Natalie Alatriste/Staff Writer
Recently, the Washington Center came to the University for a brief campus visit to explain a relatively new program opportunity for students.
The Washington Center programs are located in Washington, D.C. and offer a varied range of internships for students of any major with at least a sophomore standing from when the program begins.
This does not mean, however, that one must be in academic standing as a sophomore by the time he or she applies for an internship program.
According to its website, the Washington Center was founded in the fall of 1975, starting as a program with just 51 students.
It is now a networking machine, bringing together thousands of students from hundreds of universities for internships in the nation’s capital.
The state does encourage students to participate in this three-part internship program by providing scholarships for a large portion of the costs.
Students can receive up to $9,000 in scholarship money to attend the program, but these funds can only go towards the internship program if the internship is done for school course credit with your university.
The opportunity offers three parts: the internship program, which matches students to multiple types of internships that they may choose from; the scholastic portion, which requires the student to pick one of thirty courses taught by local or agency professors and the leadership forum, where students work with a specific engagement project, such as how to confront homelessness.
The program also covers living costs.
Participants stay in a flat with a roommate which includes a room and kitchen space.
The Washington Center prides itself in the multiple features of its program that others don’t offer, such as networking opportunities and site visits.
The experience is offered throughout the year and is divided by semesters in the spring, summer and fall terms.
Dr. Shlomi Dinar, the University’s campus liaison for the program, highly encourages students to join.
“This is a great opportunity to network,” Dinar said. “These days, securing a job is difficult. The Washington Center helps expose students to networking opportunities that are difficult to find.”
What makes the program so spectacular is its versatility towards any major, said Dinar. The Washington Center will find suitable options for any majors.
Those interested must be accepted into the program, with letters of recommendation being part of the application requirements.
“Any student will benefit from the program,” he said. “We’ve had students from our nursing program, political science program, psychology program and history program intern with the Washington Center.”
Tiffany Roman Biffa, vice president of the Student Government Association at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus, attended the program last year.
“This program gave me the opportunity to change my community,” she said in an online testimonial video for the program. “[It gave me] the opportunity to connect to other inspiring individuals and the opportunity to [become] a better leader.”
Roman Biffa interned for CentroNia, a multicultural learning community with a pioneering approach to bilingual education.
According to the online video, others in the program have worked with companies like Politico, MapBox, Museum of Unnatural History and NASA.
Dinar said there are multiple ways to gain financial assistance to make participation in the program possible. Scholarships and financial aid are definite options to consider.
The priority deadline to apply for this summer is Feb. 18. Those interested in applying should speak to Dinar or visit www.twc.edu for more information.
Students can reach Dinar via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (305) 348-7266.
“The program is about finding the answers to your interests,” Roman Biffa said. “…And finding out what you can do for that interest as an individual to impact the cause.”