NEW YORK- Eight Indian American students will be participating in the NJLP Summer Fellowship Program this year.
The students range from high school to those entering their first year of college at Yale University and the University of Chicago: Deblina Mukherjee, Pallavi Pathak, Varun Seetamraju, Shubham Saharan, Aadi Kulkarni, Abeera Saeed, Maya Mukadam and Anika Madhusudhan.
“We are excited to enter our second year of our NJLP Fellowship Program and have a stellar class of young fellows who are excited to learn, and participate in our local, state and federal levels of government, politics and leadership training,” said Amit Jani, President of NJLP.
Mukherjee is from Scotch Plains, NJ, and she will be placed in the Office of Community Relations with Governor Chris Christie.
Mukherjee will be entering her Freshman Year of College at the University of Chicago and has held the positions of Chair of the Legal Committee within the Model U.N., Commissioner of Transportation for Youth and Government, Founding Member and Fed Challenge Leader for Financial Literacy Through Investing and President of the Future Business Leaders of America at Scotch Plains – Fanwood High School.
As a fellow, she wants to promote South Asian unity and get a first-hand feel for the issues that have kept people like her out of politics.
Pathak is from Princeton, NJ and she will be working with Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.
Pathak will be a senior at South Brunswick High School where she is active in the Junior State of America club and Asian Cultural club and has held a leadership position within the Girl Scout’s Senior Ambassador Planning Board.
She would like to study business and political science and is also interested in history, dance and music
As a fellow, she wants to contribute to society and learn more about a potential career options.
Seetamraju is from Bridgewater, NJ, and will be working with Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak.
Seetamraju will be a junior at The Pingry School where he is active in the High School Democrats of New Jersey, the Future Business Leaders of America club, Pingry Quiz-bowl and Taekwondo.
He holds leadership positions in the Pingry chapter of the Ashita-Tomorrow non-profit origination and is the Co-chairman and Co-founder of the Somerset County High School Democrats Chapter.
He wants to eventually be involved in the political arena or economics and plays the Indian Carnatic Violin. As a fellow he wants to gain experience by being actively involved in government and politics and wants to make a difference in the South Asian community.
Saharan is from West Windsor and will be working with Senator Linda Greenstein.
Saharan will be a senior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North where she is active in the school newspaper, high school feminist club and Model United Nations team, she is the Editor-in-Chief of her high school newspaper.
She wants to study political science and law and is also interested in international relations, economics, English and coding.
As a fellow, she will follow her passion for politics and government and will promote South Asian American involvement in government, making an impact on her community.
Kulkarni is from Far Hills and will be working with Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak.
Kulkarni will be a senior at The Hotchkiss School where he holds leadership positions in student government, the school’s political review, UNICEF Club and Habitat for Humanity.
He wants to pursue careers in politics, international affairs, economics or law and is interested in investment, debate and running.
As a fellow, he hopes to continue to build upon his experiences working in politics on a more formal level and gain guidance in pursuing his interests, long term.
Saeed is from Jersey City and will be working with Assemblyman Raj Mukherji.
Saeed will be entering her Freshman Year of College at Yale University and went to McNair Academic High School where she was active in Key Club, the Muslim Student Association, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, Spanish Language Club and Peer Leadership and held leadership positions in the Key Club, the Muslim Student Association, Mock Trial and Spanish Language Club.
She wants to either be involved in public policy or become a psychiatrist and is also interested in ice skating, going to concerts, playing soccer and exploring.
As a fellow, she wants to get involved in her community and see the behind the scenes of politics while making a difference.
Mukadam is from Basking Ridge and will be working with Senator Anthony Bucco.
Mukadam will be a junior at Ridge High School where she is active on the school’s mock trial team, swim team and the New Jersey Youth Symphony and holds a leadership position on the Mock Trial Team as well as the Doctors Without Borders Chapter at her high school.
She wants to study political science and law as she hopes to pursue a career as an environmental or corporate lawyer and is also interested in neurology, history, music and has volunteered at local and national animal shelters as well.
As a fellow, she is eager to explore the power of law in different bodies of government and experience the various ways in which local and state governments impact and benefit society.
Madhusudhan is also from West Windsor and will be working with Senator Linda Greenstein as well.
Madhusudhan will be a junior at West Windsor Plainsboro High School North where she is active in the Model Congress Club and is a part of the Executive Board of a student-run magazine.
She wants to work in the field of economics or data analysis and is also interested in writing, singing, reading various books of different genres and sketching.
As a fellow, she wants to gain knowledge about the political world as she is interested in the process of policy making and wants to learn the key elements of good leadership.
In addition to the full-time, six-week summer internship, fellows will also take part in a weekly speakership series to hear from elected officials, senior government staffers, business executives and nonprofit leaders to learn about government, politics, campaigning, advocacy and more.
The fellows will also be taking a field trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with senior congressional staffers, visit Capitol Hill and will take a tour of the West Wing at the White House.
As part of their NJLP Summer Fellowship, fellows will also be completing a community service project to better improve their local communities.
“Through the NJLP Summer Fellowship, we hope to expose our youth fellows to government and politics, as well as instill leadership skills that they can use in a public sector career or whichever path they pursue,” said NJLP Director of Programming Vinay Limbachia.
“We spent a lot of time cultivating this year’s class of fellows and see much potential in their young careers and for their future ahead,” he added.