The Bowdoin Public Service Initiative (BPS) announced its first cohort of 10 sophomores and five juniors to take part in a 7-week program in Washington, D.C., and the BPS fellowship program, respectively, last Friday.
BPS in Washington allows sophomores to explore public service by traveling to the nation’s capital to meet and network with alumni and other public service representatives. While there, these students will also tour important landmarks such as the U.S. Capitol Building and the Pentagon.
BPS Fellows, who are juniors, receive support in applying to, securing and funding 10-week-long summer internships in Washington, D.C. in the public service or government sector. The program provides a $5,000 internship grant for each of the five fellows. The cohort is made up entirely of students majoring in government and legal studies, although Sarah Chingos, associate director for public service, expressed that the major was not a prerequisite.
Two of the five fellows have already secured internships with the State Department for next summer. Reimi Pieters ’19 will be working with the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Isabel Udell ’19 will be working at the Pakistan desk.
Chingos said that the applicant pool for both programs was extremely competitive.
“It speaks really broadly to [students’] level of interest and engagement in public service and exploring careers and opportunities to serve the common good through public service [as well as their interest in] government work,” she said.
This past Monday, the group met with former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell ’54, H’83 when he visited campus.
“We were so proud of our students on Monday when they had an opportunity to spend an hour with [Mitchell],” said Chingos. “It was an absolute honor for us to spend time with him and [for] our students to ask him direct questions about his life in public service and the skills necessary to pursue a career in that area. It was really inspirational.”