D.C. , service program, Washington, DC, HBCUs, service careers, Muriel Bowser, Howard,

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser Creates Public Service Program For HBCU Students To Serve The District

Washington D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a program for HBCU students to take an interest in public service, WUSA9 reports. In partnership with two HBCUs, Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia, the Public Service Program will create a secure pipeline for seniors interested in pursuing public service careers.

In a press release, Bowser says the program is designed to “keep talent in D.C. and bring young leaders into DC Government.” We want the best and the brightest, the people who are passionate about our community, to work at DC Government,” Bowser said.

“We want people to know that they can change the world, one person, one program, and one community at a time, in DC Government.”

Participating government agencies are set to convert 25 due-to-hire full-time positions into apprenticeships for the program launching in early 2024. They will remain open for one year for graduating seniors. With more than 320 apprenticeship sponsors registered in the nation’s capital, apprenticeships give special access to opportunities for those participating. Seniors selected for the program will start in June 2024 and must be D.C. residents. After completing the one-year program, students will be eligible for a status increase within DC Government.

Seniors from these HBCUs interested in the program can apply through the new i-team-designed careers.dc.gov website. For more than two years, the i-team has been working to revolutionize the hiring process for District Government roles, making the process user-friendly and transparent.

Cities nationwide have been working tirelessly to ensure current and future HBCU students have equal opportunities. In Charlotte, North Carolina, guidance counselors purposely introduce their students to HBCUs if they are still deciding where they want to go.

According to WCNC, North Carolina houses the second-most HBCUs in the United States. Administrators like Stepfon Portlock are pushing to show the value of HBCUs. “Finding people that look like you and understand you and can make the most out of what you have can be very pivotal in building confidence, which is what happens in college,” Portlock said.

“I didn’t do it as a student, but I did it as a professional, and it was, you know, some of my fondest memories are working on that campus and helping connect students.”