Student intern Program Averages 58 Participants Every Summer
WASHINGTON -The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been selected by
the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) to receive
the Outstanding HACU Public Partner Award in recognition of the
Department's efforts to bring Hispanics into its workforce. The award
will be presented at HACU's 25th Annual Conference this October in San
"This award demonstrates VA's commitment to a diverse workforce," said
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "These young people are
given a unique opportunity to learn about the Department of Veterans
Affairs and Federal Government through the HACU internships. Many will
return to VA as fulltime employees."
The program's objective is to provide professional work experience that
will enable Hispanic students to make more informed career choices and
supplements their academic study with practical experience. VA's
Veterans Health Administration alone has averaged 58 interns every
summer for the last five years.
"Veterans Affairs has been an active and long-term partner in HACU's
National Internship Program," said HACU President and CEO Antonio
Flores. "By its active participation, VA has increased its
opportunities to hire well-qualified Latino graduates, thereby
diversifying its workforce. At the same time, the internship has raised
awareness of young Hispanics about employment opportunities in public
service generally, and the VA in particular."
Nancy Carrillo, a 21-year-old psychology major at the University of
Texas at El Paso, is interning at VA's Readjustment Counseling Service
in Washington, D.C. "I'm very interested in counseling as a career,
especially counseling Veterans," she said. "I appreciate the sacrifice
they've made for our country. Counseling and helping them reintegrate
into civilian life is my way of thanking them."
Ivan Jimenez, 23, is majoring in architecture and environmental design
at the University of Houston. This summer he's interning in the
Facilities Management Office at the VA Medical Center in New Orleans.
"This is fun, and I'm learning a lot," Jimenez said. "Right now I'm
helping them design the new fitness center here. I get to go to
meetings with the architects and consultants."
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities is a national
association of nonprofit higher education institutions. Established in
1986, the association represents more than 350 colleges and universities
in the United States and Puerto Rico. The HACU National Internship
Program has become the Nation's largest Hispanic college internship
program. HACU represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions where Hispanic
Americans constitute as least 25 percent of the total enrollment at
either the undergraduate or graduate level.
Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars