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Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership

Powell School Launches New Program in DC

paola_m_400New program links students to internships, housing, programming and more.

This summer, the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership launches its new Colin L. Powell School Semester in Washington program. The program will link 11 CCNY students with internships in our nation’s capital and provide them with free housing through Washington Intern Housing Network, an intern housing and management agency. Students will share private quarters with fellow participants and with Residence Coordinator Modinat Sanni, who will manage the program in D.C. Activities will include guest lectures, cultural events, a service project, and opportunities to network with other D.C.-based interns. The program is supported in part by a grant from Amerlior Foundation, and by philanthropist Ray Chambers.

Steps from the Capitol
The Colin L. Powell School Semester in Washington program is an extraordinary opportunity for students who may otherwise be deterred by the costs of interning away from home to participate in potentially life-changing opportunities, noted Kamilah Briscoe, director of student leadership and college access. “Students will be steps away from Capitol Hill,” she said, “and will be able to make meaningful connections with peers and mentors, delve deeply into the most pressing national and international challenges, and test what they learn in the classroom against the experience of the real world.”

DC_house2_400Paola M. Mercedes, a Dobrich New Americans fellow, is one of these students. A native of the Dominican Republic, Mercedes, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration in law and policy, will be interning with National Disability Rights Network. The experience, she said, will put her closer to her goal of working to improve the life conditions of immigrants, women, and other minorities. She added, “I cannot think of a better place to get the experience I need in advocacy and public policy than Washington D.C.” 

Discovering Their Potential
Through these internships and accompanying support of the Colin Powell School, Briscoe hopes students will gain further belief in their potential to become leaders in the public arena: “Ultimately, we hope students discover for themselves what their faculty and advisers already know: That our public and nonprofit institutions—and our public policies at the highest levels—are crafted, sustained, and strengthened by the energetic, focused contributions of bright young professionals like themselves.”