The desire to make an impact led me to Forth, a nonprofit organization devoted to advancing smart transportation, where I held an internship this summer focused on authentic partnerships in transportation electrification.
In order to advance transportation electrification, it is time to form authentic partnerships for change. By working together, transportation advocates can accomplish much more leading to progress that is impactful for the communities served.
Over the summer, I worked to make such collaborations possible. Through a community of practice model, our Towards Equitable Electrified Mobility (TEEM) project convenes key leaders in the equity, transportation, and environment movement. The main goal is to advocate for equitable transportation electrification at the state level. I worked to find potential states and key leaders to partner with along with strategies to make TEEM happen virtually due to the global pandemic. Although there is much more to be done, I am excited to see more voices at the policy table because that means we are closer to a system that works for all.
As my internship ends, I want to thank everyone at Forth for their passion and authenticity–It is both humbling and inspiring to see. Going forward, I will be attending Oregon State University, where I am majoring in public policy and psychology. Here, I seek to uplift social mobility by bringing policy, research, and community engagement together. No matter where I go, I am determined to make a change for the greater good, and thanks to Forth, that change is already beginning.
Theresa Mai is an Emerging Leaders (ELI) intern and an undergraduate student at Oregon State University '22.