The summer of 2016 was an eventful and fun time for our interns! We got the chance to hear from Bernie Sanders, former presidential candidate, and see history made as the Democratic Party nominated the first female presidential candidate in the history of our nation. With every seemingly ordinary conversation, seminar, and panel, our interns found themselves surrounded by social justice discussions, politically controversial but important topics, and working professionals who are passionate about what they do.
One of the most rewarding parts of the summer was connecting with other Cal alumni, here in D.C. At CITC founder Dr. McGinnis’ annual barbeque, we got to learn how the program has evolved and the humble origins from which it began. Some students were also able to attend the Annual Gala for the D.C. Alumni Club where we learned of the many individuals who support our program. We were inspired by the accomplished speakers and the alumni who bring us endless support through their words and their contributions. Our pool party at the Watergate Hotel, thanks to the generosity of CITC alumnus George Arnstein, was phenomenal and a great way to enjoy the city and its rich history.
With your continued support, we can further strengthen the Cal in the Capital community and continue to make D.C. Bear Territory! Connect with us and check out our website for updates on the program’s goals, its impact on students, and ways to get involved.
Esther Hana Kim, Alumni & Employer Outreach Director
Marie Kim, Operations, Finance & Housing Director
Qingyang Celine Song, Recruitment & Marketing Director
Sofia Gonzalez Platas, Academic & Events Director
How Could I Not Stay Involved in Cal in the Capital?
Q&A with alumna Victoria Brademan, Class of 1973 with a BA in French, and Class of 1980 with a JD in Law from Boalt Hall School of Law
How were you involved in Cal in the Capital?
I was a Cal in the Capital (CITC) intern in 1972 and 1973, and was a co-director for its 1972-73 program. I got involved in a funny way. In those days you had to be at least a junior to participate in CITC. Selection interviews were conducted by former CITC interns. For my junior year, I was studying abroad in France. So I wasn’t on campus in Berkeley that fall when the required CITC interviews took place. Bummer!
One day I met two strangers on a train trip from Bordeaux to Madrid. They turned out to be Cal grads who had just completed a summer in Washington, D.C. as CITC interns! So they conducted an impromptu interview with me on the train and recommended me for CITC. I got selected from abroad!
Why do you continue to be involved in Cal in the Capital? What do you get from continuing to be involved?
CITC did so much for me. How could I not stay involved and give back? CITC started a chain of relationships with Cal alumni that continues to benefit me to this day, both professionally and socially. Talk about networking! I got to know staff at the California Alumni Association (CAA), which sponsored CITC for many years. That led to my being elected as the youngest ever member of the CAA Board of Directors. After moving to New York City, I helped rejuvenate the Cal Alumni Club of New York and was awarded the California Alumni Citation for my efforts. Today I live in the Washington, D.C. area and serve on the local Committee for Cal in the Capital. We assist CITC in finding internships, mentoring interns, planning summer events, and general trouble-shooting. Most importantly we assist in raising money.
Why is it important for alumni to be involved and how can they get involved?
I want to appeal to CITC alumni in particular.
CITC remains one of the most well regarded summer internship programs in Washington, D.C. These days few internships are salaried. To participate in CITC costs each intern over $5,000 (for travel to D.C.; housing at the UC Center in Washington, D.C; meals; daily commuting costs; and incidental expenses). These high costs preclude many students from participating. UC’s budget crisis means there is drastically less money to support student programs like CITC.
It’s time for alumni to come to the rescue in a big way. If you are a former CITC intern, my fondest hope is that you will reconnect with this program and contribute financially to its continued success on a yearly basis.
CITC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. It needs your help to survive and thrive. The Cal in the Capital 50th Anniversary Endowment Fund was created to address this need. Our goal is to raise $5 million dollars for this endowed fund over a five-year period. The earnings from this fund will be used to offset housing costs in D.C. for CITC interns. Please go to The Cal in the Capital 50th Anniversary Endowment.
Cal in the Capital makes dreams a reality
Jessica Son, Class of 2017, Major in Political Science
Hometown: La Canada
Interning in Washington, D.C. is about taking advantage of every opportunity and moment. Despite its small size, I found D.C. to be packed to the brim with passion and a hunger to make a difference in the world. No one wastes a second: every metro ride is an opportunity to squeeze in one more chapter of reading; each happy hour brings the possibility of meeting one more person. Spending the summer in this unique city was a blessing and a constant eye-opener. I am so thankful to Cal in the Capital for making my dream a reality.
Pranay Lolabattu, Class of 2019, Major in Sociology
Hometown: San Jose
This past summer, I worked for Nonviolence International (NI), a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and learned several new skills and tasks. NI works to support nonviolent action movements around the world, and to support activists working in critical regions. NI has a small office and a very friendly, egalitarian working environment where each staff member or intern can take part in several projects of their choosing. I learned by doing several different tasks, such as digitizing old paper files, working with constituent management software, planning budgets, writing articles, and searching for funding sources. NI staff are also very well connected with scholars world-wide and big players in the nonprofit sector. We often got the chance to speak with individuals from around the globe who came into our office to have an open discussion. For instance, I met a group of Gandhian men from India, a peace activist from New Zealand working towards nuclear disarmament, a man from Syria, and several others, over the course of just two months. The religious diversity was great, and the conversations we had in the office were even better.
