Few students get the chance to participate in a program that places them in the middle of the action in Washington, D.C. Yet the O’Neill School provides this opportunity to its students through the Washington Leadership Program. Each fall and spring semester, O’Neill sponsors the semester-long program that provides a unique opportunity for junior and senior undergraduate students of all majors to gain first-hand knowledge of how Washington works.
The deadline to apply for fall 2020 and spring 2021 cohorts is February 1, 2020. Students who have been through WLP often provide a first-hand view of the experience through takeovers on O’Neill’s Instagram account. One year ago, Jadah Cunningham, an O’Neill media and public affairs major, spent time working in Congressman André Carson’s office. We asked her three questions about her experience:
Q1: What value do you find in the WLP experience and why did you want to go?
- “I chose to apply for the Washington Leadership Program because of the program’s great reputation. I’ve always had an interest in politics so I was drawn to the idea of being in the thick of it all. It’s an extremely valuable experience, not just educationally, but personally. To be able to live and work in D.C. as a 21-year-old is an experience that will shape the professional and personal decisions I make in the future.”
Q2: How did receiving a scholarship for WLP help you?
- “With all of the wonderful things about the Washington Leadership Program, the cost is something that has must be considered. The scholarship I received helped alleviate some of that stress for me and for my parents, and allowed me to better plan and save for my semester in D.C.”
Q3: Why should people consider donating to WLP?
- “I’ve seen first-hand how much scholarship money helps and can help students in this program. Most internships in D.C. are unpaid, so trying to find a paid internship is something that can really limit students’ choices. Receiving a scholarship broadens students’ internship opportunities and allows them to take the best internship available without worrying as much about the cost associated with the trip.”