The genesis of this program began when Admiral Carey attended several of the Wounded Warrior dinners in Washington, DC and had the opportunity to talk to a broad spectrum of these wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. While most seemed to be responding well to treatment for their wounds and injuries, he sensed a general apprehension among almost all of them as to what they would be doing once they left active duty and how the qualifications and experience they had gained from their military service would fit with their need to have a civilian job, earn a living, and hopefully have some of the same expectations for a “life’s career” as they had before their military service and combat injuries. Admiral Carey began to explore possible careers in the U. S. Government that might fit with these veterans military experience, and one area that seemed to make logical sense was to bring their military background and experience and knowledge to further service as staff members for the U. S. Congress, where there has been a 60-year steady decline in the number of Members of Congress who are military veterans. Yet in exploring this possibility further, there was an obvious employment disconnect given these veterans knowledge gap in the legislative process, the federal budget process, and their having no prior experience in Congressional Staff work when many Congressional Offices and Committees require prior congressional staff experience as a prerequisite for employment.
The solution became obvious—– the Future Leaders for America Foundation Washington Scholars Internship Programs, where Admiral Carey serves as Chairman, with their 10 year track record in providing the very best top performing Congressional interns, would add a Veterans Congressional Internship Program to their existing, already proven, highly successful non-veteran Congressional intern programs and then seek motivated military veterans for those internships. The objective would be to provide these veterans with the
Congressional experience, qualifications, and credentials so as to provide them with the missing experience and credentials they need in order to be viable candidates for Congressional Staff employment, and through this program bring their valuable military service, experience, and knowledge to the Congress by serving as Congressional Staff.
Since making the decision to pursue this new veterans program, further review and analysis suggests that the program should be made available to a broader spectrum of veterans interested in gaining experience in serving as Congressional Staff, both wounded and non-wounded. It is on that basis that the following parameters have been formulated and the program now seeks military veteran applicants who fit the following criteria:
Who: Military veterans who have an interest in being able to qualify for employment on Congressional Staff. Should be interested in Congressional Staff service as a career path and not a short term job.
What: A ten week paid internship on Congressional Staff, learning the Congressional Legislative and Budget process and obtaining the qualifications, experience, training, and credentialing necessary to be a potential candidate for employment on Congressional Staff. These internships are overseen, administered, and mentored by the Washington Scholars Intern Program Management Team, a motivated group of more than 20 Washington Scholars Graduates now working full time in the nation’s capitol and “giving back” of their time and expertise as successful graduates of the Washington Scholars Program by volunteering their service on the Management Team.
When: Fall [usually beginning in September], Winter/Spring [start dates flexible from January through March], and Summer [start dates in late May or early June].
Where: Congressional Staff, U. S. Congress, Washington, DC. Preferably on the staff of their own Congressman or Senator, but if those are unavailable, then on another Congressional Staff that will provide the necessary training, experience, qualifications, and credentials to qualify for future employment consideration on Congressional Staff.
Why: To gain necessary knowledge, experience, training, qualification, and credentialing to better be able to compete for employment on Congressional Staff.
To bring their valuable military service experience, training, and knowledge to Congressional Staff with a view towards enhancing Congress’ available on-staff expertise in military programs and projects through military veterans that have actually worked on those programs and experienced firsthand what worked and what did NOT work.
How: Go to the Washington Scholars Intern Programs website at www.WashingtonScholars.org and review the application procedures, then complete and submit the application forms. Clearly identify the application as “Veterans Congressional Internship Program” and indicate whether your candidacy is for Fall, Winter/Spring, or Summer. Application deadlines are always 90 days prior to the desired start date in order to provide sufficient time for the Selection Committee to review, grade, and then select the final candidates for each Washington Scholars Class.
- Future Leaders for America Foundation is an IRS-approved 501.c.3 tax deductible organization. Their Washington Scholars Internship Programs are specifically formulated to bring the nation’s best & brightest young men and women to Washington, DC to serve in internships that will hopefully motivate them to choose a life’s career in federal service or national public policy. Details available at www.futureleadersforamerica.org and www.washingtonscholars.org
Point of Contact: Veterans@FutureLeadersForAmerica.org
- The out of pocket cost of a full 10 week internship is approximately $5,000.
- Future Leaders for America Foundation seeks corporate and charitable foundations and other 501.c.3 organizations to fund these internships. Chairs are available for naming for each $5,000 internship funded. An example is “The XYZ Corporation Chair for the study of Congressional Responsibility in National Defense and Homeland Security” or appropriate words to that effect. Chairs may also be funded “in perpetuity” for $100,000 each, from which 5% of the earnings of that endowment are used to fund the internship each year in perpetuity and the balance of annual earnings are retained in the fund to provide for principle growth in perpetuity and commensurate cost of living increases over time.