Senior to work for Senator Sharif Street

Megan Fortier will intern for the senator as a criminal justice legislative intern.

Following graduation, Megan Fortier will be interning for Pennsylvania State Sen. Sharif Street. | FERNANDO GAXIOLA / THE TEMPLE NEWS

When Megan Fortier was in high school, the community outreach specialist at Future Law Enforcement Youth Academy, a week-long high school program for students interested in the criminal justice field, noticed her capability for advocacy after seeing her drive and determination throughout the program and urged Fortier to pursue law school.

“The community outreach specialist said to me, ‘Megan, I need you to be a lawyer because you can fight for the rights of others who can’t fight for themselves,’” said Fortier, a senior criminal justice major. “He said, ‘I can see you being a lawyer, and I just know that you can be the person to help others and make change.’ And that was the whole reason why I did it, and here I am.”

Fortier started interning for Pennsylvania State Sen. Sharif Street this past Fall semester. She will be working for Street, who is running unopposed in this year’s election, as a criminal justice legislation intern as part of her journey to law school. After a semester of rewarding work, she was offered a year-long extension to the internship, continuing her duties until next spring. Fortier is taking the internship as a gap year before applying to law schools in New York and Philadelphia for the following year. 

Fortier does hands-on criminal justice work in her position at Street’s office, including developing a database for helping incarcerated constituents with transfers and appeals. She especially enjoys this kind of work because of its gratifying nature.

“It is so rewarding seeing people who might not have those resources and might not know where to go or who to talk to about the problems that they’re having,” Fortier said. “Seeing them come in and leave happier than they were before saying, ‘Oh, I didn’t even know about this,’ or, ‘I went to this place and they couldn’t help me but I came here and you guys immediately turned my life around.’”

Throughout her time at Temple, Fortier remained active in several clubs and organizations, including the Delta Zeta sorority and Temple’s club lacrosse team. 

Fortier joined the club lacrosse team just this semester, but has made a great impact on the team in the short time she’s been involved, said captain Camille Kent.

“I’ve been on the team for three years now and I don’t think we’ve ever had anyone [join in their final semester],” said Kent, a senior advertising major. “So it was really fun because she brought just such a fun energy to the team for the last semester.”

Whether it’s hosting “Bachelor” watch parties or offering her teammates rides to practice and games, Fortier goes the extra mile to cultivate a positive environment within the team.

Beyond her skill to bring a team together, Fortier’s mother, Kathy Fortier, has always been astounded by Megan’s motivation and ability to accomplish her goals.

“She has a good work ethic,” Kathy Fortier said. “She’s a very smart person. And she goes after what she wants to. She’ll make a good lawyer.”

While she looks forward to the freedom of not being a student for the next year, Fortier is excited to return to law school after her internship. She hopes to go into criminal defense in the legal field to further help those in need. 

“Helping others is something that I’ve always wanted to do like that’s another reason why I’m going to law school is to pursue criminal law, which I could use to help others,” Fortier said. “So, it’s just a very rewarding internship and it’s just a rewarding position in general to be able to make connections with constituents who come in regularly who need certain assistance that, you know, we don’t think about on a day-to-day basis.”

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