In the summer of 2008, then-NIU President John Peters and political science professor Matt Streb visited Washington, D.C., to meet with members of the Illinois Congressional delegation. During their visits to various congressional offices, Peters was both surprised and disappointed that he and Streb met many interns, none of whom were NIU students.
Streb alerted Peters to the fact that D.C. internships were difficult for most NIU students because of the immense cost.
Peters, a political scientist by trade and U.S. Congressional research specialist, was not deterred.
“We need to rectify that,” he said.
Peters charged Streb with creating the NIU D.C. Summer Congressional Internship Program where students would be selected through a competitive process and receive a stipend to help them offset the costs of an internship in the nation’s capital.
Since the summer of 2009, NIU has sent more than 50 students who have benefited from the program. Many visited D.C. for the first time. For some, it was a life-changing experience altering their career trajectories. Several remained in D.C. All have found the program to be rewarding and educational.
The challenge the University faces today is that the funds dedicated for the program are tenuous. Without private support, the ability of the D.C. Summer Congressional Internship Program to continue is in question. This is where you can help.
With your generosity, the program can become financially viable and future classes of Huskies will be able to benefit from such a valuable educational experience.
The 14th group of congressional interns are currently preparing to travel to Washington, D.C. this summer and learn alongside some of our nation's leaders. This highly competitive program provides students with the opportunity to live, learn and work in the heart of our nation's capital. Four students will intern on the Hill for a member of the Illinois congressional delegation.
Interns receive scholarships to cover the cost of housing and some living expenses over the summer. This year, we are looking to raise $7,000 to help sponsor one of our intern's expenses.
"The D.C. Summer Congressional Internship Program effectively launched my career into the federal government. Interning on the Hill provided invaluable networking opportunities in D.C., practical public policy experience, and ultimately solidified my career goals. Even several years after the program, the Office of Congresswoman Robin Kelly provided countless letters of recommendation for national scholarships, law school and for my current position in the Navy’s Judge Advocate General Corps." Rachel Jacob, '18. Internship Placement: Congresswoman Robin Kelly. Current Position: Judge Advocate, United States Navy.