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The HACU National Internship Program logo. Photo courtesy of the HACU website.
The HACU National Internship Program logo. Photo courtesy of the HACU website.

Thirty years of the HACU National Internship Program

The program helps Hispanic college students land internships in federal agencies and the private sector.

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The HACU National Internship Program has been creating opportunities for Hispanic college students to participate in internships all across the federal and private sectors since 1992. 

The institution behind the program, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), was established in 1986 as an educational association representing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). HACU is the only national educational association in the country that represents HSIs. It represents 500 institutions that are in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain

The program is open to sophomores and above. There is no application or participation fee and the program covers housing and daily travel. The internships are paid and can sometimes be counted for college credit. Interns are also able to participate in professional development activities. 

This program is designed to increase opportunities for Hispanic students. 

Antonio R. Flores, president and CEO of HACU, told NBC News, “The aim is to make sure that our community is an integral part of all the different opportunities that exist in this country, whether it’s government or the private sector — that we all are given a chance to demonstrate our talents and to lead in professional positions.”

As of 2018, Hispanic people make up less than 10% of those employed in the federal government. However, Hispanics make up 18.4% of the total U.S. population. 

HACU places around 500 interns a year and has amassed 14,000 alumni in the program's 30-year history. 

Earlier this year, Senators Bob Menendez, Alex Padilla, and John Cornyn created a bipartisan resolution to honor HACU’s 30th anniversary and celebrate its legacy of increasing diversity in the federal government and private sector. 

The resolution also encourages the HACU to continue supporting and inspiring future Hispanic and underrepresented leaders. 

Interested students can find more information on the program and apply at: https://www.hacu.net/hacu/HNIP.asp

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