College to Congress Backs Ocasio-Cortez’ Call to Pay Capitol Hill Interns


Rep-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez promises to pay interns “at least” $15 an hour

December 5, 2018 – College to Congress founder and CEO Audrey Henson today issued the following statement in support of Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.), who announced on Tuesday her office will pay interns $15 an hour and urged fellow lawmakers to do the same. Before founding College to Congress, which provides all-expense-paid internships for low-income, high-achieving students, Henson herself worked two part-time jobs – as a bartender and in retail - in order to finance her own internship on Capitol Hill. 

“Representative-elect Ocasio-Cortez is right – we have to pay Capitol Hill interns a liveable wage if we want to level the playing field and build a more reflective government,” said Audrey Henson, founder and chief executive of College to Congress. “Taking an internship in DC can be nearly impossible for students from low-income backgrounds, who simply don’t have the means to cover travel, food, housing, a professional wardrobe, and other expenses. I myself had to work two part-time jobs and take out a loan to make my own dream of interning on the Hill a reality. That’s why College to Congress provides fully funded internships so that high-achieving students can get a foot in the door in Washington, regardless of their family’s income.”  

College to Congress, which Henson founded in 2016, supports Pell Grant-eligible students with $10,000 stipends to cover the costs of their internships on Capitol Hill. In addition to interning on Capitol Hill, College to Congress students take part in a bipartisan mentoring program that matches students with staffers from across the aisle, as well as a weekly leadership series covering topics including financial management, etiquette training and career planning. 

About College to Congress: College to Congress (C2C) is a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and leadership training for low-income, high achieving college students seeking internships in Congress. To be eligible, applicants must be undergraduate students who qualify to receive Federal Pell Grants. College to Congress helps these college students secure hard-to-get Congressional internships and covers all the costs associated with the summer internship including travel, housing, meals, and even professional wardrobe. The program also matches interns with experienced Capitol Hill staffers from the opposite political party to build bipartisan relationships. To learn more please click here.

Audrey Henson