2014 Summer Institute

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A group of the nation’s most promising public servants recently converged on Washington, DC for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation’s 2014 Summer Institute Program. Participants in the program had been selected as 2013 Harry S. Truman Scholars on the basis of their collective leadership, academic achievement and commitment to making a difference. The percentage of Summer Institute participants from the overall class was unusually high, with 52 of the original 62 members of the 2013 class electing to join the program.

Summer Institute, which began in 1991 and has just completed its 24th session, was designed to introduce newly graduated Truman Scholars to the realities of working in public service in Washington, as well as to provide opportunities for community building within the Scholar cohort. The program consists of an eight-week internship or fellowship at a government agency or nonprofit organization. Placements for this year’s Summer Institute included the White House, the State Department, the Department of the Treasury, USDA, DC Public Schools, the World Bank, Human Rights Campaign, and the offices of six different United States Senators.

The summer began with a weeklong orientation in which participants visited the Supreme Court to meet with Justice Clarence Thomas, toured the Pentagon and spoke with the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, and visited Capitol Hill through the Stennis Fellows program. Panels featuring past Truman Scholars gave the newest class advice about careers, graduate school and acclimating to post-college responsibilities, and Summer Institute alumni introduced them to their home for the next two months.

When not working, the Summer Institute Scholars lived together in a dormitory on the George Washington University campus. Additional programming included a financial planning seminar, meetings with Senator Chris Coons and Representative Charlie Dent, and weekly presentations wherein each participant addressed the Summer Institute class about a topic of his or her choosing for fifteen minutes. The Scholars were also treated to a question and answer session with Dr. Madeleine Albright, the President of the Truman Foundation.

Following the program’s conclusion on July 27, some Scholars stayed in the Washington, DC area to participate in the Truman-Albright Fellows program, which was designed for those in yearlong placements at public service jobs before entering graduate school.

For more information about the Summer Institute program, please contact the Truman Foundation at (202) 395-7431.