OutPower

Victory Congressional Interns leave Washington with new skills and perspectives

Above: The 2016 Victory Congressional Interns on Capitol Hill with President & CEO Aisha C. Moodie-Mills and Domestic Programs Director Sheila Isong.
The Victory Congressional Internship (VCI) is developing the next generation of out public leaders. This summer, the Victory Institute brought eight outstanding LGBTQ college students to DC for an eight-week intensive leadership development program. The Victory Congressional Internship consists of a full time Hill internship, a rigorous weekly leadership development program, and a mentor. We work closely with the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus to place VCIs in the office of a gay, lesbian or allied member of Congress.
This year our VCIs were placed in the offices of Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Representative Mike Honda, Senator Tammy Baldwin and other co-chairs, vice-chairs or ranking members of the Equality Caucus and the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee.  On the Hill, VCIs were able to work on projects they cared deeply about: researching issue areas for upcoming bills, writing constituent letters, and attending briefings on hot-button issues – there was never a dull moment.
During weekly leadership development trainings they met with leaders of progressive movements and organizations who helped them clarify their goals and gain tangible skills to achieve them. VCIs met with LGBTQ leaders in the reproductive justice movement, racial justice movement, youth organizing, US military, and labor unions, to name a few. Victory Institute was also able to take VCIs on tours of historic sites in DC, the White House and a guided tour of the Pentagon by Amanda Simpson, the highest-ranking trans appointee. Through this programming they could see diverse LGBTQ leadership at work, and learn to become multi-dimensional LGBTQ leaders. VCIs were also paired up with mentors to help guide them not just during their time in DC, but in their lives and careers. Their mentors were handpicked leaders whose interests and journeys reflected those of each intern.
The Victory Congressional Internship helped these young and already accomplished LGBTQ leaders hone their skills, evaluate their career goals, and re-invigorate their passions. Some VCIs left the internship determined to return to Washington – either as staff for a member of Congress, or as a member of Congress themselves. Yet other VCIs left to put skills they learned to use in their own communities. Regardless, all eight VCIs – Carina, Tayler, Josh, Charlotte, Brandon, Matthew, Sam and Michael – all completed the internship with a commitment to be leaders in the fight for LGBTQ equality.

Fellows & Interns