Kankakee, Illinois Student Interns In Durbin's Washington, DC Senate Office

WASHINGTON, DC] – Kankakee native Lakeisha Steele spent two months this summer interning for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), working behind the scenes in the Senator’s Capitol Hill office. Each year, close to 50 interns work in Durbin’s Washington, D.C., office. Judiciary Interns help committee staff and Senator Durbin prepare for hearings while also assisting with other legislative duties. 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.

“Forty-five years ago, 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.” 


After eight years of working in the private sector, Steele decided to follow her passion of pursuing a career in public service. She recently graduated from American University with a Master of Public Administration concentrating on national security.

 “I pursued an internship with Senator Durbin’s office in order to have an opportunity to experience our government in action.  I am excited to use my knowledge and skills to serve the public interest and the people of Illinois,” Steele said.


The internship program is designed to provide interns with 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 various 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.