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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Washington DC Internship Programs


Akaka Fellowship Square Graphic (updated)

Daniel K. Akaka Congressional Fellowship

The Daniel K. Akaka Congressional Fellowship (formerly the Native Hawaiian Congressional Fellowship) is an opportunity for emerging ʻōiwi leaders to shape society through a paid 9-month fellowship in Washington, D.C. congressional offices. Through a close partnership between the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools, and the Members of the Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation, fellows will gain practical insight into the inner workings of the Federal Government and influence over decisions that affect the Native Hawaiian community.

The program consists of three components:

  • immersion through work on Capitol Hill,
  • individual mentoring from senior congressional aides, and
  • professional development and career guidance from OHA’s Washington D.C. Bureau.

The fellowship is designed to foster the conditions for self-determined political, economic, and social development in our lāhui by empowering aspiring leaders to make positive advances in their lives and in our community.


The program lasts nine months, beginning in Summer 2020. Exact dates will be negotiated between Fellow and the host office.


Applicants must earn an undergraduate degree prior to the program start date.

Applicants are urged to demonstrate a connection to, and working knowledge of, the Native Hawaiian community, as well as a desire to be of service to the lāhui.

Application Materials

Send a cover letter, resume, transcript, three references, and a 3-5 page writing sample in PDF format to publicservice@oha.org. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. Deadline to apply is 11:59 PM HST on February 2, 2020.

Please refer any questions to the OHA’s Washington D.C. Bureau by phone: (202) 506-7238, or email: publicservice@oha.org.

Native American Political Leadership Program at George Washington University

The Native American Political Leadership Program (NAPLP) is a full-scholarship program designed to give Native undergraduate and graduate students the chance to participate in the Semester in Washington Politics program.

NAPLP scholarships are awarded to students based on academic ability, leadership potential, and an interest in politics. There is no application fee for those applying for the NAPLP scholarship.

What does the NAPLP scholarship cover?

  • Tuition and fees for the two core classes, plus an optional third course (up to 9 credit hours total)
  • Housing in a GWU dormitory
  • A small stipend for books and living expenses, paid in two installments
  • Airfare to and from Washington, D.C. (one round-trip ticket)


Open to undergraduate and graduate students, including those who have completed their undergraduate degree but have not yet enrolled in a graduate program.

Spring Semester

  • Program Dates: January 11- April 29
  • Priority Deadline: October 1
  • Final Deadline: November 1

Summer Semester

  • Program Dates: June 6- July 29
  • Priority Deadline: February 15
  • Final Deadline: March 1

Website: http://semesterinwashington.gwu.edu/naplp

INSPIRE Pre-College Program

The INSPIRE Pre-College Program is a full scholarship open to Native Hawaiian, American Indian, and Alaska Native rising junior and senior high school students, including 2016 anticipated graduates, who want to spend 3-weeks on the George Washington University (GW) campus to learn about  intergovernmental relations between tribal governments and the federal government. The program is a full-day experiential undergraduate course, Native Politics and the American Political System, taught by GW faculty, which will offer opportunities for students to meet and interview influential Native advocates who work in Washington, D.C.

As an added bonus, INSPIRE students live on campus and participate in recreational programs with the community of high school students enrolled in GW Pre-College programs.

INSPIRE scholarships are awarded to students based on evidence of academic ability, leadership potential, and an interest in public service. Students from all tribes and from every part of the United States are welcome to apply.

There is no application fee. The INSPIRE Pre-College Program is spearheaded by the Native American Political Leadership Program (NAPLP) at (GW) and made possible by a generous contribution from AT&T.

What does the INSPIRE scholarship cover?

  • One course in Native Politics and the American Political System (3 undergraduate credit hours)
  • Room and board at GW
  • Airfare to and from Washington, D.C. (one round-trip ticket)
  • All required textbooks
  • Required local travel related to the course

NOTE: While credit bearing courses are typically transferable to other institutions, please check specific university policies.

How to apply?

We encourage you to submit your application through the online system. The following list contains required supporting documents that may be submitted seperately:

  • 350 Word Essay
  • High School Transcript
  • Proof of Ancestry
  • Recommendation form completed by a teacher or counselor

All application materials must be received by March 1, 2016. There are a variety of convenient ways for you to submit the required documents:

  • Attaching the documents to the online application; or
  • Emailing digital copies to inspire@gwu.edu; or
  • Faxing copies to 202-994-8471; or
  • Mailing copies to The Native American Political Leadership Program at the George Washington University, Attn: The INSPIRE Pre-College Program, 1922 F Street NW Suite 401, Washington, DC 20052.

