted with makeup, David has placed themselves in the light to be seen by all those who may judge them or may love them because they know they can possibly be the catalyst for change for an LGBTQIA+ person who may see them living their life. When not advocating for LGBTQIA+ lives, David enjoys fashion, shopping, and traveling.

Madelyn Eatley (she/they)

Hometown: Amarillo, TX

School: West Texas A&M

Placement: Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA-4)

Madelyn Eatley is a senior at West Texas A&M University working toward completing their Master’s degree in Political Science. They plan to attend graduate school and are finishing their application to the Fulbright program in August of this year. They love all things coffee, is a big fan of a good book on a rainy day, and loves working on all of the things they are passionate about, especially U.S. and international politics.

Edwin Madrid (he/him)

Hometown: Fullerton, CA

School: California Polytechnic State University

Placement: Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-1)

Edwin Madrid is a third-year undergraduate student at California Polytechnic State University where he is majoring in Political Science with an emphasis in American Politics and minoring in Law & Society. On campus, Eddie is a political science research assistant, in Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity, and is also a part of the Latinx Cultural Association. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree, he plans on pursuing a master’s in public policy.


Aharon McKee (he/him)

Hometown: Travelers Rest, SC

School: Catawba College

Placement: Senator Jacky Rosen (NV)

Aharon is a senior at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina where he serves on the executive boards of the Student Government Association as well as the National Society of Leadership and Success. He is also in the Order of the Blue and White — a faculty-nominated group of 15 upperclassmen who embody the school’s values. Aside from these positions, he holds membership in the campus LGBTQ+ Alliance and serves on numerous committees and advisory boards. Majoring in political science with a prelaw concentration, Aharon was admitted into the Duke Law School PLUS Program, which aims to prepare diverse first-generation college students for law school. Aharon also devotes himself to social and political activism within his community, frequently attending protests and rallies. Other than advocating for causes or candidates, you will likely find Aharon walking on nature trails or playing music at the community center he has helped operate since 2014. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a dual degree for a J.D. and a M.P.P. to further advance his leadership abilities to prepare for a career in legal advocacy and progressive public policy-making in local, state, and eventually federal government.

Nathan Phillips (he/him)

Hometown: Brea, CA

School: University of California, Los Angeles

Placement: House Democratic Caucus

Nathan Phillips is a transfer student pursuing a Sociology degree from UCLA. He is a proud transgender man, an advocate for human and animal rights, and a writer. He was born and raised in Orange County, California. Despite being born into rather unfortunate circumstances that led him to enter the foster system when he was 10 years old, he is resilient and successful. He attends school full time, works for Associated Students UCLA, and plans to pursue a law degree in hopes of helping those with similar situations as he once had.

He transitioned at 14 years old despite attending a conservative high school, done with the support of his family and friends. He is openly queer, despite growing politicization of gender and sexual identity, and hopes to let closeted LGBT+ members know they aren’t alone. Nathan is unapologetically in favor of universal healthcare, dismantling racial biases in American institutions, and for maintaining abortion rights for those who want one. He will help make changes to leave the world better off than when he entered it– whether that be through law, sociological research, or essays and/or novels which express the need for equality for all.

Sammy Raucher (she/her)

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

School: University of California, Berkeley

Placement: Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28)

Sammy Raucher is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in Political Science and minoring in Data Science. She is passionate about racial justice, gender equity, and LGBTQ+ rights, and is particularly interested in the intersections between these social issues and technology. Last year, Sammy served as a Senator within UC Berkeley’s student government, representing over 30,000 undergraduate students. Further, she brings her passion for academic equity and accessibility to her roles as the Curriculum Lead in Berkeley’s Data Science Undergraduate Studies’ Human Context and Ethics Team and a member of the Student Advisory Council on Undergraduate Education. Sammy also sustains her love of music by playing violin in the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. She hopes to pursue a career in civil rights (with a focus on LGBTQ+ rights) law, legislation, or non-profit work in the future.

Julianna Rittenberg (she/her)

Hometown: Worthington, OH

School: Ohio University

Placement: Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-3)

Julianna Rittenberg is a political science student in the Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University. She is also pursuing a history minor and a certificate in political communication. At Ohio University, Julianna is also a Margaret Boyd Scholar, a group which gives her an opportunity to meet, live with, and learn from other smart and driven young women at the university through courses, programming, and a residential component. Julianna has interned with the League of Women Voters of Ohio, was a college fellow on the Tim Ryan for Ohio campaign, and served as an Ohio Senate page. After graduation, Julianna hopes to use what she learned in college and through her internship opportunities to be an advocate for LGBTQ+ and women’s rights. Julianna was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where her love for drinking coffee and reading books was cultivated. Outside of school, she is usually found doing one of those two things.

George Rogers (he/him)

Hometown: Irmo, SC

School: University of South Carolina

Placement: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12)

George is currently a Junior attending the Honors College at the University of South Carolina. He is currently majoring in Political Science (B.A.) and Economics (B.S.) and minoring in English and Law Society. He plans to graduate in May 2024 and pursue a law degree. Afterwards, he plans to pursue a career in legal research writing and legal advocacy for civil rights. From his on-campus position as an Honors Ambassador where he speaks with prospective students and families, to his involvement as Treasurer of a minority organization Pre Law-NBLSA that promotes law education for people of color, he has experience in both public speaking and advocacy. He’s always had a heart for helping others and is committed to specifically advancing the basic rights for people within the African American and LGBTQ+ community.