Chesapeake, VA native Jared Dura joined POGO as an intern in May 2012. He attends Virginia Tech, where he majors in Political Science and Legal Studies, minors in Leadership and Social Change, and participates in a wide variety of community service projects on and off campus. At POGO, he’s researched human trafficking by government contractors in addition to investigating good government practices at various federal agencies.
The Watercooler sat down with Jared to discuss the legislative process, fashion, and getting used to the hustle and bustle of D.C.
Watercooler: Tell us what you’ve been working on recently.
Jared Dura: Currently, I’m working on highlighting agencies’ best practices. A lot of what POGO does is exposing corruption and things of that sort, which is cool with what I’m doing because it’s … not focusing on the bad but the good of what government does. I forget the phrase, but it’s something like “Government never gets attention for the things that it does, but it always gets attention for the bad things that it does.” So actually doing this is a really cool project.
Watercooler: What’s something you’ve learned from your time at POGO?
JD: One thing I’ve learned while working at POGO is that everything is interlinked. A policy that you hear proposed then gets implemented into a proposed bill. Then it becomes legislation and just kind of trickles down to the common citizen. It’s really cool to see how you can track the progress of an act or a bill.
Watercooler: What’s the neatest thing you’ve discovered in D.C.?
JD: There’s always something to do in DC. I’ve also noticed that the lifestyle here is very fast-paced compared to what I’m used to. I really like Georgetown. It’s a great place for restaurants. And I also went to a D.C. United soccer game, which was really awesome.
Watercooler: Tell the Watercooler about your clothing company!
JD: I do have a clothing company. We’ve been in the planning stages for about a year or so. The reason I started it is in the past, I’ve worked with other clothing companies, and clothing and fashion in general has always been an interest of mine. We had our first release at the end of last school year, and now we’re actually slated to do our next release in October.
Watercooler: What are you excited about in the upcoming year?
JD: Virginia Tech winning the BCS championship and an undefeated season for the Hokies!
Watercooler: You play a lot of instruments. What’s one you’d still like to learn?
JD: Well, the way that Andrew [POGO research associate] plays the flute makes me want to pick it up and try one day.