Scholarship & Internship Program

Scholarship & Internship Program

Public Service Internships

CAPAL’s Public Service Internship Program places undergraduate and graduate students within the public sector in the Washington, DC area and throughout the United States. Intern duties may include policy or scientific research, project coordination and management, business, law, communications, and more. Placements may be in rural or urban areas, such as Alaska, Delaware, and California. In addition to their internship requirements, interns will participate in CAPAL’s programming such as the Washington Leadership Program, be paired with professional mentors based on similar field interests, and reflect on their internships with other CAPAL interns and scholars during regular cohort sessions. Applicants are asked to specify their placement preferences on the application, and those selected will be placed based on their interests and skills. These internships are open to ALL MAJORS.

Public Service Scholarships

CAPAL’s Public Service Scholarship Program awards scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students who will be serving in unpaid public service internships in the Washington, DC area. These scholarships are intended to enable outstanding students with leadership potential to work full-time and learn ways to influence their local communities and the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. Recipients of the scholarships are responsible for securing their own internship opportunity.

The CAPAL-MAASU Public Service Scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate student enrolled at a school that is a member of the Midwest Asian American Students Union (MAASU) All eligible scholarship applicants will be considered for the CAPAL-MAASU scholarship. Check if your school is a member here.

**All CAPAL Scholars & Interns, in addition to their full-time internship, are required to participate in CAPAL’s additional programming. An example of a previous summer schedule can be found here.**

**For scholarship applicants: Upon acceptance, you must print and submit the CAPAL Scholarship Program Participation Agreement if you have an internship secured already. If you are still in the process of securing an internship, please note this in your application in the appropriate short answer section. Once you have secured your internship you will be required to submit the Agreement.**

The 2022 Scholarship and Internship Application
is open! Apply by Monday, January 17, 2022

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Learn about applying

Applications for the 2022 summer program will open Monday, November 1 and close on Monday, January 17 11:59 pm ET. The online application must include all of the following components.

  • Application form
  • Personal statement (750 works max)
  • One-page resume
  • Current official or unofficial transcript
  • Letter of recommendation

If you have any other questions, please email hannah.park@capal.org.

**For scholarship applicants: Upon acceptance, you must print and submit the CAPAL Scholarship Program Participation Agreement if you have an internship secured already. If you are still in the process of securing an internship, please note this in your application in the appropriate short answer section. Once you have secured your internship you will be required to submit the Agreement.**

Application Review

  • The application review process will begin in January, and final applicants will be invited to interview with CAPAL and a potential internship placement office throughout the upcoming weeks
  • All interns will be placed by the end of April

For this opportunity, we strongly encourage and seek applications from people of color especially Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders; people with disabilities; and people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

• Only currently enrolled students are eligible for an internship or scholarship through CAPAL.
• U.S. citizenship is not required for CAPAL’s Public Service internships. Permanent residents, and in some instances, interns with appropriate work visas, are eligible to apply. Specific citizenship and residency requirements may vary by federal agency. CAPAL’s scholarships, however, are open to all students, regardless of residency or citizenship status.

Public Service Internship Requirements

• Fulfill responsibilities of a full-time internship within assigned public service organization.
• Attend all sessions of CAPAL’s Washington Leadership Program (WLP) as well as other summer events designated as required.
• Collaborate with assigned Community Action Project (CAP) team to create a finished project to be presented at CAPAL’s annual Closing Ceremony.
• Attend regular cohort sessions.
• Meet regularly with a paired mentor who matches the intern’s areas of interest, and complete a mentorship plan.

Public Service Scholarship Requirements

• All applicants must either have secured or applied to an unpaid public service internship in order to be eligible to receive a scholarship from CAPAL.

• Same requirements as listed for “Public Service Internship Requirements.”

2021 Placement Partners: 

USDA Agricultural Research Service • Papa Ola Lokahi • Act to Change • U.S. Office of Personnel Management • USDA Foreign Agricultural Service • Asian American LEAD • Peace Corps

Previous Placement Partners:

Google • United States Environmental Protection Agency • Truman Research Institute • USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

“To be eligible for the scholarship, what qualifies as an unpaid public service internship?”

    • Internships with federal, state, local or tribal government organizations, public child or family service agencies, 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, or tribal colleges or universities are public service internships.
    • To be eligible for the scholarship, the internship must be unpaid and in the Washington, DC area. In the case that the internship is virtual, the placement site can be based in the metro Washington DC area or throughout the U.S. 

“If I graduate in the spring, can I still apply for the summer program?”

    • Yes, you can certainly apply as a recent graduate. However, if you have been out of school for over a semester, you must be planning to attend grad school in the fall to be eligible.

“Can I apply to multiple programs?”

    • Yes, you can apply for the  Public Service Internship as well as the Scholarship program all in the same application.
    • You do not need to submit multiple applications to apply for each program.

“Does CAPAL cover housing expenses?”

    • Unfortunately, we are unable to cover housing costs for our Scholars and Interns, but we do provide a housing resource guide with helpful tips and links to make your housing search easier. 

“When will the program begin this year?”

    • Our orientation session for the 2022 Scholars and Interns cohort will take place on Saturday, June 4, 2022. The Scholars and Interns program officially begins on Monday, June 6 and concludes Friday, August 5. If your internship does not begin on June 6, your end date should be eight weeks after your proposed start date.

“My school operates on a trimester or quarterly system so I don’t finish finals until after the start date. Can I still apply?”

    • We advise that you indicate clearly in your application that you may need to start your internship at a later date. This start date can be negotiated with supervisors if you are awarded a CAPAL Scholarship or Internship.

“What does the work environment typically look like?”

    • For our DC-based internships, it is highly likely that you will work in an office setting. 
    • Internships throughout the U.S. can be a mix of office and sitework. 
    • As for our scholarship, the work environment will depend on the organization. 
    • **Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all 2021 programming was 100% virtual.**
    • **CAPAL is actively monitoring ongoing developments related to COVID-19 and will keep applicants informed.** 

“Does CAPAL give any other financial support aside from the $3,000 stipend?” 

    • CAPAL reimburses scholars and interns roundtrip travel to and from DC for in-person programming and a domestic destination. If you are selected for our program, an in-depth reimbursement policy will be sent to you along with other welcome materials. 

“Can I apply if I am part of a program where I will receive funding for an unpaid internship?”

    • CAPAL provides a $3000 stipend for all students, however in the case that the student is receiving funding for their internship from another source, CAPAL can match the student at a partner organization, supported by the student’s external source of funding in lieu of the CAPAL-issued stipend. The student can mark this indication in the online application form.

“I do not identify as Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (AANHPI), can I still apply?”

    • CAPAL internships and scholarships are open to students of all identities. However, an individual’s interest and commitment to Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander issues will be considered.

“Who can I reach out to if I have more questions?”

    • Hannah Park, CAPAL’s Programs and Operations Associate, will be the point of contact for the 2022 Scholarship and Internship program. Feel free to contact her at hannah.park@capal.org.

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