Scholarships available for students interested in congressional internship

Heather Keen had the opportunity of a lifetime while attending Colorado State University when she was selected to participate in a congressional internship in Washington, D.C.
Now, Keen is helping to provide the same opportunities to North Idaho College students through the Gallatin Group/Avista Congressional Intern Scholarship established through the North Idaho College Foundation.
Scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to apply to intern with Sen. Larry Craig’s office in Washington, D.C. The $2,000 award will be used to cover expenses incurred by the scholarship recipient who is chosen to serve as a congressional intern. 
“Internships in Washington, D.C., are usually unpaid, which makes it financially impossible for many students to participate,” said Jeffrey Bell, managing partner at the Gallatin Group in Spokane. “This scholarship provides funds for selected students who normally couldn’t afford an internship, allowing them to experience the inner workings of our nation’s government firsthand.”
A variety of jobs are available to interns depending on the needs of the office, including day-to-day operations, observing the legislative process and performing research.
Keen interned for four months in Congressman Joel Hefley’s Office (R-Colorado) before being hired as a permanent employee in another office.
Keen later went on to serve as an intern coordinator, hiring, supervising and training interns for two years. Keen now works for the Gallatin Group, a public affairs and communications firm based in Spokane, which helped establish the scholarship along with partner Avista.
“At Avista, we believe in investing in our students to help them develop leadership skills and gain valuable work experience,” said Tom Paine of Avista. “An internship in Washington, D.C., is a priceless learning experience for our community’s future leaders.”
Keen said she most enjoyed giving tours, which helped her learn more about governmental history, and meeting elected officials who would come through the office.
 “You really get the opportunity to see the process from the inside,” Keen said. “You can read about it in books, but when you see it up front, it’s totally different in practice than it is in theory.”
NIC students in good academic standing with a 3.0 GPA or higher are eligible to apply. All applicants must be residents of Bonner, Boundary, Benewah, Kootenai or Shoshone counties and must be interested in working to help the state of Idaho.
The packet of information required from the student for the NIC scholarship is the same information required for Sen. Craig’s internship.
Scholarship applications are available from Student Services in NIC’s Edminster Student Union Building and from the Financial Aid Office in Lee-Kildow Hall, on NIC’s main Coeur d’Alene campus.
Information: (208) 769-5978.

For More Information
NIC Development Coordinator Pam Noah, (208) 665-2750

Posted: Friday, Feb. 9, 2007

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