Week 5: The Beginning of the End of the NJLP Journey

By: Tulip Sengupta

When trying to come up with what to write about regarding NJLP and my internship experience, I struggled tremendously. I realized that there is no coherent way to consolidate everything this program has done for me, within a single blog post. This program has introduced me to brilliant people, from the other fellows to the various speakers during our weekly speakership series, to the one and only Ajit Pai. I recall stumbling upon this program during my frantic search to find something productive to do this summer. Scrolling through the bios of the past fellows and reading previous blog posts, I was overwhelmed, to say the least. The previous fellows were all tremendously qualified and passionate, prompting myself to question whether I should even bother applying. Realizing that this was an invaluable program, I decided to put my insecurity away and apply. And I can say without a doubt that this is one of the best spontaneous decisions I have made.

I have been interning at Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman’s district office in Ewing. When I received the news that I was placed at the Congresswoman’s office, I was taken aback. While I knew that NJLP would be placing us at local politicians’ offices, I had not expected to be placed at the Congresswoman’s office and was pleasantly surprised. During my time in the office, I have acquired a plethora of skills. From learning how to use a Xerox machine to learning how to aid constituents with casework, this internship has served as an integral stop on my path to the workplace and higher education. My days at the office consist of helping the Constituent Service Representatives in any capacity, answering constituent phone calls, helping write letters for various events, and any other tasks that need to be fulfilled. At the office, I am the only high schooler ; the other interns are all in college or have graduated. In fact, when I revealed that I was not a 90s kid, the office was shocked, as they had not fathomed how I was only 17 and already interning at a Congressional office. To be honest, I too have struggled to fully comprehend this. I have been submerged into office culture and the political world at only 17 and I have been thoroughly enjoying it. 

While the internship is a big component of NJLP, I consider the speakership series to be equally as important. During our “Law and Advocacy” speakership series, we heard from various speakers who provided us insight into their careers and gave us invaluable advice. The day began with Parimal Garg, Deputy Chief Counsel for Governor Phil Murphy. Mr. Garg recollected his days at Georgetown and Harvard Law School and told us about how his parents had envisioned him pursuing STEM, but his high school teachers encouraged him to pursue law and politics. He encouraged us to be willing to prove ourselves in order to work our way up the career ladder and to not have an ego or think we are better than our work or peers. He didn’t try to sugarcoat his journey to his current job. Mr. Garg was honest with us and this was what we appreciated the most. 

The next speaker was Nadia Hussain, the Campaign Director for Maternal Justice at Moms Rising and a Board Member for the ACLU. Ms. Hussain gave us a brief summary of her life and her journey to where she is today. She is Bangladeshi, like myself, so I could relate to her in many ways when she described her family life and childhood. Ms. Hussain emphasized to us that working in public service does not necessarily mean you have to be in a legislative position ; if you have a goal that you truly care about, you can most definitely find a way to incorporate it into your life. She also told us that becoming an adult doesn’t mean all of your problems will suddenly vanish and you will have complete control of your life. She said that no one actually knows what they’re doing, and as a rising senior beginning her college applications and thinking more and more about her future, this was reassuring and put me at ease, at least temporarily..

The third speaker was Satish Poondi, a partner at Wilentz Law Firm and the Legal Advisor for the Indian Business Association. Mr. Poondi has been kind enough to host us at his law firm for the past few weeks. He talked about his experience in health care regulatory law after going to Rutgers Pharmacy School and then Rutgers Law School. Mr. Poondi gave us advice regarding finding our passion and figuring out a way to incorporate it into all aspects of our lives.

We concluded the day with Sonia Das, Vice President of Government Affairs for Advocacy & Management Group, and Patti McGuire, a lobbyist for the Princeton Public Affairs. Ms. Das and Ms. McGuire have spent many years in the political sphere, serving in various offices and campaigns. The two stressed the trifecta of policy, politics, and people. Additionally, they encouraged us to always be holistic and focus on the big picture. What stood out most about these two women was their willingness to help. As we told them our specific career goals, Ms. Das and Ms. McGuire gave us names of people to reach out to and told us to reference the two women when contacting these people. I believe this encounter perfectly exemplifies the mission of NJLP and how it seeks to steer the youth to a brighter future.

