Sakiya Hearns, a junior at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, will participate in the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) Internship Program.

The political science student was selected for the program to be held from January through May, according to a news release.

The program invites college students from around the country to Capitol Hill to learn policy analysis, advocacy, legislative processes, and public policy development from elected leaders. In addition to working with legislators and government professionals, students receive housing and a stipend.

“As the time gets closer for me to leave I feel grateful, excited, and nervous,” Hearns said in the news release. “I’m very excited to live in D.C.”

A Little Rock native, Hearns said she knew she wanted to be a lawyer and had an interest in politics, so it felt right to major in political science at UAPB.

Although she is not sure of the area she will specialize in, her goal is to provide legal assistance to those who cannot afford it. She also wants to establish and be a part of programs that help children reach their fullest potential. Hearns also said she could see herself running for a political position in the future.

A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and vice president of Essence of a Woman, Hearns will be adding this experience to her list of internships.

“It has shown me that being strategic, combined with working hard/smart will inevitably lead you to your goals (or better),” Hearns said. “This has made me more confident about my future.”

Henry Brooks IV is an instructor and program coordinator for the political science program at UAPB.

“Sakiya was an outstanding candidate for the CBCF internship,” Brooks said. “She is an intelligent young woman who has an amazing ability to block out the noise and get to the substance of an issue or problem. Her ability to do this while successfully negotiating diverse, and sometimes hostile, social spaces makes her a excellent choice for an internship in Washington, D.C. Sakiya also has a strong sense of compassion and concern for the voiceless that would make her an effective policy advocate.”

The first CBCF intern from UAPB went to Capitol Hill in the spring of 2018, according to Brooks.

“Not knowing what to expect, they learned that besides the normal reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills needed in the workforce, students also needed to be able to read, process, and condense large amounts of information in short periods of time,” according to the release.

Brooks said they used their new insight to create classroom assignments aimed at developing this skill.

“With Hearns as the fifth student from UAPB to be selected for the program, the results have been encouraging,” according to the release.

“Every student who has participated in the program has either been offered a job or is currently in graduate or professional (law) school,” Brooks said. “The CBCF program is a great networking tool. Students are always more confident in their abilities when they return. They have experienced the world and are no longer afraid of it.”