December 19, 2003

Prestigious Scholars Program Brings Latino College Student to Washington, DC, to Experience Federal Legislative Process

WASHINGTON, DC — How does federal health policy affect health care in Latino communities? What steps can federal policymakers take to better meet the health care needs of Latinos and other traditionally underserved populations? How can federal health policy improve minority communities’ access to quality health care? Next summer, 15 minority college students and recent graduates will learn the answers to these questions and much more as Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars.

The Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program brings talented college students and recent graduates to Washington, DC, to intern in congressional offices and to learn about health policy. The Scholars Program is open to all minority students, and Latino students are particularly encouraged to apply. The Scholars Program is now accepting applications for the session beginning in May 2004. The application deadline is January 31, 2004.

The Kaiser Family Foundation established the Scholars Program, which is based at Howard University, to honor the legacy of U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan, who was a Foundation Trustee. Through the nine-week program, Scholars gain valuable knowledge about federal legislative procedure and health policy issues, while further developing their critical thinking and leadership skills. In addition to an internship in a congressional office, Scholars participate in seminars and site visits to augment their knowledge of health care issues. They also write and present a health policy research paper.

Scholars Program alumna Jennifer Aguayo embarked on a career in the field of health policy after completing the Program in 2001. “I was amazed that such an exciting opportunity existed for students of color interested in health policy,” says Aguayo, who currently works as a Research Associate for the California Health Interview Survey - a collaborative project of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the California Department of Health Services and the Public Health Institute. “The Program heightened my interest and appreciation for health policy. It provided me with real exposure to how the process works, which has been important in helping me identify and provide feedback about health policy issues that our project is trying to inform.”

Eligible candidates for the Scholars Program must be U.S. citizens who are juniors, seniors or recent graduates of accredited U.S. colleges or universities. Current law, medical and graduate students are not eligible to apply to the Program. Candidates are selected based on academic performance, demonstrated leadership, potential, and interest in health policy. Scholars receive approximately $5,000 in support, which includes a stipend, daily expense allowance, airfare and lodging. While in Washington, DC, Scholars reside at Howard University.

Applications forms and additional information about the Program are available online at www.kff.org/docs/topics/jordanscholars.html. All application materials are due by January 30, 2004.

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