With one more week left of NJLP, I realize how much I have grown as a person through this program. I have gone from a quiet girl that struggled to say hello to people to someone who is actively seeking to meet new people. As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build the youth for our future,” and I believe this encompasses precisely what NJLP has done for me and the other fellows. 

Week 4: Interns Settling In, Internships Taking Off

By: Ojas Chitnis

When I was asked to write the blog post for this week, I was astounded by how hard it was. The most remarkable thing about this week was how unremarkable it seemed.

This week was when I first realized that my internship had become normal to me. I was finally settling into my new work environment. I work in a relatively small office, the Office of Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak in Edison, however there was still a learning curve at the beginning. Through my experiences over the past three weeks, the internship has begun to feel less foreign and more approachable.

Throughout the past week, I have been working with my fellow interns in the office to finalize bill sponsorships, research legislation, and reach out to constituents. This week provided a great leadership experience, as the interns were the ones running the office. Our Legislative Director, Sam Berzok, who is the only staff in the office the whole day, was enjoying a vacation in the Caribbean, leaving all the responsibility to us. We prepared a summer newsletter for the Assemblyman and cleaned up his computer, making sure that when the legislative session opened, the Assemblyman would be able to focus on the issues important his constituents.

We were also introduced to Jill Yu, one of the key leaders of the antibullying organization ActToChange. All of the fellows are working on a capstone project, supervised by Ms. Yu, that we will be proud to show you in the future. Ms. Yu has provided us with a number of tools which youth can use to stop bullying in their communities. This is increasingly important, as bullying against Asian Americans is becoming increasingly prevalent. It is the responsibility 

At the speakership series on Saturday, it was great to hear from several political leaders, who spoke to us about how we can get involved in political campaigns. The speakers included:

  • Shariq Ahmad, Edison Democratic Municipal Chair/ Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak 

  • Al Barlas, Essex County Republican Committee Chairman/ Former Chief of Staff to Senator Kevin O’Toole 

  • David Brown, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman

  • Missy Balmir, Director of African-American Outreach - Bob Menendez for Senate 

  • Mohammed Hameeduddin, Mayor – Teaneck

Each speaker provided great insight into how they first became involved in New Jersey politics and how we, as youth leaders, can make an impact on campaigns in our local communities. It was especially good to hear their encouraging words, as they inspired us to take up a more active role in politics.

When I first found out that I was going to be a Fellow in the New Jersey Leadership Program, I had not worked extensively in politics. My previous work had focused more on community service and social action. The internship and working with my fellow’s cohort has given me invaluable experience, which has pushed me to get more involved with politics on a local level.

My fascination with government has always been how government can be used to help its constituents. It has been a great pleasure of mine to work on constituent cases and outreach. Recently, the Assemblyman’s office has been working with other agencies to see how the South River water situation can be handled. This, among other cases, is why I have enjoyed working in the Assemblyman’s office so much.

My experiences have been echoed by the entire fellow’s class. For many of us, this is our first work experience. The fellowship has made me much more comfortable working in an office and has given me insight into the political process.

The lessons that I have learned through this internship have reinforced my drive to make a difference in my community and has given me an avenue to do so. I so grateful to Amit and the entire NJLP team for the opportunities that they have provided me and my fellows cohort. It’s hard to think that our internships are more than halfway completed. Nonetheless, I am grateful for the wonderful experiences that will shape my actions going forward. 

In the words of acclaimed American author Ray Bradbury, “Life is trying things to see if they work”. This internship, like life, has been about trying new things, leading to all the lessons that I have learned over the past few weeks. It has been a great experience, which will surely stick with me for the rest of my life. 

Week 3— Developing Skills, Capitol Hill, & Coffee Spills

By Yajur Sriraman 

“If you’re gonna get wet, get soaked.”

At my high school (Delbarton School), esteemed baseball coach Brian Fleury’s famous quote serves as a fundamental value of what the school tries to impart in its students. The idea behind this simple statement is as follows: if you’re going to sign up to do something, take every opportunity associated with it, embrace every unique challenge head-on, and learn to become uncomfortable because it probably means you’re doing something right.

