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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.

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: https://www.apaics.org/congressional-internship

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: https://www.apaics.org/congressional-internship

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: https://www.hhs.gov/about/whiaanhpi/careers-internships/index.html

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: https://www.cnay.org/champions/

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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