Hendricks County natives gain experience at the Statehouse

Hendricks County natives gain experience at the Statehouse

Monday, March 2, 2020

STATEHOUSE (March 2, 2020) – Hendricks County natives Mariah Dragonette and Lucas Smith are gaining experience as interns with the Indiana House of Representatives during the 2020 legislative session.

Dragonette, an Avon High School graduate, is the daughter of Mike and Missy Dragonette. She is a senior at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, where she is majoring in communications and minoring in public relations.

As an intern with the House Communications Department, Dragonette helps write press releases and e-newsletters as well as producing podcasts, monitoring news coverage and utilizing graphic design.

“This internship has opened my eyes to a world that I never considered when thinking about my future career,” Dragonette said. “I have been able to work on my writing and video skills while also learning new things like graphics, updating websites and creating electronic newsletters. I will be able to utilize the connections I have gained and skills I have learned wherever I go in the next chapter of my life.”

Smith, a Plainfield High School graduate, is the son of Terry and Ruthann Smith. He is a junior at Purdue University double majoring in political science and economics.

As a legislative intern, he corresponds with constituents through phone calls, letters and emails, while also staffing committee hearings and floor proceedings.

“This experience not only introduced me to the lawmaking process, but also taught me valuable lessons in constituent services and workplace professionalism,” Smith said. “I have also formed many valuable relationships and found a sense of community in the Statehouse. These are experiences that I will hold with me for the rest of my life.”

According to State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon), the House of Representatives offers paid internship opportunities to college students, law-school students, graduate students and recent college graduates for the duration of each legislative session.

“At the start of the year when session begins, the workload for staff and lawmakers significantly increases,” Steuerwald said. “Our team hires nearly 40 interns to not only help manage all the duties, but also to foster an interest in public service among younger generations.”

House Education Committee Chair Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) said Dragonette and Smith are following in the footsteps of previous interns who have propelled their experience into public service careers.

“Interns have gone on to serve as mayors and working with members of Congress,” Behning said. “This can serve as a launching pad to a successful career, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Mariah and Lucas.”

State Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) said other Hendricks County natives should consider interning with the Indiana House of Representatives in 2021.

“In this competitive job market, an internship really helps set candidates apart,” Thompson said. “Lucas and Mariah are not only getting paid, but they are also earning academic credits, making connections, learning new skills and holding down a full-time job. Young professionals really gain a lot from this experience.”

For more information and to apply for a House Republican internship position during the 2021 legislative session, visit www.IndianaHouseRepublicans.com/internship.

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State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91, which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.
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 State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) represents House District 40, which includes a portion of Hendricks County.
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State Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) represents House District 28, which includes portions of Hendricks and Boone counties.
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PHOTO CAPTION: Hendricks County natives Lucas Smith (left) and Mariah Dragonette (right) join State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) (center) in the House Chamber at the Indiana Statehouse Monday, March 2, 2020. Smith and Dragonette are interning with the House of Representatives during the 2020 legislative session.