When I learned that I would be an NJLP Fellow for the summer of 2019, I was stoked to be able to get a glimpse of the inner workings of government! However, when Amit asked me if I would like to intern in Trenton at the Department of Treasury, I’ll admit I was equal parts apprehensive and shocked. Not only was I astonished to receive such an opportunity historically reserved for college students, but also I was not expecting a 3-hour-plus round trip commute to be added to my daily summer schedule. Senior summer is when most college-bound seniors relax for one last time before the grind of college beings. As apprehensive as I was about adding something this big to my summer schedule, the opportunity was too good to pass up. “If you’re gonna get wet, get soaked.”

After a 25 minute drive to Metro Park Station, 1 hour train to Trenton, and an additional 10 minutes to West State Street, a typical day at the office for me begins at 8:30 AM. Usually, I have a sit-down meeting with NJ Chief Diversity Officer, Hester Agudosi, Esq as we discuss the plans for the day. Through our discussions, I feel a sense of fulfillment, knowing that I’m not just filing papers or doing “intern” work, but rather I am a key component of a departmental mission. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion was instituted by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2018 to tie the opportunities of NJ’s billion-dollar economy to minority-owned business owners, and to empower them with the tools to succeed. The current goal: to maximize turnout to the September 2019 Minority, Women, and Veteran-Owned Business (MWVOB) Summit.

Up to this point, I have been directly involved in marketing efforts for the summit. I have interacted in person and via phone call with minority business owners throughout the state, and have pitched the event to various NJ college/university administrators. I have also organized contact information of these organizations in order to send flyers and information to them leading up to the summit. In addition, I assisted in the preparation of Agudosi’s presentation about Women Business Owners, by gathering info/statistics and framing both a presentation narrative along with actionable steps to empower female entrepreneurs.

In the coming weeks, I’m excited to continue being actively involved in the office’s efforts. I will be helping to launch social media accounts specific to the event, as well as preparing a script for Governor Phil Murphy’s video commercial for the event. 2 weeks down, 4 to go. I couldn’t have asked for a more engaging and fulfilling internship experience than what I’ve had in Trenton up to this point.

(Part 2) NJLP’s Capitol Hill Adventures: From Fellows to Friends

The annual NJLP trip to Washington DC started at the ungodly hour of 4:00am, when we all piled into a yellow school bus that had just arrived half an hour late, much to our collective chagrin. As we all attempted to sleep on the morning bus ride, excessive potholes provided for many rude and vigorous awakenings, so we decided that chatting with each other was the best option. Previously, in our brief meetings at the speakership series, the eight of us fellows had been mostly business. We had all been focused on the speakers, and to some extent making good impressions on the adults in the room. The four hour bus ride was our time to finally be real people with each other. Formal conversations included talking about mutual friends, sports, politics, and the college process, but eventually we were just joking around and having a good time. And when Ashana rather dramatically spilled her coffee, there were many laughs to go around.

By the time we got to DC, we were all energized for the day. Our energy would soon disappear in DC’s scorching hot 110 degree heat index! Despite being in the heat in oppressive formal clothes, we all embraced the torturous weather and started the day off with a tour of the White House East Wing. We all agreed that the actual building structure was very regal, and just being in such a historic place was something special to remember forever. We then ventured over to the headquarters of The Daily Caller, where we met with CEO Neil Patel, who not only runs the newspaper but also runs his own hedge fund, and was a former policy advisor under Vice President Dick Cheney. We discussed the importance of bipartisanship, viewing the other side as “wrong” not “evil,” and how to build a unique career. Afterwards, we visited Madalene Meilke at APAICS, and learned about the organization’s inspirational goals and diversity initiatives, while snacking on some sandwiches for lunch.

Then, we visited the FCC to speak with Nirali Patel, wireline advisor to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. She shared with us her background story, including the fact that she is an alum of UNC Chapel Hill. Since I am going to Duke next year, I joked around with her about our schools’ bitter rivalry with each other which provided for a fun moment. As the session was about to wrap up, the back door to the meeting room opened, and out popped a very familiar face: Chairman Ajit Pai himself. We had all seen him in the news, as he was infamous in his lead role in the controversial repeal of net neutrality. Despite the fact that all of us disagreed with him politically, we were star struck by his presence and tried to get as much insight from him as we could in the few minutes that he was able to stop by. We even got to meet his famous Reese’s mug!

