Channahon, Illinois Student Interns In Durbin's Washington, DC Office

WASHINGTON – Channahon, Illinois, native Antonio Cisneros spent this fall interning for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), working behind the scenes in the Senator’s Capitol Hill office as an intern.  Each year, close to 50 interns work in Durbin’s Washington, D.C. office.

“I started my career on Capitol Hill as a college intern for Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois,” Durbin said. “I will never forget that day in February of 1966 when he agreed to hire me as an intern to work in his office.  As a student from East St. Louis, Illinois, going to work in the office of a U.S. Senator was one of the most exciting things I had ever done.  I know what a valuable experience it can be and we strive to make sure all of our students get a glimpse into the workings of the United States Senate.”

Antonio Cisneros is from Channahon, Illinois, and is currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying political science with a minor in Spanish. Prior to his internship in Durbin’s office, Antonio volunteered extensively at the university’s YMCA community center, where he conducted legal research on cases regarding immigration issues. Specifically, Antonio was able to assist undocumented community members hoping to become U.S. citizens.  As the proud son of two immigrants, he has a deep interest in assisting families that are seeking a better life for themselves and their children.  In the future, Antonio aims to become a lawyer with a concentration on environmental law or immigration policy reform.

“Working for Senator Durbin has been an incredibly rewarding experience,” Antonio said.   “It is very special to come into an office every day and witness firsthand how unwaveringly passionate everyone is toward serving the public.  I consider myself lucky to have worked under such an extraordinary staff that exposed me to a variety of interesting issues.  It is refreshing to interact with a Senator as outspoken as Senator Durbin, and it makes me immensely proud to serve in his office.  Seeing for myself the impact Senator Durbin has on Illinois, in addition to the U.S. and abroad, is the reassurance I needed in our current political climate.  This internship has made a stark difference in my personal career and inspires me to work for a better tomorrow.”

The intern responsibilities include assisting full-time staff in responding to constituent related topics, assisting with information inquiries, attending committee and agency hearings and briefings, researching legislative issues and policy questions, and observing floor proceedings.  During that time, the students gain firsthand knowledge of the legislative process, learn about the inner-workings of the federal government, and develop valuable research skills.