The Minnesota Capitol Pathways internship program for college students of color celebrated its successful inaugural year in the Great Hall on Metropolitan State University’s Saint Paul Campus. Gov. Mark Dayton attended to show support for the organization.
The 26 interns in the the 2016 Legislative Cohort are being hosted in the government relations offices of various government agencies, nonprofits, and lobbying firms. Host organizations included the Office of the Secretary of State, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, the City of Saint Paul, Education Minnesota, MinnCAN, Fresh Energy, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, NAMI Minnesota, Lutheran Social Services and the Citizens League.
This internship program was created with the understanding that to build a strong state, Minnesota government and the people who run it must be representative of the diversity of the state. With the long-term goal of making our government truly representative of our communities, the program seeks to open access to the Minnesota capitol to the next generation of leaders of color. Through this program, interns are building relationships with established capitol leaders, gaining exposure to various kinds of careers in policy, and getting real-world experience in career fields they would like to learn more about — and build a strong professional resume in the process.