WASHINGTON, D.C. – The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) was pleased to welcome the 2019 cohort of Fellows at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center during the ILF Civic Fellowship Program Orientation on Saturday, June 1st.
This year’s cohort is comprised of 23 diverse and ambitious students from 19 distinguished universities across the nation. The Fellows will intern across 23 offices within 11 head federal agencies and three Congressional offices within both the House and Senate sides. Each Fellow will serve a minimum 8-week tour of duty and participate in educational seminars and professional training to develop a deeper understanding of public service and policy. “It all begins with the Fellows,” notes ILF Program Director Joanna Chen. The Fellows create an exemplary Civic Fellowship Program due to their tireless dedication to service, growth in leadership, and championing advocacy and inclusion above all. The ILF Civic Fellowship program aims to build a pipeline of emerging young leaders who are civic-minded and community-focused. This year’s Fellows interests range in careers in public service pertaining to education, social change, health policy, environmental law, and others. ILF is a platform for them to pursue their varied interests and gain deeper insight into the inner workings of government.
Fellow Jefferson Zhu from Boston College wished to join the Civic Fellow Program because he wants to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Jefferson will work at the Federal Reserve Board where he hopes to help struggling communities by learning how the government functions and services diverse Americans economically. “Minority groups face challenges finding a place within mainstream American society but we all deserve an equal opportunity at achieving the American Dream. Asian Americans are no different with their own unique hurdles to overcome.”
The Civic Fellowship Program also offers an opportunity for Fellows to gain a deeper insight into their future career paths by shadowing those at the forefront of their careers. Fellow Carolyn Chen will intern with Congresswoman Grace Meng, where she hopes to “humanize the government, because [she] thinks that the most lasting change will come from working in the government.” Carolyn finds ILF’s mission not only noble, but practical and important for “building confidence in [herself] and seeing that it’s possible to run for office and make a difference.”