Maureen McGaura, front left, and Dana Congress, Zander Goss, back left, and Jacob Ashby. Photo provided
Maureen McGaura, front left, and Dana Congress, Zander Goss, back left, and Jacob Ashby. Photo provided

The City of Sanibel welcomes three summer interns: Jacob Ashby, Dana Congress, and Maureen McGauran and high school student Zander Goss.

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

Ashby is interning in the finance department. He graduated Cum Laude this month with his bachelor's degrees in economics and political science from University of Florida. Previously, Ashby worked for the City of Sanibel's Recreation Center as a recreation center aide and lifeguard from 2015 through 2017. His projects this summer include working on revenue and cost analysis for the Recreation Center. He will also assist in preparing the city's annual budget.

"I have always been passionate about government and public service,” Ashby said when asked why he wanted to work with the city this summer. “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."

Ashby will be returning to University of Florida 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 DC.

Congress is a second-year intern working in the Community Services Department. Her projects include information and research on the Dark Skies ordinance as well as short-term rentals. Congress was born and raised on Sanibel. She earned her bachelor's degree in May from University of Florida, where she graduated Cum Laude majoring in psychology with a minor in mass communication. After her internship, Congress will be relocating 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 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 the Island Night and Fourth of July Floats for the city, and various news releases.

McGauran earned her bachelor's degree in January from Taylor University, where she finished Summa Cum Laude majoring in public relations.

"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."

A Sanibel resident, she is currently pursuing her master's in government with a concentration in political communication through Regent University.

Goss is spending 40 hours with the city as he completes his High School Independent Senior Project. He is asked with memorandum regarding the usage, safety, and local implementation/banning of micromobility platforms such as electric scooters and bikes. He is also shadowing various departments.

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

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. Goss is a Sanibel resident.