We’re excited to begin our third year of our Capitol Pathways program by placing 33 college students of color from around the state with 33 government offices, nonprofits, corporate, law and lobbying firms where they can build experience and relationships in Minnesota politics. This year, the 33 students represent 10 different higher education institutions, public and private. Over the course of three years, 93 interns will have gained valuable experience in Minnesota government through this program.
As program participants, students will be exposed to various career paths allowing them to build relationships with established leaders, gain first-hand legislative experience, interact with ambitious and like-minded peers and build a strong professional resume. All interns are paid by their sponsoring host organizations.
Founded in 2016, the program is already showing impact, as several alumni of the program have gone on to continue their careers in and around Minnesota government, such as Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives, and Director of Public Policy at the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless.
“Based on our organization’s focus on developing the next generation of leaders—both at the elected and city staff levels—and our organizational work on race equity, this seemed like a great opportunity for partnership,” said Heather Corcoran, Member Relations Coordinator at the League of Minnesota Cities, an organization that is joining Capitol Pathways for the first time. “We hope our intern will come away with a better understanding of the League’s mission to promote excellence in local government, and we will learn from him, as well.”
While participating host organizations are crucial to the success of the program, added support from funders largely contribute to making Capitol Pathways a possibility. Lori Berg, Program Officer from The Saint Paul Foundation, is proud to support the program, stating, “Capitol Pathways exemplifies the Foundation’s belief that equity can only be achieved when solutions are informed and formed by all of those impacted. It is gratifying to know that the Foundation is playing a small part in providing the tools and experiences to grow the leaders of the future.”
Interns are being hosted in government relations offices of participating host organizations, including the Office of the Secretary of State, ClearWay Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Education, Great Plains Institute, Medica, Immigrant Law Center of MN, Fredrikson & Byron, P. A., the Minnesota Private College Council, Second Harvest Heartland, Goff Public and others.