College to Congress Welcomes 2019 Intern Class to Capitol Hill

 
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WASHINGTON D.C. – Eighteen college students from across the country have completed their first week of work on Capitol Hill, placed into competitive internships through College to Congress as the program works to open up the congressional experience to more Pell-grant eligible students. The national nonprofit, which provides pathways for high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds to launch careers in public service, will cover all expenses relative to the internship including travel, housing, meals, and a professional wardrobe - amounting to more than $10,000 in funding. The 18 interns will work for two months over the summer with Members of Congress and their staff.

 

“As we welcome our third class of College to Congress interns to Capitol Hill, we’re proud to continue our mission of changing Congress from the inside out,” saidAudrey Henson, founder and chief executive officer of College to Congress. “For more than two decades, congressional internships have been closed off from college students without the means to afford an unpaid job in Washington, D.C. – severely limiting the voices shaping our government. College to Congress is opening the doors of Washington to exceptional students so that they can take on these critical opportunities for launching careers in public service.”

 

College to Congress received a record number of applications for the 2019 class, with more than 1,015 applications from 38 states. This year’s group of interns were selected through a rigorous application process involving a bipartisan panel of 10 volunteer judges.

 Interns in this year’s class are:

  • Abigail Christopher (Brick, NJ/University of Delaware) is an intern for the Republican staff for the House Committee on Education and Labor

  • Alyssa Kurke (Glassboro, NJ/American University) is an intern for the office of Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH)

  • Ana Aldazabal (La Habra, CA/California State University, Fullerton) is an intern for the office of Congressman Gil Cisneros (D-CA)

  • Bridger Jimenez (Long Beach, CA/ California State University, Dominguez Hills) is an intern for the office of Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)

  • Jalen Johnson (Albany, GA/University of West Georgia) is an intern for the office of Senator Sonny Perdue (R-GA)

  • Jasmine Teeny (Troutdale, OR/Biola University) is an intern for the Republican staff for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce

  • Joshua Cardenas (San Francisco, CA/Wesleyan University) is an intern for the office of Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)

  • Justin Walker (Lexington, SC/University of South Carolina) is an intern for the office of Congressman Conor Lamb (D-PA)

  • Kendall Criswell (Tuscaloosa, AL/University of Montevallo) is an intern for the office of Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY)

  • Khymaya Perkins (Detroit, MI/Dartmouth University) is an intern for the House Democratic Caucus

  • Madison Piel (Marlborough, CT/Assumption College) is an intern for the offices of Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Congressman Steve Womack (R-AR)

  • Marissa Reyes (Prosser, WA/Barnard College) is an intern for the Senate Democratic Diversity Initiative

  • Matthew Garza (Weslaco, TX/Colby College) is an intern for the office of Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE)

  • MyChale Cooper (Tuscaloosa, AL/University of Alabama) is an intern for the office of Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL)

  • Onyx Brunner (Chicago, IL/Yale University) is an intern for the office of Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

  • Reecha Patel (Bartonville, PA/Lehigh University) is an intern for the office of Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-PA)

  • Ryan Schiesser (Franklin Furnace, OH/Shawnee State University) is an intern for the Republican staff of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

  • Tyler Swartzell (Fargo, ND/The College of William & Mary) is an intern for the office of Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND)

 

In addition to the full-time internship, College to Congress interns are paired with personal, policy, and professional mentors and will participate in a weekly leadership series covering topics from financial planning to effective political advocacy. The summer will culminate with College to Congress’ inaugural Summer School Soiree on Wednesday, July 17.

 

To date, College to Congress has raised more than $1 million to connect Pell-grant eligible and other students with financial need to congressional internship opportunities and partners with 60 congressional offices on both sides of the aisle. The full list of congressional members on College to Congress’ host committee can be found here.

 

College to Congress is a bipartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization providing exceptionally bright students from diverse economic backgrounds the access and means to intern on Capitol Hill. This program was created as a direct response to the growing gap of income levels represented in Congress. Now in our third year, College to Congress has provided over $380k in scholarships and to help jumpstart the Congressional careers of 38 high-achieving, low-income students’ from around the country. Our work has been covered by The New York Times, Roll Call, Vox, and more. To learn more please click here.

 
 
Audrey Henson