Darien, Illinois Student Interns in Durbin's Washington, DC Senate Office

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Darien, Illinois native Michael Jurkash spent three months this summer interning for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in his Capitol Hill office. Each year, close to 50 interns work in Durbin’s Washington, D.C. office. Interns process constituent requests and calls, help with legislative duties, and lead Capitol tours for Illinois residents visiting Washington, D.C. During that time, they gain firsthand knowledge of the legislative process, learn about the inner-workings of the federal government, and develop valuable research skills.
“I started my career on Capitol Hill as a college intern for Senator Paul Douglas (D-IL),” Senator 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. It was one of the most exciting things I had ever done; a student from East St. Louis, Illinois was going to work in the office of a U.S. Senator. 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.”
Michael grew up in Darien, Illinois. He is a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he studies Political Science and Spanish. After learning about the challenges facing Milwaukee Public Schools, Michael became passionate about educational equity. Last semester, he worked for a non-profit that helps teachers get involved in local government. Michael is also interested in issues of foreign affairs, defense and the judicial branch.
“I have really enjoyed contributing to the daily business of the Senator's D.C. office this summer,” said Michael. “Learning about the legislative process is a valuable skill for anyone seeking to make a positive difference today. I am surely blessed to have been working in the office of one of those people.”
The internship is designed to provide interns with the experience in the core functions of a Senate office and allow them to gain a better understanding of the federal legislative process. Their responsibilities include assisting full-time staff in responding to constituent requests, assisting with information inquiries, attending committee and agency hearings and briefings, researching legislative issues and policy questions, observing floor proceedings, and attending meetings related to specific legislation.