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Congressional Internship Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

August 14th, 2017

Established by Rep. Gregg Harper in 2010, the Congressional Internship Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities is a unique program designed to give students with varying intellectual disabilities an opportunity to gain congressional work experience.

Working in conjunction with George Mason University’s LIFE Program – a postsecondary education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities – Harper launched the internship program with three Mason LIFE students and six House offices. To date, 150 congressional offices from the House and Senate have participated.

Additionally, the participating interns receive stipends for their work on Capitol Hill through a grant provided by The HSC Foundation. The grant, part of HSCF’s Youth Transitions Initiative, is an important way to acknowledge the interns’ important contributions and helps to achieve the common goal of guiding these students towards permanent, professional employment.

Today, Harper continues to expand the program to accommodate additional students so that they are given the same exciting educational and enrichment opportunities typically afforded to congressional interns working here in the nation’s capital.

Each participating office will host a Mason LIFE student and his or her work coach for one two-hour session each week. During the two-hour sessions, which are held Monday, Wednesdays, and Friday mornings and afternoons, the interns will work with their congressional office and their work coach to complete various office tasks as assigned.

In addition to fulfilling their weekly office responsibilities, the interns will have an opportunity to enjoy various enrichment activities coordinated by the program administrators. Some of the prior enrichment activities have included Capitol tours and trips to one of the many Smithsonian museums nearby.

The upcoming Fall internship program runs from Monday, September 11, 2017, through Friday, December 8, 2017.
Click here to sign up for the 2017 Fall Program!

If your office is interested in participating in the program, or for more information, please contact the Committee at (202) 225-8281. Each participating office is asked to host a student for one two-hour session each week on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays.