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Secular Coalition for Arizona Announces Fall 2012 Intern

Secular Coalition for Arizona is pleased to announce its Fall 2012 Intern: Juan Pablo (JP) Martin of Flagstaff’s Northern Arizona University.

“This is kind of an historic moment for us,” said Seráh Blain, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for Arizona. “Many of the national organizations in the secular movement have internship programs, but as far as I know, JP will actually be the first ever to take on a paid internship position within a state-level nontheistic organization. We’re pretty proud of the fact that we’re able to offer this opportunity.”

Martin is a senior at Northern Arizona University (NAU), majoring in political science with minors in sociology and modern languages; he speaks English, Spanish and French. Martin brings with him some lobbying experience from his work with the Arizona Students’ Association, where he represented Arizona’s 130,000 higher education students to the Arizona legislature by advocating to elected officials and running single-issue campaigns to engage students. He has also demonstrated a passion for both community involvement and political advocacy in his work with Big Brothers/Sisters of America, Habitat for Humanity, NAU’s Students for Justice in Palestine, Arizona Youth Town Hall, and more.

“The first time I met JP,” said Blain, “we were both on a KJACK talk show. He asked me some very astute, well-researched questions on religious privilege under current tax law. I was impressed with his knowledge of SC Arizona’s issues.”

The SC Arizona board selected Martin in part for his proven leadership in political advocacy efforts, and in part for his evident desire to learn more about how to advance fact-based policies in a hostile, ideologically driven state legislature.

“He’s the perfect mix of experience and inquisitiveness. He has skills that will help our organization, and a desire to learn as much as he can from us. I’m looking forward to working with him,” said Blain. “And I’m grateful to the secular Arizonans whose donations made the internship program possible. We’re completely funded by donations, so it’s really incredible that we’re able to do this. There’s a lot of support for secularism in our state.”

Read Martin’s personal statement from his application packet here.

As SC Arizona’s Fall Intern, Martin will be helping with election strategies, get-out-the-vote efforts, community building to continue organizing Arizona’s growing nontheistic constituency, social media and engaging the secular student community. JP will officially start on August 27, and can be reached at jp@secularaz.org, or follow him on Twitter

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