Meet the 2017 SikhLEAD Summer Interns!

September 5th, 2017

Please join us in congratulating our seventh SikhLEAD Summer Internship Cohort! Ten Sikh American youth from across the country gathered in Washington, DC for the summer to intern at various Congressional offices and DC organizations.

The educational backgrounds of the cohort were incredibly diverse–from majors in healthcare and public policy, to business and political science. These emerging leaders came together to develop leadership skills and foster interest in public service careers through this unparalleled experience of interning in a congressional office, federal agency, or a social-profit organization. Internships allow students to explore a potential career track, create a network of professional and personal contacts, develop real-world skills, and build confidence.

“I knew I wanted to apply to SALDEF and SikhLEAD because I wanted to help myself solidify my future career plans,” said Gurleen Ahuja, who interned at the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans. “As a pre-nursing major, I wanted to be able to ensure my career choice was correct for me. SikhLEAD seemed as if it were the perfect opportunity for me to get out in the ‘real world’ and actively understand my passions.”

Interns were given the ability to organize the 4th Annual Langar on the Hill, partake in various events as well. Mehr Suri, who interned at the National Institute for Civil Discourse, crafted his first podcast comparing the Affordable Care Act to the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Arjan Grover, who interned with Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, was able to attend a Fireside Chat with Secretary Norman Mineta where he spoke about his experiences from internment camps during World War II to serving in the cabinets of two presidents.

We appreciate your support as we continue to make a difference in the Sikh American community and give our youth the tools they need to succeed as leaders and activists for our community.

“SikhLEAD personally helped give me the platform to express my voice and be able to help educate others on Sikhi and what we believe in,” said Sunmeet Kaur, who interned in the SALDEF office this Summer. “Working directly with members of Congress, legislators, politicians, and various minority and advocacy coalitions here in D.C. has helped advance my leadership and communication skills.”

SALDEF is indebted to our sponsors who have made this program possible: the Sikh American Community, Ik Manzil, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Comcast Foundation.

 To learn more about how you can support the SikhLEAD initiative, please click here.

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