N.C. A&T Senior Selected for Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus

Greensboro, N.C. (June 18, 2018) – Tony Watlington, Jr., rising senior economics student and SGA senator at North Carolina A&T State University, is helping to close the diversity gap on Capitol Hill.

Watlington has been tapped as a summer intern for the third class of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. The group was launched in 2016 by co-chairs, U.S. Rep. Alma Adams and U.S. Rep. Mark Walker. 

The first of its kind program gives two interns the opportunity to spend a four-week period in the office of both a Republican and a Democrat. Each student is required to meet performance standards that ensure a quality, educational experience, including attending hearings and briefings, writing letters, completing projects, and writing an essay about their time and what they learned. They will also have the opportunity to meet with key players on Capitol Hill, including members of Congress and senior staff. The internship opportunity effectually exposes HBCU students to federal advocacy careers and builds a pipeline of qualified young professionals to increase diversity on Capitol Hill. 

“This third class of HBCU interns is a testament to our commitment to fighting for equal opportunity and fixing the diversity problem on Capitol Hill,” said Adams, an N.C. A&T alumna. “HBCUs contribute more than $14 billion dollars annually to our economy and have provided pathways of opportunity for millions of Americans from varied backgrounds. These institutions are essential to workforce diversity, especially here in Washington.” 

“We will not produce policies that address the issues impacting all Americans if we don’t have diverse policy makers. This internship is a necessary step to ensuring Congress looks like the people it serves.” 

Jameia Booker, a rising senior at Johnson C. Smith University will also intern with the program. 

A&T Alumna Vashti Hinton participated in the inaugural class of interns and was the first to be hired as a full-time staff member on Capitol Hill. Hinton works for U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks. 

 “Working together for the betterment of our students, this internship program has yielded success, with one of the programs first participants, Vashti (Hinton), gaining employment in a congressional office after graduating. I am thrilled to have Tony and Jameia spending time in our office and Adams’ office this summer, and look forward to continuing advocating on behalf of the HBCU community,” said Congressman Walker. 

U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan both echoed the sentiments of Adams and Walker praising the program, its leadership and the talented students selected for the internship. 

“Programs like this give me great hope for the future,” Speaker Ryan said. Pelosi added, “The voices of young people are vital to the work of the Congress and the success of our democracy,” 

The internship will run through July 27, 2018.