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Forester News

Nicholas Wheeler ’21 awarded Illinois State Society DC Scholarship

Nicholas Wheeler ’21 spent the summer as a Congressional Intern working for Illinois Congressman Michael Bost in Washington, DC.

Some of his responsibilities included giving Capitol tours, answering phone calls from constituents, researching policy and legislation, writing press releases, and drafting social media posts. 

“I am incredibly grateful to the Illinois State Society for awarding me the scholarship,” Wheeler said. “I came to Washington, DC to advocate for the citizens of the 12th District of Illinois, and the generosity of the Illinois State Society helped me to do that.” 

The Illinois State Society (ISS) of Washington, DC is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to promoting the history, culture, science, technology, commerce, and social traditions of Illinois.

Wheeler’s goal is to have a career where he can work to improve the lives of people everywhere. “Working in DC, with the help of the ISS Scholarship, has provided me with valuable career experience I hope to build on in the future,” he said. 

Congress (POLS 222) with politics lecturer Christine Walker, a course Wheeler took during his first year at the College, sparked his passion for learning about policy, the legislative process, and how Congress works. “My final project for the class was to create a bill, and my bill was a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution,” he said. “After completing this extensive research project is when I decided I wanted to work in policy or government for at least part of my career.”

Entering his junior year, Wheeler already has great experience and networking skills under his belt after his internship this summer. “On the legislative side, I was able to witness the legislative drafting, debating, and voting; on the communications side, I gained valuable knowledge on how messaging is tailored to reach and resonate with constituents and the District,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler is majoring in business and double minoring in politics and legal studies.

—By Sangjun Hornewer ’20