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The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Congressional Fellows Program was initiated in 1976 as the Graduate Intern Program. It was motivated by concern that Black professionals were seriously under-represented on Capitol Hill. In 1982, the CBCF expanded the internships into more in-depth nine-month Fellowships to allow for greater research and public policy analysis opportunities. Since its inception, more than 150 individuals have served as Fellows and many have gone on to full-time positions on Capitol Hill and in prominent public policy organizations.

Fellows gain invaluable experience as they assist in the development of legislative and public policy initiatives while working as congressional staff. Fellows work 40 hours per week on a range of staff assignments, including conducting research and analysis, responding to constituent mail, drafting legislation, and coordinating logistics and public testimony for congressional hearings. To maximize the Fellowship experience, Fellows are also placed in the offices of federal agencies or public policy institutes during the congressional recess. This exposure allows Fellows to gain insight into how such agencies interact with Congress.

Educational enrichment is a major element of the Fellowship Program. Fellows receive an extensive orientation to Capitol Hill and regularly meet with Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other congressional leaders, federal government officials and public policy experts. Fellows are also exposed to a broad range of issues and policies through a series of seminars and forums. Through participation in the CBCF Leadership Development Series, Fellows acquire the tools needed for positions of leadership. The program also includes a professional development component that provides Fellows with career counseling and a network of valuable contacts in public policy, education, government and business.

During the Fellowship year, Fellows are required to maintain a daily journal and assignment logs. Each Fellow will coordinate a forum designed to engage young professionals in discussions about current public policy issues and as a team, each class of Fellows is required to develop and implement a community service project. Fellows will also write and present a research paper related to a policy issue of concern to the Member with whom the Fellow is working and upon completion, Fellows will submit a professional portfolio.

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An African American Board Game Of Wealth & Success.

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