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Center gives black students chance at DC internships

By Ernie Brown

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Kenneth King, community activist better known as “Brother K,” recently sent me an email I want to share with young black students who may want to work for the federal government in the future.

The Washington Center, located in our nation’s capital, is asking black students to apply for federal diversity internship opportunities.

According to its website, William M. Burke and Sheila McRevey, who later would become his wife, founded the center in Washington, D.C., in 1975. The website says Burke, an educator from Massachusetts, believed that all young people inherently possess the ability to lead, “and he created The Washington Center to cultivate and transform the younger generation into civically minded citizens.”

Burke died of complications related to treatment of a brain tumor in 2004 at age 58, according to an article that appeared in The Washington Post.

The information below provided by Brother K is from the website

The Washington Center recently announced fully sponsored internship programs for spring and summer 2016.

According to an article from Black penned by Victor Ochieng, among the organizations involved in the program are the center and HBCU Connect.

HBCU Connect gives out information about the nation’s historically black colleges and universities concerning scholarship opportunities and also provides links about job possibilities. You can find out more by going to

Successful applicants will have an opportunity to be placed in various government agencies.

The paid internships will provide students with hands-on experience in federal employment and develop a platform for diversity throughout the respective institutions.

Interested students will have to meet several requirements to be considered for the programs. No application fee is needed to submit an application.

Some of the requirements include:

Must be a U.S. citizen.

Must have a 3.0 GPA or above.

Must be a student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program.

Must demonstrate deep interest in obtaining employment with the U.S. government.

All applications for the spring semester must be submitted on or before Nov. 18. Applications for the summer program must be submitted by Jan. 15 – the birth date of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This is an annual program in which The Washington Center works with various agencies to promote diversity and provide participating students with a glimpse into life as a federal employee.

The internship also opens possibilities for future employment with the federal government while giving the students practical knowledge necessary for the job market.

According to The Washington Center website, here are some of the agencies in which undergraduate and graduate black students can be placed :

Federal Aviation Administration

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Department of Treasury

U.S. Census Bureau

National Archives and Records Administration.

This is a great opportunity for Mahoning Valley young people to get a close-up look at the workings of some of our federal government agencies, and you can use the experience as a way to get your foot in the door to a possible career.

You can find out more information also by going to The Washington Center’s website – – and type in “Federal Diversity Internship Opportunities” in the search link.

Thanks again to Brother K – he also sent the same email to others in the community to share with their network or circle of family and friends – who is to be commended for his steadfast dedication in helping black students and others in the minority community.

Ernie Brown Jr., a regional editor at The Vindicator, writes a monthly minority-affairs column. Contact him at