The Supreme Court was a bit of a disappointment, since the Court was temporarily closed for touring due to the recent passing of Retired Justice John Paul Stevens. However, we were able to have an amazing discussion with Mica Moore, a recently appointed clerk for Justice Elena Kagan! She explained to us the career paths of becoming a lawyer, and what she is excited about in clerking in the Supreme Court. Because she was very young, we all found her to be super relatable and felt like hopefully we could see ourselves in her shoes in the future.

The last stop of the day, was a stacked Congressional panel which included the following individuals:

-  Gautam Raghavan, Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

- Moh Sharma, Member Services and Outreach Advisor, U.S. House of Representatives

- Priyanka Hooghan, Staff Director - Subcommittee on Environment, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology

- Kapil Sharma, Vice President for Government and Public Affairs - Wipro North America

 From them we learned many important and valuable life lessons. Gautam Raghavan taught us the important of being authentic and staying true to oneself. Priyanka Hooghan taught us the value in learning a specialized skillset in college rather than learning about politics in general. Moh Sharma taught us the importance of networking and maintaining connections. And Kapil Sharma educated us on how critical communication skills are in the working world, and that we should practice our communication wherever we go.

 After some Domino’s pizza and selfies on Capitol Hill, it was time to head back home. We reflected on all the fun proceedings of the day, and lamented that it was coming to an end so soon. The ride home was an absolute blast! We had all loosened up with each other over the course of the day and talked about anything and everything. The highlight of the ride home was definitely the amount of coffee spilled. Seriously, it was getting out of hand, but also extremely hilarious at the same time. We then engaged in a fun conversation with our chaperone Alex on how sitting is the new smoking, and how standing desks are the new wave. After 19 hours awake together as a group, it was finally time for the trip to come to an end.   

From fellows to friends. The transformation of our group’s dynamic on July 19th proved how important the annual Washington DC Trip is to this program. For any future fellows or applicants that are reading this—get excited! It’s a once in a life time opportunity.

And to future fellows who are apprehensive of a 20 hour day with no sleep (as I was): “If you’re gonna get wet. Get soaked.”

Week 2: Trial by Fire, or Senior Freeze!

By: Sheaa Amin

The day was July 8th, 2019.

I turned to my left and turned off the alarm ringing at 6 am and stared at my ceiling. It was the first day of my internship at Senator Vin Gopal’s office in Tinton Falls. As a rising senior in high school, this internship was going to be a lot of firsts: first time driving on the parkway by myself, the first time working in an office where I didn’t know anyone, and my first time being on my own in a completely new area. I tried preparing for my first day the best I could. The day before, I did a trial run of the car ride with my mom so I would have a better idea of where I am going on my first day. However, no trial is complete without setbacks: ten minutes in, my GPS lost signal and I ended up taking a wrong exit. Then, as my mom and I panicked to figure out where we were, we saw a toll booth approaching us. I had forgotten the EZPass! Ultimately, I figured out how to pay the toll and get home, and after a close analysis of Google Maps, my mom and I managed to make our way south to the Senator’s office. Fearful of getting lost on my first day, I charged one of my old phones, turned on the GPS, and connected it to my current phone’s hotspot so I had two navigation directions going on at the same time. I set out my outfit the night before (and changed it at least ten times in the morning) and thought about how I would present myself, as recommended by the speakers from our Week 1 speakership series.

I was greeted warmly at the office by Aislinn, the Senator’s Policy Director, and Toni, the Senator’s Deputy Chief of Staff who was working remotely for the day, who instructed me to read up on Senator Gopal’s existing bills and to familiarize myself with his key areas of concern. I then updated his senate voting history in a spreadsheet and worked on a bill briefing regarding a hiring pool for teachers who were laid off due to cuts in state funding. During my last thirty minutes, I was instructed to work on a constituent concern that was extremely interesting. The constituent had read a news story on the Washington Post about how the DMV facial recognition software is being used by the FBI and ICE. My task was to research whether the state of NJ uses facial recognition software in the DMV, if formal agreements with a federal agency regarding the use of the software existed, and to look into bills regulating the use of facial recognition software. It was a very unique way to end a fantastic day!

