Lester Murillo, a senior criminal justice major at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), will spend the fall semester in Washington, D.C. as the campus’ 2014 representative in the Congressional Internship Program, sponsored by the Panetta Institute for Public Policy. The 22-year-old Murillo, who left Sunday to begin the internship, said this will be his first-ever trip to Washington, D.C. and to the east coast.
“I applied for the internship because the efforts of the Panetta Institute to educate students on public policy, government and leadership align with my future goals,” Murillo said. “From the experience I hope to learn more about the rationale and process of policy making by the government. I also hope to grow both as an individual and as a leader.”
The Congressional Internship Program is recognized as one of the best in the country because of the training opportunities provided to participants as well as the full scholarship covering all program costs. Participants are nominated by their respective campus presidents and are selected based on their scholastic achievements as well as their interest in politics.
“There’s just no substitute for this first-hand experience to promote public service,” said Panetta Institute Chairman Leon E. Panetta, “We are proud that our program has earned the reputation of being one of the finest internship programs in the nation.”
Murillo, a Long Beach resident and 2010 graduate of Long Beach Poly High School, will be one of 26 California students, one each from the 23 CSU campuses and three others from Dominican University, Saint Mary’s College and Santa Clara University, participating in the program. Each intern will spend 11 weeks in the nation’s capital working full-time in the office of a California member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The program begins with an intense two weeks of preparation at the Panetta Institute, located on the CSU Monterey Bay campus. The training session includes elected officials, seasoned government staff and policy experts. Classes at the institute range from national and international policy to practicalities of what interns can expect once they arrive on Capitol Hill.
“These are tomorrow’s leaders,” Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia M. Panetta pointed out. “The program helps prepare them right now to find ways to contribute to the public good.”
Following the two-week training session, interns fly to Washington, where they will work full-time for 11 weeks in the Congressional offices of the California delegation. Click here to learn more about the program.