New Brunswick, N.J. – The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University—New Brunswick announced that Rutgers senior and Somerset resident Ayesha Qureshi will receive the Rutgers-Eagleton Washington Internship Award. The program provides $5,000 awards to outstanding Rutgers undergraduate students who are pursuing summer internships and government and public service in Washington, D.C. The award is meant to ease the financial burden of working in Washington, D.C. and is intended to offset living expenses.

“Without this award, I would not be able to even consider interning Washington, D.C. We often forget that most internships in D.C. are unpaid, and that is a massive barrier of entry for folks who may not be able to afford to live in D.C. for a whole summer.  This award allows me to take on new and exciting opportunities that open new doors for my college education and beyond. I am very grateful to everyone at Eagleton who supports, facilitates, and donates to this award — their contributions allow Rutgers students to explore public service careers and make an impact on the world around us,” said Qureshi.

Qureshi is an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate, pursuing a double major in political science and computer science. She has accepted an internship with Only Through Us, an organization which "seeks to build resilience in communities and among policymakers for the protection of the U.S. refugee program and religious inclusion in America."

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Through her internship, Qureshi hopes to gain a better understanding of policy making and more experience in how to effectively communicate a policy’s impact on everyday Americans to elected officials and other stakeholders. 

“One day, I hope to work as an attorney protecting civil liberties in the digital age and I am confident that my experience this summer will be essential in laying this foundation … I'm headed to D.C. on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, the Muslim celebration at the end of Ramadan— so it's kind of an Eid gift to myself to experience something new and exciting,” Qureshi said.

Students from all three Rutgers campus locations and from a variety of majors were selected for the 2019 cohort. Qureshi was one of just nine Rutgers students to receive the award this year.

"This award reflects Eagleton's mission to link the study of politics with its practice. By working in Washington, student interns can observe politics in action and cultivate the skills necessary to make a positive impact on our democracy. Ayesha already has demonstrated both the passion and the ability to affect change - we hope her experience in Washington will take her to the next level in her public leadership,” said Eagleton associate research professor Elizabeth C. Matto, who serves on the award selection committee.