We are so proud to announce and introduce the Spring 2023 Victory Congressional Intern cohort kicking off the program’s 12th year in the LGBTQ Victory Institute’s history! Congratulations to these 6 incredible emerging LGBTQ leaders who will intern on Capitol Hill this semester.
The Victory Congressional Internship (VCI) is developing the next generation of out public leaders. This spring’s ten-week program will include a rigorous in-person weekly leadership development series, community outreach, and mentorship component. The LGBTQ Victory Institute is proud of our continued and growing partnership with the LGBTQ Equality Caucus, its members, and other LGBTQ-friendly members of Congress.
A brief overview of our Spring 2023 LGBTQ Victory Congressional Interns:
Mason Bryan (he/him)
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
School: University of Cincinnati
Placement: Rep. Chris Pappas (NH)
Mason is a third-year undergraduate student at the school of Public and International Affairs at the University of Cincinnati. He plans on graduating in 2024 and working as an advocate for a non-profit. In his free time, Mason has been known to paint murals around the house while listening to in-depth coverage of current events with a focus on U.S. legal cases.
Arufa Hossain (she/they)
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
School: University at Buffalo
Placement: Rep. Adam Schiff (CA)
Arufa is a Bangladeshi-American, Muslim, first-generation senior undergraduate student at the University at Buffalo. She is double majoring in Criminology/Sociology and Health & Human Services with a Child and Family Studies concentration, while minoring in Global Gender and Sexuality studies. Arufa is eager to contribute to social justice in impoverished communities for marginalized minority youth and families, particularly in New York City as a marginalized minority native. Arufa has a wide range of experiences contributing to communities through interning, volunteering, and/or working at art museums (like the Metropolitan Museum of Art), for non-profit organizations (City Limits, Compass House), (pre-) elementary through high school afterschool programs (with Upward Bound, Practice Makes Perfect, Early Childhood Research Center at UB), NYC Department of Transportation, and more.
Arufa is one of the Sociology Department at UB’s Spotlight Students and is a consistent Dean’s List student. Arufa also enjoys performing and being the choreographer for traditional and Western-Desi fusion dances to help preserve and diffuse diversity. Her hobbies include reading and writing poetry, running her online small business, making handmade jewelry, doing arts and crafts, visiting new places, and trying new things!
Allison Li (shey/they/zhe)
Hometown: Rockville, MD
School: University of Maryland, College Park
Placement: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (MD)
Allison is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, where they study Criminology and Criminal Justice with the hopes of becoming a counsel for foster youth in the future. They have dedicated their time into being an advocate for sex education within the K-12 school system, mental health access, and affordable housing. Allison considers themselves as a storyteller and collector of the world, they wish to live through and share their own journey as well as hear from other aspiring voices across the globe.
Mia Seifers (she/her)
Hometown: Bloomington, IN
School: Indiana University
Placement: Sen. Tammy Duckworth (IL)
Mia is a Junior at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana majoring in Political Science and Philosophy with a minor in Sociology. She has held leadership positions in several groups on campus including the College Democrats at Indiana University, Queer Student Union, and Women in Government. During the 2022 election cycle, Mia dedicated her time to a targeted State House race as a Deputy Campaign Manager and was voted onto the steering committee for the Stonewall Democrats of South Central Indiana. Mia is passionate about the rights and inclusion of women and queer people, and she works to advance those issues in all spaces.
In the future, Mia hopes to pursue a career in supporting and working on campaigns for queer people running for public office. Outside of her school, professional, and advocacy work, Mia can be found traveling the country in an RV with her parent, reading (likely in a hammock), or cheering on IU women’s basketball.
Nora Snider (she/her)
Hometown: Tallahassee, FL
School: Florida State University
Placement: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL)
Nora is a passionate filled advocate for positive social change at Florida State University through her study of Political Science. Whether it’s through a clash of ideas in Forensics Intercollegiate Debate or collaborative resolutions in Model United Nations, Nora has been continuously pursuing equitable solutions to the current problems facing our world. She now hopes that the leadership skills learned from the Victory Congressional Internship will empower like-minded individuals with the same passion for change to do the same.
Mira Vance (she/her)
Hometown: Northampton, MA
School: Middlebury College
Placement: Rep. Lori Trahan (MA)
Mira is a Global Gender and Sexuality Studies Major with a concentration in Chinese at Middlebury College in Vermont. She has a minor in Psychology and has completed a minor in Global Health focusing on disability studies. Her studies have created the backbone for her intersectional approach to advocacy and humanitarian activist work that emphasizes the impacts of race, gender, sexuality, and disability on experiences of oppression and violence.
Mira is a leader of MiddSafe, her school’s peer run advocacy hotline for survivors of sexual misconduct, dating violence, and stalking. In addition to her direct work with survivors, she also educates others on interpersonal violence. She created social media and outreach content for The Initiative Colorado, an organization dedicated to advocating for persons with disabilities who have experienced abuse and is currently working to create online zines on sexual citizenship and survivor resources for high school students. Mira is dedicated to increasing access, safety, and understanding for survivors through radical empathy and care. She centers disability justice and the knowledge of the ways ableism buttresses other systems of injustice in her advocacy and activism work.