Indian-Americans among eight N.J. Leadership 2019 South Asian Fellows


The New Jersey Leadership Program (NJLP), a non-profit that promotes South Asian youth participation in government, announced its new class of NJLP Youth Fellows for its 2019 Summer Fellowship Program.

New Jersey Leadership Program’s 2019 Fellows with three alumni of the same program (Photo: courtesy NJLP)

Eight fellows were chosen from a pool of more than 110 applicants. The fellows include high school and college students throughout New Jersey, a press release from the NJLP, said.

The NJLP Fellowship Program lasts six weeks, concluding in mid-August, and places fellows in various federal, state and local elected offices throughout the state. “This fellowship has a domino effect, and it helps graduates focus in better on what they want to do in the future,” Amit Jani, founder of NJLP, told Desi Talk. This is the fourth year of the fellowship. One of those who graduated in 2018, Meet Patel, is now hired by Gov. Phil Murphy as an aide on intergovernmental affairs, Jani noted.

This year’s fellows include Yajur Sriraman from Watchung, N.J., who will be with the state’s Treasury Department; Ashana Makhija or Bridgewater, N.J., will be at the office of Congressman Tom Malinowski and the office of State Assemblyman Erik Peterson; Sean Devasahayam of Edison, N.J., goes to the office of Congressman Frank Pallone; Tulip Sengupta of South Brunswick will be with Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman; Shea Amin of Iselin has been placed with State Senate Vin Gopal’s office; Ojas Chitnis of Parlin, N.J. will do his six-week stint with Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak; Esha Peer of South Brunswick, will spend her fellowship in the office of Assemblyman Daniel Benson; and Moha Trivedi of Warren, N.J. will spend her fellowship in Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin’s office. Details on each fellow are available on

In addition to the full time, six-week internship placements, NJLP Youth Fellows also take part in a weekly speakers series to hear from elected officials, senior government staffers, business executives and non-profit leaders. The fellows will also be taking a field trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the White House, Supreme Court and Congress, NJLP said in a press release.

“Through the New Jersey Leadership Program Fellowship Program, 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,” the NJLP Director of Programming Vinay Limbachia, is quoted saying in the press release, “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.”

“A lot of our fellows are still young, some not even graduated from college, butthe feedback we get shows the fellowship is very helpful,” Jani told Desi Talk. He cited as an example, one NJLP alumni who had wanted to join the foreign service, but changed her mind after undergoing the six week program. Another NJLP graduate who was with the New Jersey Treasury Department, ended up with an internship on Capitol Hill, through her networking during the fellowship.




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