Mission: The Washington Leadership Program (WLP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building the next generation of leadership from within the South Asian American community through innovative programs. The organization was founded in August 2008 in memory of publisher and philanthropist Gopal Raju, who sponsored a program that placed over 170 students in Congressional internships over 15 years. The organization was founded by alumni of Mr. Raju's program who seek to continue his legacy and continue this vital program for the community.
Results: Since 1995, the WLP has given more than 170 South Asian American students the opportunity to intern in Washington, DC. Former Congressional leader Richard Gephardt has called it “one of the best programs of its kind on the Hill.”
Programs: The WLP is a national non-profit organization that is developing the next generation of American leadership from the South Asian community. Our program takes promising college students and places them in a Congressional office for an eight-week summer internship accompanied by a structured leadership curriculum. Students then complete a leadership project applying their learning from the summer and are inducted into a leadership community currently made up of 170 alumni from the 15 years of the program. In addition to the internship, participants attend special meetings and events to fully expose them to the South Asian American political Diaspora. Past programs and events have included meetings with South Asian American elected officials, Ambassadors and South Asians who are working in Congress, the federal government and local and state agencies.
The Washington Leadership Program provided my Congressional office with a great and qualified candidate in the summer of 2011. The WLP intern training and orientation went above and beyond many of the programs we have worked with. Our WLP intern started with a deeper understanding of the fast pace environment of Capitol Hill. Additionally, our intern communicated with my constituents, provided tours, helped manage the front office and staffed me at a couple Congressional events. Most importantly, the intern understood the crux and the value of networking - something that is a pillar for the WLP mission with their weekly meetings. This is definitely a top-tier DC internship programs. - Congressman Mike Honda
The Washington Leadership Program is amazing - the summer experience I had in Washington, DC was unforgettable. Taking advantage of the unique opportunities, policy discussions, speaking events, and close discussions with policymakers was very helpful for the rest of my college years and in guiding potential career paths. I would certainly recommend the WLP experience to all those interested in politics and public service - the memories and life experiences you take away will inspire you for a long time.