Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson Becomes Her Own Intern Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson is finally wrapping up the credits she needs to finish her undergraduate degree — by doing an internship at her own office.
NPR logo

Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson Becomes Her Own Intern

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/962927221/962946877" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson Becomes Her Own Intern

Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson Becomes Her Own Intern

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/962927221/962946877" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The office of the lieutenant governor of Utah has an intern with a lot on her plate.

DEIDRE HENDERSON: One of my biggest duties is overseeing and helping to implement and make sure that the barriers are eradicated for vaccine distribution for COVID-19. And that'll probably be what I write my internship report about.

KELLY: That sounds like a high-stakes job for an intern, but it's OK because that intern is the lieutenant governor, Deidre Henderson.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

So how did Henderson become an intern in her own office? Well, the story begins when she got married after her freshman year at BYU when she was 18.

HENDERSON: I had five babies in eight years. I spent 13 years after that, you know, working to get my husband through physical therapy school, wiping noses and bottoms.

CHANG: She got active in politics and was elected to the Utah state Senate in 2012.

HENDERSON: You know, I'd always just imagine that when my youngest child went back to school, so would I, right? And life happens.

KELLY: Henderson says after a while, the thing that kept her from getting her degree was shame over not having that degree. But she learned to let that go.

HENDERSON: You know, I'm not the only one in this situation. I'm certainly not the only woman in this situation. And so I just decided to be open about it and to be transparent about it and to hopefully encourage other women or men who are in a similar situation where they're wanting to go back but maybe feeling awkward about it, to help inspire them to just do it.

CHANG: So in 2014, when Henderson was a state senator, she returned to the BYU campus, and it was an eye-opener.

HENDERSON: The department heads came in to the room one day to talk about the legislative internship opportunities. And I realized with, like, horror - and it was kind of funny, too - that I didn't qualify to be my own intern because I didn't have enough credits under my belt at the time (laughter). So I'm like, well, God bless America. I can be the state senator, but I cannot be the state senator's intern.

KELLY: Well, now she qualifies. And now as lieutenant governor, Henderson is having fun with being her own intern.

HENDERSON: I had to have an internship adviser (ph) sign my internship form, so I got the governor to do it.

CHANG: Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson is on track to graduate from BYU this year.

Copyright © 2021 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.