SEASIDE – Participants in the Panetta Institute’s Congressional Internship Program began working in Washington this week as part of the one-semester course that gives students hands-on experience of how American democracy works.
Interns from the Panetta Institute for Public Policy are now part of the congressional offices of the California delegation to the United States House of Representatives and will spend 11 weeks in Washington after participating in an intensive two-week orientation at the Panetta Institute.
The orientation provided instruction on political issues, the current political environment and training on how to work effectively in a congressional office through seminars led by renowned experts in their fields.
The 25 university interns participating in this year’s 23rd program were nominated by the campus presidents of California State University, as well as the presidents of the Dominican University of California, St. Mary’s College in California and of the University of Santa Clara for their exemplary academic achievements and their interest in politics, politics and public service.
“These young people were selected because of their strong academic record and interest in public policy,” Institute CEO and Co-Chair Sylvia Panetta said in a press release. “They spent two weeks training here at the Panetta Institute on issues, civics, public policies, procedures and approaches. Today they will bring their enthusiasm, interest and training to our nation’s capital to learn firsthand the work behind our democratic system.
The Congress Internship Program was founded by the Panetta Institute and is unique in that it offers a two-week orientation and covers the cost of the program, including transportation, accommodation, and academic credits. Financial support ensures that the opportunity to participate is offered to students from all economic backgrounds. All costs of the academic course, including reimbursement of expenses, are borne by the Panetta Institute with the support of the Panetta Institute Board of Directors, the Chancellor of the CSU System, as well as many other donors.
“We live in a world where our very system of government is being tested,” said Institute President Leon E. Panetta. “If our democracy is to endure, we must encourage new generations of leaders committed to the principles on which our nation was founded: two-partyism, civility, compromise, consensus, integrity, transparency and the rule of law. These are the principles we have taught participants of the Congress internship program during their stay at the Panetta Institute. They will now take these lessons and apply them to their work in Washington, DC ”
While in Washington, in addition to working in congressional offices, students attend weekly seminars.
The final requirements for the 20 university credit units awarded by the Congress internship program are the completion of a daily journal and a 20-page policy document tailored to the Panetta Institute’s public policy criteria. Students will return to California on November 6 and final homework is due on December 3, which marks the end of the program. So far, 525 university students have completed this program.
For more information, call the Panetta Institute at 831-582-4200.