Washington Leadership Program announces 2020 summer internship program

2019 WLP scholars with former U.S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, and former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia and current president of the  U.S.-India Business Council, Nisha Biswal, July 2.  (WLP Facebook photo)

The Washington Leadership Program (WLP) has announced that it is accepting applications from high-potential South Asian college students for the 2020 summer leadership program scheduled to take place from June 13 to Aug. 7, 2020.

The deadline for submitting applications for internship program in Washington D.C. is Jan. 15.

The WLP cultivates the South Asian American community's next generation of leaders by placing them in Congressional offices or government agencies for eight-week summer internships and a structured leadership-training curriculum.

The students gain a firsthand view of the policy-making and legislative process, as well as gain access to high-profile South-Asian leaders in the nation’s capitol.

“The direction of our country is debated every day and on the front page of all the news sites and social media feeds. If you have a voice and want to contribute to the on-going dialogue or want to find ways to be more politically active, then WLP is the internship for you!” the national nonprofit said in a press statement.

The organization was founded in August 2008 in memory of India Abroad weekly’s latefounder and publisher Gopal Raju, who sponsored a program that placed over 170 students in Congressional internships over 15 years. The organization was founded by alumni of Raju's program who sought to continue his legacy and continue this vital program for the community.

Many like longtime Democratic Party and community activist Shekar Narasimhan have credited Raju for having the initial vision in launching this internship program under the aegisof the India Abroad Center for Political Awareness, out of which rose theWLP after the demise of IACPAfor Indian American college students onCapitol Hill that has spawned several Congressional staffers, administrationofficials, state legislators and others who have run for office.

The WLP offers a comprehensive leadership curricula designed to get one involved to learn how to work within the system to bring about change. “We now have five South Asians elected to Congress and a number of South Asians in the government; we will offer you a chance to learn from them to benefit our community and your future,” Harin J. Contractor of WLP said in the press release.

It said all students who are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, are encouraged to apply. Selection to the WLP is highly competitive and not limited to students pursuing majors in social sciences. The backgrounds of past participants have ranged from medical school to art and business.

The interns will receive a total stipend of $2,000 and will be required to complete two to three short writing assignments during the internship.

The WLP has over 200 alumni who have interned for notable elected officials, including Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Miss.), and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).

Alumni from the program have gone on to win Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, and Truman Scholarships, as well as acceptances into top-flight medical, law, public policy, and other post-graduate programs. Several alums are currently senior advisors to government officials, and one is an elected state representative in Ohio.

Applications are available online at https://www.thewlp.com/the-wlp-program

For more information or extension, email to harin@thewlp.com orwlp@thewlp.com

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