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NSU student accepted to prestigious internship program in DC

Melissa Sam, a Northeastern State University senior from Wilburton, was accepted into the Native American Political Leadership Program through George Washington University.

Sam, a member of the Choctaw and Mohave tribes, will spend the spring 2018 semester on a full scholarship while interning in Washington, D.C. with a new cohort of Native American scholars. She was selected from a competitive group of applicants based on her academic ability, leadership potential and interest in politics.

“The NAPLP is designed to give a chance for Native American students to be involved in a political science program,” Sam said. “I first heard about this program before I participated in the Washington Internships for Native Students internship; however, I was not interested in politics at the time. Although I am still not sure if I will pursue a political career, I believe it is important for Natives to be involved as much as they can with political affairs. Especially in these troubling times, we need people to fight for us, our culture, traditions and heritage. It is a perfect opportunity to network with politicians and employees of various agencies who have this same mindset, and I get to live in Washington DC.”

Alisa Douglas, Student Programs coordinator at the Center for Tribal Studies, encourages students to apply for this program each year. Douglas said this program is a great opportunity for Native American students to gain knowledge about public policy and government-to-government relationships on Capitol Hill.

“Students receive hands-on internship experience through agencies such as the National Congress of American Indians, National Indian Education Association and Bureau of Indian Affairs. Former students of NSU who have been a part of this program have built long-lasting relationships with their cohort and some have even continued their careers in D.C. after finishing the program.”

Sam is a senior majoring in mathematics with a minor in accounting. During the summer of 2015, she was a participant in the Washington Internship for Native Students program through American University that also provides Native American students an opportunity to intern in Washington, D.C.

For additional information, contact the Center for Tribal Studies at 918-444-4350.

Published: 12/19/2017 3:37:08 PM

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