My next few tasks took me multiple days to complete. I was tasked with updating spreadsheets with specific information, calling senior citizens in regard to the Senior Reimbursement Program (“Senior Freeze” program). I also dealt with phone calls when our scheduler was out and am currently tasked with a research project regarding Veteran reciprocity. My primary work in the office deals with research, organization, and data collection.

On Wednesday, Senator Gopal came into the office and thanked us all for our hard work. The best part of my office is most definitely the inclusivity and the ease of conversation. My questions always felt welcomed, and my input was always appreciated. Truthfully out of laziness, I programmed one of the spreadsheets to automatically highlight rows if I used a specific phrase, making my data collecting more efficient. However, this act greatly impressed my Deputy Chief of Staff who had me teach herself and the other interns how to do the same in order to create unification within our office's documents. The interns range from sophomores in high school to seniors in college, but there is no exclusion within the office. The older interns actively give us advice and seek to get to know us, which has been super helpful.

In regard to my internship, I look forward to attending an Abortion Access Messaging Training Session with the staff at my office. Senator Gopal does phenomenal work advocating for the rights of his constituents and minority groups, and I look forward to seeing his current proposals progress into legislation.

I ended my first week by attending NJLP’s second Speakership series, held at the office of Wilentz, Goldman, and Spitzer. Though my day started rough as I got lost trying to find the office, the scheduled speakers were absolutely phenomenal. The first speaker of the day was Freeholder Shanti Narra of Middlesex County, who is the first South Asian freeholder in the state of New Jersey. She was also the first female South Asian councilwoman when she acted on the North Brunswick Council ten years ago. She was joined by Freeholder Assad Akhter of Passaic County. Mrs. Narra spoke of the lack of female South Asian representation in government, and how her progression in government is just the beginning of such representation. She encouraged us fellows to acknowledge and embrace our pasts, and acknowledging hers was crucial to her political career. Mr. Akhter encouraged us to create a plan for our futures- while we don’t have to follow it exactly, having a plan will connect us with mentors who can better guide us in our future pursuits. Both speakers emphasized that all politics is local, and hence having connections and networking is crucial.

Our third speaker of the day was Diane Gutierrez Scaccetti who is the commissioner at the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Our discussion with her resonated with me the most, as she reminded us that our passions are what drive us and to hold true to who you are. A future in politics does not mean you have to give up music, math, or sports- by incorporating what you love in what you do, you will love what you do. She told us to come out of college “being something”- that is, come out of college being something that is desirable in the work market (be a teacher, an engineer, a lawyer- be something). Mrs. Gutierrez Scaccetti often repeated the phrases “touch everything you do” and “keep your mind open” to emphasize to us fellows that we are still growing and learning, and hence we should not close ourselves off from opportunities because of what we think we want. Her advice was different than advice I had heard before, and I am extremely grateful for it.

Our fourth speaker was Assemblyman Daniel Benson who represents the 14th Legislative District in New Jersey. When he told us about how he got started in politics, I found myself relating to many aspects of his story. Prior to his story, I had not heard of a politician who also pursued the sciences in college in conjunction to a humanities degree. We found other points in common, as we were both involved with Kiwanis (Key Club at the high school level) and he works as a consultant at the company my dad works for. He emphasized to us the importance of innovation and the relationship between science and politics in our legislature. As the chair of the Transportation and Independent Services committee in the assembly, he talked to us about how innovation impacts the work our government does to improve the lives of constituents, and how embracing technology is the future. His discussion provided new guidance to us fellows about how we approach our future endeavors.

Our final “speaker” consisted of a panel of local officials, including Cherry Hill Councilwoman Sangeeta Doshi, Passaic Councilman Salim Patel, Robbinsville Councilman Dan Schuberth, and former Edison Councilwoman Sapana Shah. This panel of speakers was very candid in how they got to where they did and the impact they have had on their communities. They emphasized the difference between acting on behalf of politics and policy and the corruption they have experienced in the name of acting upon politics. Ms. Shah also discussed the difficulty of navigating through the workplace environment as women, especially South Asian women, and how men and women in coming generations need to work together to make the workplace more welcoming of both genders.

