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City welcomes summer interns, high school student

By Staff | May 29, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED From left, seated, Maureen McGauran and Dana Congress; standing, Zander Goss and Jacob Ashby.

The city of Sanibel recently welcomed three summer interns – Jacob Ashby, Dana Congress and Maureen McGauran – and high school student Zander Goss.

McGauran and Ashby will intern for the city this summer, and Congress is interning for six weeks before beginning a job in New York City. Goss is working 40 hours with the city as he completes his High School Independent Senior Project.

Ashby is interning in the Finance Department. He recently graduated cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from the University of Florida. Previously, Ashby worked for the Sanibel Recreation Center as a recreation center aide and lifeguard from 2015-2017. His summer projects will include working on revenue and cost analysis for the center. Ashby will also assist in preparing the city’s annual budget. He will return to UF in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in economics with an emphasis on data analysis with a goal of a future career in federal consulting in Washington, D.C.

“I have always been passionate about government and public service,” Ashby said. “I wanted to intern for the city of Sanibel because I wanted to gain a better understanding of how local government functions and I wanted to participate in an internship that would provide me with opportunities to make a meaningful impact on my local community.”

Congress is a second year intern working in the Community Services Department. Her projects will include information and research on the Dark Skies Ordinance, as well as short-term rentals. Born and raised on Sanibel, Congress recently earned a bachelor’s from the University of Florida, where she graduated cum laude majoring in psychology with a minor in mass communication. After her internship, Congress will relocate to New York City to begin her career with a consulting firm.

“The city of Sanibel provides a great learning experience and gives us a lot of autonomy,” she said. “I felt by interning again with the city of Sanibel it would better prepare me for my upcoming role in New York City.”

McGauran is interning in the Administration Department. Her projects will include leaf blower regulation research on public education materials, the “Bike and Hike Sanibel” public education campaign, writing a grant application on behalf of the city, grassroots communication with businesses, design for various informational materials and flyers, designing event floats for the city, and various news releases. McGauran earned a bachelor’s earlier this year from Taylor University, where she finished summa cum laude majoring in public relations. A Sanibel resident, McGauran is pursuing a master’s in government with a concentration in political communication through Regent University.

“The internship with the city has allowed me to utilize the skills I gained from my public relations degree, while also allowing me to explore working in local government,” she said. “In the process, I am learning more about my new community here on Sanibel and gaining valuable knowledge for my future career aspirations in government.”

Goss has been tasked to complete a memorandum regarding the usage, safety and local implementation/banning of micromobility platforms, such as electric scooters and bikes. He is also shadowing various departments. A Sanibel resident, Goss is a graduating senior at The Canterbury School and will attend Duke University in the fall. He will major in international comparative studies with a minor in French.

“It is very fulfilling to serve a community that has given so much to me,” Goss said. “Sanibel has been an integral part of my upbringing, and it is enlightening to see how the city is run so seamlessly.”