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Howard University > News Room
Press Release
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For Immediate Release
By Lesley Sanders

University News Service
     
http://www.howard.edu/newsroom/      

Howard Students Savor Experience as White House Interns


L-R: Kaleema Ishmel, Jeanni Simpson, Kayla Daniels - Photo by Peter Suwondo

WASHINGTON (July 29, 2014) – For many students, the summertime entails beaches and sunblock, but for three Howard University students the summer has included working with First Lady Michelle Obama or witnessing Marine One lift off from the South Lawn with President Obama aboard.
Jeanni N. Simpson, a graduate student in the School of Social Work; Kayla Daniels, a political science senior; and Kaleema Ishmel, an international business sophomore, are all members of the 2014 summer White House Internship Program.

To secure the White House internship, Simpson wrote a briefing paper on social policy. She said her best learning experience at the White House was receiving advice from a senior White House staff member who stressed timing and substance as keys to success.

“Success is not only contingent upon being at the right place at the right moment, but also about being prepared for those opportunities,” Simpson recalled being told.

Simpson, who is from Racine, Wis., said she hoped to incorporate her experiences in her plan to some day establish an agency in the Washington metropolitan region for at-risk families.

For Daniels, an Indianapolis native, landing an internship at the White House took perseverance. She applied to be a member of the 2013 class of interns but was not selected. Undeterred, Daniels applied again the following year and is now relishing the experience.

 “Being able to walk into work every day and witness history is something that most people will never get to experience,” Daniels said. “Howard University prepared me for this internship by strengthening my work ethic and my drive. I have so many professors and administrators who have high expectations of me and have pushed me to step outside my comfort zone.”

Ishmel, who is from Las Vegas, served as a volunteer associate in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence prior to serving as a White House intern. She said she learned several important lessons when Vice President Joe Biden addressed the interns this summer.

 “These lessons can be applied to many different facets of life,” Ishmel said. “I appreciate this opportunity to intern at the White House because it is allowing me to take these lessons with me.”

The White House Internship Program provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office and prepare them for future public service opportunities. The White House Internship Program’s mission is to make the “People’s House” accessible to future leaders from around the nation.


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