Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU Florida Internship Program (FFLIP) enhances student abilities for public policy in legislation

FFLIP offers internship programming every Spring semester for students and has doubled since its creation.
FFLIP student Intern Joe Guzzi.
Courtesy of Joe Guzzi
FFLIP student Intern Joe Guzzi.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Feb. 16 to correct factual errors regarding the requirements of the program, the number of students in the program and its duration.

The Florida Atlantic University Florida Legislative Internship Program (FFLIP)  is a two-year-old program that has expanded from two students to four in just a year. The program allows students to learn first-hand how to participate in the legislative process while gaining full-time internship experience and earning course credit hours. 

The program primarily focuses on students learning how government works and how to take a hands-on approach actively in the legislation. A political science major is not required. The program encourages students of all majors to apply. 

Students spend a sixty-day session in Tallahassee during spring and then work in the district office for the remainder of the semester.

Kathaleen Kelly, a senior law and society major, joined the 2024 spring program and currently works as a legislative intern with  Representative Toby Overdorf of the 85th district which primarily covers Port Saint Lucie and Martin.

 Kelly works on various tasks such as taking notes for Overdorf, administrative duties, taking photos of him and  discussing events at the Capitol for his weekly newsletter to his constituents, among other things. 

“Every day, I get to walk through the doors of the Florida State Capitol and work in the legislature. It is a great honor to represent both FAU and District 85 in the building. As an intern, my work helps create change in our state, and I have loved every minute of it,” Kelly explained.

Kelly is also a staunch advocate for the program because she believes it is imperative for students who major around this field. And its popularity has doubled over the year since its creation and is highly passionate about people joining. Since there are very few members and all you need is a relatively high gpa to be qualified to apply.

“If interning in the Florida Legislature is something that you are considering doing, you should apply for this program. It has allowed me to meet many individuals from different careers and opened up other career avenues, ” Kelly said.

Interns work for a representative or senator in the Florida State Legislature during their internship. Alumni Kyle Webb and Joe Guzzi helped the Office of Government Relations at FAU create the program in January 2023 and were the first two active participants. Guzzi and Webb were the first students to participate in the program and began organizing it in 2022.

“Kyle and I were the first guys to do it and began working on details in 2022 when I began coordinating with the Office of Governmental Relations to help mobilize the program,” Guzzi explained.

Kyle Webb is now the deputy campaign manager and field director for Holden for Congress in New York’s 21st Congressional District.

“FFLIP provided an introduction and the opportunity to learn about state politics and policy through hands-on experience. Working in the state capitol through the legislative session taught me how policy is developed through bill drafting, committee readings, and debate on the floor,” Webb said. 

Kyle Webb previously worked under Florida State Representative Kelly Skidmore, representing the 92nd district, which covers Deerfield Beach to Oakland Park. The representative ensured that Webb was included in as many aspects of the team and the legislative process as possible.

Representative Skidmore praised FFLIP for its impact on Webb and has high hopes for the program to expand further on.

“As a recipient of one of FAU’s outstanding interns in my legislative office, I can attest to the tremendous impact of this program on our office and our intern, Kyle. What an incredible opportunity to build policy-making understanding in students and mentor the next generation of leaders while learning ourselves about issues of importance to them,” Skidmore stated on the FFLIP page. 

Skidmore did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.

Jason Steinfeld is a staff writer for University Press. For more information about this article or others, you can reach him via Instagram @jasonsteinfeld221 or email him at [email protected].

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