Congressional Internship Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

2016 Summer Internship Program

The upcoming Summer program will be a 12-week internship that runs from Monday, June 6, 2016, through Friday, July 22, 2016.

Click here to sign up for the 2016 Summer Program!

If your office is interested in participating in the program, or for more information, please contact the Committee at x5-8281.

About the Program

Established by Rep. Gregg Harper in 2010, the Congressional Internship Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities is a unique program designed to give students with varying intellectual disabilities an opportunity to gain congressional work experience.   

Group Photo

Working in conjunction with George Mason University’s LIFE Program – a postsecondary education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities – Harper launched the internship program with three Mason LIFE students and six House offices.  To date, over 80 Congressional offices from the House and Senate have participated.  

Additionally, the participating interns receive stipends for their work on Capitol Hill through a grant provided by The HSC Foundation.  The grant, part of HSCF’s Youth Transitions Initiative, is an important way to acknowledge the interns’ important contributions and helps to achieve the common goal of guiding these students towards permanent, professional employment.  

Today, Harper continues to expand the program to accommodate additional students so that they are given the same exciting educational and enrichment opportunities typically afforded to congressional interns working here in the nation’s capital.

How the Program Works

Each participating office will host a Mason LIFE student and his or her work coach for one two-hour session each week.  During the two-hour sessions, which are held Monday and Friday mornings and afternoons, the interns will work with their congressional office and their work coach to complete various office tasks as assigned. 

In addition to fulfilling their weekly office responsibilities, the interns will have an opportunity to enjoy various enrichment activities coordinated by the program administrators.  Some of the prior enrichment activities have included Capitol tours and trips to one of the many Smithsonian museums nearby.