McHenry, Illinois Student Interns in Durbin’s Washington, DC Senate Office
[WASHINGTON, DC] – McHenry, Illinois student Aldair Arriola-Gomez 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. Interns process constituent requests, help with legislative duties, and lead Capitol tours for Illinois residents visiting Washington. 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.”
Arriola-Gomez is a rising junior at Pomona College studying International Relations with a concentration on Latin America. Arriola-Gomez is also a Dreamer – a student who was brought to the United States when he was a child and is currently working under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. Working with Senator Durbin’s Capitol Hill staff has given him a new perspective on our nation’s government.
“I’ve always been interested in pursuing a career in public service and this internship has solidified that interest for me,” said Arriola-Gomez. “I’m thankful for Senator Durbin’s amazing and approachable staff as well as a great cohort of interns. I’ve been able to discover issues that affect our communities and to pursue research related to my interests.”
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 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.
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