Friday, August 12, 2022

First six of 175 students on the ladder to leadership

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This Fall, six students from four colleges lived at the HBCU National Center on Capitol Hill whilst completing internships for distinguished members of Congress.

The Center was established in 2021 to foster experiential learning, mentorship, and networking for students attending historically black colleges and universities.

The Foundation awards each participating school at least one $5,600 housing grant per academic semester to address the lack of diversity in the intern population and structural inequity of housing costs by getting next-generation leaders to the resource ladder in Washington— and then, getting them up on it. In addition to the housing grant, the Center assists in placing the participating students in an internship and connects them with a local alumni mentor.

At the Center, the inaugural class of students participated in professional development activities which included a reception for Delegate Briana Sewell, a tour with the president of the National Press Club, and AP, Speaker Series with Rep. Cheri Bustos, and Career Night, among others.


Pictured above (left to right): Kyle West, Grambling State University; Nina Jones, Kentucky State University; Anyiah Chambers, Kentucky State University; Dayna Kent, United Negro College Fund; Malik Singleton, Harris-Stowe State University; Deja Mayfield, North Carolina A&T State University; Brionna Greer, Kentucky State University (Courtesy photo/NNPA).

Graduating in the inaugural class are the following students:

• Anyiah Chambers, Kentucky State University, interning in the office of Congresswoman Nanette Barragán

• Brionna Greer, Kentucky State University, interning in the office of Congressman Jim McGovern

•Nina Jones, Kentucky State University, interning in the office of Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan

• Deja Mayfield, North Carolina A&T State University, interning in the office of Congresswoman Alma Adams

• Malik Singleton, Harris-Stowe State University, interning in the office of Congresswoman Karen Bass

• Kyle West, Grambling State University, interning in the office of Senator Tom Carper

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The Center was founded to provide students from underserved schools with resources that make an internship in Washington, D.C. affordable, access to career development opportunities, and a helping hand to the first step on the ladder.

Six students now return to campus to promote their professional experience to others.
The HBCU National Center Foundation was established with a gift of $1M by Honorable Jacqueline Lewis, educator and philanthropist. 30 years ago, Lewis founded Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH) and set up foundations to help struggling students.

This year, Lewis was inspired by President Biden’s call for diversity in the Federal Government and Mackenzie Scott’s gifts to underfunded schools. This initial gift provides for 175 students to participate. For additional information, visit


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