The greatest takeaway from this week’s panel was this: Don’t close your mind to what the future has for you- embrace every opportunity. A lot of getting to a position in politics is from connections you develop working on campaigns and being involved in the community. Additionally, this anecdote was present in each speaker’s discussion: there will be rocks in your path; rather than dwelling on the rock, find a way to move past it and learn from it. This speakership series changed the way I am viewing my future plans, and I look forward to learning more from upcoming speakership series. But before that, my cohort and myself look forward to attending a trip to Washington D.C. on July 19th during which we will visit the White House, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court.

Week 1 – Starting NJLP: New Friends, Inspiring Speakers & Early Alarms

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By: Moha Trivedi

I was woken by the sound of my blaring alarm as I rubbed my eyes and hesitantly checked the time: 6:45 AM. Immediately falling back into bed, my mind raced with all the thoughts I had been thinking about since I was accepted as a New Jersey Leadership Program (NJLP) Fellow. Is this internship going to be a great experience or one of the worst I have ever had? Am I even qualified to be a fellow? What if the group of fellows hate me, or even worse, just do not talk about anything other than politics or their job? Checking the clock once again, I dragged myself out of bed and got dressed in my business professional attire, wondering why I was doing this program. 

Intimidated as I was walking into the Hoagland Longo Law Firm in New Brunswick, I was disarmed by the warm smiles of our Program Directors Amit Jani and Vinay Limbachia, who greeted me and introduced themselves at the door. However, this intimidation returned as all eight of the fellows piled onto couches on the main floor, waiting to be called down to begin the day. The best way to describe the encounter would probably be long bouts of awkward silence splattered with forced conversation, but these emotions did not last long at all. After completing the obligatory introductions including name, grade, school, and placement, the recent news of Kawhi Leonard’s trade became the new topic of conversation! This time to ourselves as a cohort served as the first and arguably the most important icebreaker we had throughout the day as that was our first connection as a group. 

Regarding the day itself, it was long and tiring, but informative and fun. Starting with a breakfast where we were pushed not to eat in awkward silence, we listened to numerous speakers and respected individuals who were eager to share their knowledge and experiences with us. Beginning the day’s speakers with Middlesex County Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, we were inspired through his comedic and very personal storytelling style. Hearing about a government official’s journey firsthand was impactful, especially because he did not emerge into his position in the stereotypical way someone enters government.

The lesson on New Jersey government from Kristian Stout was not a lecture about facts like I expected, rather an open discussion about the power of counties in New Jersey vs other states and how small towns actually carry a large impact among many other topics. Learning from Internship Coordinators from Congressman Frank Pallone Jr’s office, Alex Maldonado and Dawn Rebscher, provided us their firsthand experience about what to realistically expect from our internship. But more importantly, we learned how we should behave and present ourselves to be the best interns we possibly could. I believed this to be especially helpful because we were hearing tips from individuals who were the supervisors of interns themselves. This was followed by an engaging hands on presentation about professionalism in the workplace by Priya Gopal, who helped us identify what made us all unique and key assets to an office. 

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Personally, I found that the NJLP Alumni Panel to be one of the most interesting parts of the day. The panel consisted of former NJLP Fellows throughout the last four years; Meet Patel, Eshika Kaul, Aadi Kulkarni, and Gita Ganti, who were all open and excited to share their experiences and honest opinions about their internship and the fellowship program. They encouraged us to ask questions, be honest, and gave us valuable advice about not only how to be successful in the upcoming six weeks, but how we should continue to use the skills and knowledge gained in that time for the rest of our lives. Learning from a group of people who were exactly in our positions not a long time ago was refreshing as they truly understood our feelings and concerns about the big task that we had all taken on. 

Throughout the day, I was honored to be part of such an amazing, intelligent, funny, and interesting group of individuals. Talking about everything from our favorite TV shows, racism in society, antitrusts (which I’m pretty sure we still do not understand) to how Elvis can emerge from an egg, a group of high-schoolers with varying interests and personalities bonded in the eight hours we spent together. 

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By the end of the day, my reason for participating as a Fellow in the NJLP Fellowship Program became clear once again. I wanted to enact change, be a part of something bigger than myself, learn about the inner workings and complexities of government, all while increasing and supporting South Asian representation in the governmental system of the United States. I left the law firm feeling inspired, empowered, still a little bit intimidated, but most of all excited to start my journey as a high school intern and a NJLP Youth Fellow with the new group of friends I met. 

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