Mannirmal Kaur, Intern & AHAA graduate' 2015, Washington DC
Washington D.C.: My name is Mannirmal Kaur, and I'm a political science student at North Carolina State University eagerly planning to pursue a career in public interest law.
I'm very excited for you. Let me explain why.
Last summer, I was a student and intern at UNITED SIKHS' Advocacy and Humanitarian Aid Academy (AHAA). In the months leading up to the Academy, I couldn't wait to spend a week in Washington, D.C. and learn about the inner workings of government agencies like the Department of Justice Community Relations Service, as well as non-profit organizations. When the week was over, it had far exceeded my expectations.

Application Deadline : June 10th, 2016


As a woman and religious and ethnic minority born and raised in the southern United States, perhaps my long-held passion for civil rights was inevitable. While I've been interested in civil rights for several years, attending AHAA last year was the first time I was surrounded by likeminded peers and speakers who shared my passion, and were eager to devote their lives towards making a positive difference in the world.
Several of the speakers were women or South Asian Americans, which made the experience all the more inspiring for myself and my fellow students. This environment was remarkably conducive towards sharing progressive thoughts and ideas. Speakers and students alike discussed politics and history, but also our career goals and aspirations. We laughed as we learned, and cried as we shared memories of facing faith-based bullying and discrimination throughout our lives, as a unique group of individuals who only remember living life in a post-9/11 world. We grew together in what felt like much longer than a week, and put our newfound knowledge to practical use on our last day together when we went to Capitol Hill to meet with congressional offices and advocate for the rights of minority communities. When this day was over, we reflected incredulously on just how much we had packed into the week-friendships had formed that are still maintained today, career paths had received direction and guidance, and we had shaken the hands of congressmen, congressional staffers, and other government officials.
All that I learned last summer remains invaluable to me today - I'm immensely grateful and excited to be spending this summer as an intern at the Center for American Progress, where I'm utilizing knowledge and experience I gained as an Academy student and UNITED SIKHS intern.


On July 6th, 2016, this one-of-a-kind week kicks off once again. If you're a college student 17-years-old or above and otherwise qualified to apply to AHAA, you have the chance to spend a week of your summer meeting peers and professionals that can advise you on your professional journey, or help you figure out what your journey is, while experiencing life in America's vibrant, fast-paced capital. Needless to say, I'm wholeheartedly excited for you and the summer you'll have if you're a part of AHAA this year.
If you're interested in civil and human rights, humanitarian aid, and working towards a more inclusive America, I hope you'll do your future a favor by applying to be a part of AHAA today!
See the pictures from last year's academy here.

In Chardi Kala, 
Mannirmal Kaur
Intern and AHAA, Graduate 2015, UNITED SIKHS

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