Former Obama staffers create scholarships for Latinx students in public service
The Latinx44 scholarship is to help all aspiring Latino students find their way in the nation’s capital.
Every year, there is a growing number of internships for students to get a foot in the door of their respective industries.
However, there are still a number of racial disparities in who those opportunities fall to.
Research provided by Pay Our Interns, found that Latinos make up 20% of undergraduate students nationally, but accounted for less than 5% of interns in the House of Representatives.
Antoinette Rangel and Alexa Kissinger, former Obama administrators are on a mission to change the rules when it comes to racial equality regarding internships.
Rangel and Kissinger are providing Latinx students the chance to establish themselves in Washington D.C by helping them financially with the Latinx44 scholarship.
The awards will be given to students who are interested in obtaining a public service-oriented internship located in Washington D.C.
"I knew White House interns who had to take out personal loans or work multiple jobs or really live on a frugal budget," Rangel recalled of her own experience to NBC News.
Many students who come from humble backgrounds are less likely to apply for internships because they simply cannot afford to lose money.
The grants have been created and funded by hundreds of former Obama staffers of Latino descent.
Rangel, who worked six years at the White House during the Obama administration, shared that the internships the way for many professionals and she did not want the Latinx community to miss out on the opportunity.
"We just want to make sure Latinx students have the same opportunities as their peers from other backgrounds so they get these experiences of a lifetime," she said.
College students are eligible if they have a Latino background.
On top of receiving a $1,500 hundred grant, students will also be paired with a mentor that will help them pursue their specified interest.
Valentina Pereda, another former White House intern told NBC News that Washington D.C is a also very expensive place to live, so students need financial support to reassure them not to give up on their dreams.
“It’s really about — first of all, knowing that you have the financial support to do it," said Pereda, currently a documentary filmmaker.
She has donated to the nonprofit organization and inspires others to do the same.
“If you do the right internship and other job opportunities, it’s not just about the experience of interning at a place," said Pereda.
By providing the funds necessary to Latinx students, they are able to stress less and connect with other scholars that share similar interests and aspirations as they do.
The deadline for their summer program ends on April 1.