Esther Kim, Class of 2017, Major in Political Science
Unbeknownst to the directors and interns at CITC, the Alumni Club has been working tirelessly for three years to create an endowment for our program. It is well known that being a part of CITC requires being able to pay a large sum in order to live in the UCDC Center, and to simply survive in a city with such a high cost of living. For most of us in the program working as unpaid interns, the costs of this experience are high, and the alumni are well aware of our struggle. For myself, hearing our alumni speak of our program with pride while working so hard to cover costs for us was moving. I had no idea that our alumni cared so deeply for the success of our students. I had no idea that people who had never met me were fighting for me and for a program that has opened countless doors for me.
Esther is a senior majoring in Political Science, concentrating on international relations with specific interests in East Asia. She is the Alumni and Employer Outreach Director for Cal in the Capital in 2016–17. On campus, Esther has been involved with undergraduate research with the Political Science Department and engaging the Asian American Pacific Islander community. As part of CITC last summer, Esther interned for the US Agency for International Development, a truly rewarding experience that taught her about the intersection between organizations, foreign policy, and development aid. After graduation, she hopes to return to Washington, D.C., to work in international relations within the government. As a director this year, she is excited to connect CITC students with CITC alumni throughout the summer and to be a part of this amazing program for another year.
Marie Kim is a fourth-year Sociology major, concentrating on economy and business. She is the Operations, Finance, and Housing Director for Cal in the Capital in 2016–17. Marie is a transfer student who had been involved in undergraduate research, ASUC, and the ESL Program before coming to Berkeley. At Berkeley, she became involved in the Committee for Korea Studies as a General Meetings Coordinator. During her CITC internship last summer, Marie served as a Research Intern for The Committee for Economic Development, focused on raising awareness about the country's fiscal outlook and creating government accountability. She is thankful for the rewarding experience and all that she learned in the process. She is proud to step into the role of student director and is excited to share her experience with the new cohort of CITC interns.
Celine Song is a junior double majoring in Chemistry and History. She is the Recruitment and Marketing Director for Cal in the Capital in 2016–17. At Berkeley, Celine works as a research assistant at the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and supports her fellow students at the Student Learning Center as a Writing Tutor. As a CITC intern last summer, Celine interned at Responsive Law, focusing on increasing the accessibility of the legal system to individuals. She appreciated working for an organization that creates positive changes within the legal field through innovative means and is excited about spending another year with CITC as a student director.
Sofia Gonzalez-Platas is a senior double majoring in Political Economy and International Development Studies. She is the Academic and Events Director for Cal in the Capital 2016–2017. As a CITC intern in summer 2015, Sofia interned at Voto Latino, a non-governmental organization that seeks to increase and strengthen the Latino presence and representation in politics. On campus, Sofia has been involved with the Daily Californian since her freshman year, starting as a local sales representative and now working as a news reporter focusing on stories about higher education and, specifically, the UC Regents. Sofia also has an active presence and leadership role as Chief Education Officer in the social sorority Kappa Alpha Theta, works in the Unit 2 residence hall as an Academic Center Assistant, and served as a CalSO Orientation Leader in summer 2016. She is enthusiastic about being a director for CITC, a program that taught her so much and provided her with unforgettable memories and valuable experiences.
What Employers Are Saying about CITC Interns
Alex Hoffman, Democratic National Committee — Deputy Chief of Staff, Finance Department
"Maggie [CITC intern Margaret Shaw] has been an exemplary intern. I know I can trust her with any assignment, big or small. When she worked at the Democratic National Convention, she completed tasks like delivering packages for POTUS and staffing key fundraising events. No matter how small, she always completed her work with a smile on her face. If Maggie represents Cal students, then Cal students are well represented!"
Tom Gordon, Responsive Law — Executive Director
"We've had wonderful CITC interns over the past few years, and Celine [CITC intern Qingyan Celine Shaw] was no exception. She quickly learned about the issues our nonprofit addresses and was able to contribute to our work in a meaningful way throughout her internship. I found her perspective and her dedication to be very valuable throughout her time with us."
Hon. Barbara Lee of California — House of Representatives
“Alumni of the program have gone on to serve in various capacities of public service. Some worked within presidential administrations, some went on to advocate for workers’ rights, and some even became sitting Members of Congress. I, too, was once a Cal in the Capital intern for a great warrior, statesman, and my predecessor, Congressman Ron Dellums. I remember my time as an intern fondly, and can tell you without hesitation that this program changed my life, as it has for so many others. Because of my experience with the program, I have always enjoyed having the privilege of hosting Cal in the Capital interns in my congressional office. The passion and dedication that these student leaders display toward serving their country, their communities, and those whose voices too often go unheard is an inspiration to all.”
Impact: To date, over 3,808 CITC interns have performed more than 1,633,689 hours of service!
Save the Date: Welcome Event and Alumni Mixer on June 6, 2017