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University Honors Program

Why Choose To Be a DC Flyer?

By Tara McLoughlin

Every summer, the University of Dayton sends a group of Honors students to Washington, D.C. to learn through internships and explore what life is like in DC. This past summer, junior Allie O’Gorman was one of the students who took advantage of this incredible opportunity.

In an interview, Allie raved about her experience. First, why did she choose to participate in DC Flyers? Her passions and interests aligned with the opportunities that DC Flyers offered. Being a human rights studies and criminal justice double-major, she “chose DC Flyers because it gave me the perfect opportunity to experience living and working in DC before deciding to move there permanently! I have always been interested in working in politics or advocacy, so DC is the place to be!”

This opportunity allows students to imagine their futures.  Allie explained how through DC Flyers she had the opportunity to intern in the U.S. House of Representatives with Congresswoman Robin Kelly who serves the Second District of Illinois. Allie’s work “included providing legislative support to the Congresswoman and staffers, attending briefings and hearings on current Congressional issues, and completing administrative tasks in the office. On top of this, I completed a capstone project where I created a bill proposal about an area of interest.”

DC Flyers allowed Allie to gain experience in real political action and possibly enact change for the future. There are many advantages to being a DC Flyer, though when asked what one of her biggest takeaways from the whole program was, she explained “that there are so many different options for post-grad life. We got to meet so many people that are doing incredible things in many fields, from policy to law to international relations work. People's career paths go in many different directions, and that's ok!” Rest assured, this program opens doors for endless paths, arguably one of the most significant benefits of being a DC Flyer.

Of course, just like any internship and time away from home in an unfamiliar city, there may be challenges. However, these challenges are nothing that a DC Flyer cannot handle. When/where you intern may play a role in shaping your experience, but Allie’s advice is not to be overwhelmed or deterred just because some people have more experience than you. One important thing is “to remember that everyone's careers move at their own pace, and you deserve to be there just as much as other people.”

If you are considering or hoping to be a DC Flyer one summer, it is a possibility that your experience may look different than imagined because of COVID. However, this past summer marked the return to an in-person program after the challenges that COVID presented. Therefore, Capitol Hill looks a little different now. When I asked Allie how DC looks different since COVID, she reassured me that, “In my experience, most offices on Capitol Hill still operate in a hybrid format, where staffers will work from home a couple of days a week and in the office for the others. I think Capitol Hill is still slowly coming back from the COVID quarantines, and this will be back to full in-person soon!”

DC is a city with a lot of nightlife and cool opportunities to have experiences like never before. In fact, one of Allie’s favorite memories occurred every Friday night. In the National Sculpture Garden in DC, there was a jazz concert where she got to experience new jazz bands and have fun in DC for free. This experience is unique to UD Honors students because of its endless opportunities. A program that encourages you to go outside of your comfort zone but also relieves the stress of finding housing or a paid internship in this attractive city is an incredible opportunity.

If this may interest you or you want to learn more about it, please visit to learn more!

Or you can contact Laura Cotton Howell at the Honors Department at for more information.

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