Website: http://inspire.naplp.gwu.edu/inspire-pre-college-application

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) Summer Internship Program

Undergraduate students and recent graduates get the opportunity to work in Washington, DC and experience American politics and public policy. APAICS Interns are placed in U.S. Congressional offices, federal agencies, or partner Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) non-profit organizations. The program develops leadership and professional skills, encourages political and civic engagement, and fosters a strong interest in public service careers.

What does APAICS cover?

APAICS Summer Internship Program provides a $2,000 stipend and a round-trip flight within the continental U.S. sponsored by Southwest Airlines (limited additional support is made available on a case by case basis).


Must be currently enrolled in an accredited two-year or four-year undergraduate educational institution. Recent graduates are also welcome to apply.


The 8 week summer internship begins around June 13

Final Application Deadline

January 29

Website: http://apaics.org/summer-interns/

APAICS Congressional Fellowship Program

The APAICS Congressional Fellowship program offers full-time legislative and public policy fellowships in Washington, D.C. The Fellowship provides exceptional graduates and young professionals an opportunity to work on policy issues as staff members of a congressional office. The program aims to build leadership skills, encourage political civic engagement, and foster a strong interest in public service careers.

What does APAICS cover?

Program stipend and complimentary roundtrip airline ticket sponsored by Southwest Airlines.


Applicants must have completed a Masters Degree or post-graduate degree in STEM field prior to the program start date and have a 3.0 GPA or higher.


1 year. Check back in Winter 2015 for 2016-2017 General Application.

Website: http://apaics.org/congressional-fellows/

White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Internship Program

 The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Washington, D.C., offers full-time internships during the spring, summer, and fall. Interns at the Initiative are responsible for assisting the staff on a wide range of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues and priorities, including capacity-building, civil rights, data disaggregation, economic development, education, health, immigration, language access, and workforce diversity.  In addition, interns will help write policy memos and proposals, draft blogs, assist with communications and social media, coordinate and staff events, and conduct outreach to national and local AAPI organizations and leaders.


  • November 30 for Spring session (Jan-May)*
  • March 8 for Summer session (May/June-Aug)
  • June 15 for Fall session (Aug-Dec)


Applicants for intern positions must be undergraduates or graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time.

Website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/aapi/internships

Champions for Change

The Champions for Change Program (CFC) was created by the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) as an effort to shine a spotlight on incredible stories of youth who are tackling issues that are impacting their communities and inspiring other young people through their leadership.

Each year, CNAY invites Native youth who have initiated programs, events, or have made other efforts to improve the lives of fellow youth to apply and share their stories of service.

Those selected will serve a two-year term on CNAY’s Youth Advisory Board and will receive:

  • A certificate of recognition and medal;
  • All-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC for the national recognition events;
  • Opportunities to meet with members of Congress;
  • Invitation to participate in a mentorship coordinated by the CNAY; and
  • Champions will be eligible for consideration for a future visit from a member of CNAY’s board of advisors to their home community to share more about their initiative for change.


Youth ages 14-22


March – Champions travel to Washington, DC for recognition events

Final Application Deadline

Around January 11

Website: http://cnay.org/Champions_for_Change.html

Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Foster Youth Internship Program

Each summer, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Foster Youth Internship (FYI) Program™ allows current and former foster youth to spend 2 months in Washington, D.C. interning for a Member of the United States Congress and writing a policy report that is presented at briefings to Congress and the White House. The FYI Program began in 2003 as an effort to raise awareness to federal policymakers about the needs and

unique perspectives of young adults who spent time in foster care. CCAI organizes retreats, advocacy trainings and various networking opportunities with experts in child welfare, government and business. As a result of the program, federal policymakers learn firsthand the experiences of youth in foster care and go on to use their new knowledge to inspire legislative change.


  • Applicants are required to have spent at least 24 consecutive months and/or at least a total of 36 months in foster care during any point in their lives.
  • Applicants are required to have completed at least four semesters of schooling at an accredited institution of higher learning, such as a college, university, or vocational school by the start of the internship.
  • Applicants are required to have just completed the Spring 2016 semester at an accredited institution of higher learning, such as a college, university, or vocational school prior to the internship.


May 31- July 29

Final Application Deadline

January 7

Website: http://www.ccainstitute.org/


Native Hawaiian Graduate and Professional School students at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Internship Program

The Hawai‘inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge in partnership with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has created professional career development and internships for Native Hawaiian Graduate and Professional School students at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.  The internships will take place over nine weeks with an initial three weeks in Hawaiʻi and subsequent six weeks in Washington D.C.

Based on academic and professional interests, students have the opportunity to intern with one of the following agencies:

  1. US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  2. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
  3. US Department of Defense (USDoD)
  4. US National Park Service
  5. US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  6. US Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation

Travel, housing and a living stipend will be provided.

For more information, contact the OHA Washington D.C. Bureau at (202) 506-7238.


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