Meet PAAIA’s Summer 2013 CHIP Fellows

Summer 2013 CHIP Fellow
Ms. Marisa Vavruska
Summer 2013 CHIP Fellow
Ms. Mitra Yazdi

July 9, 2013, Washington, D.C. – The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2013 Summer Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP).  Ms. Marisa Vavruska and Ms. Mitra Yazdi are distinguished young Iranian Americans who will have the unique opportunity to get a firsthand look at our nation’s legislative and political process.

The PAAIA CHIP program recognizes that internships are often the inspiration and launching point for the careers of some of the most distinguished public servants in the nation. Serving as a CHIP Fellow gives both Marisa and Mitra an important vantage point on American public life, valuable professional networking and communications skills, and an important credential to pursue a career in public service or other related fields. 

Marisa Vavruska is a rising senior at Amherst College (Amherst, MA) with a major in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought. Outside of academia, Marisa is member of the Amherst College rowing team and a bassoonist in the Amherst College Symphony Orchestra.  In the past, she has held internships with Freedman Consulting (Washington, D.C.), a strategic consulting, communications and policy development group and the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH), where she served as a research assistant.  This summer, Marisa is interning at the Capitol Hill office of the government relations firm, LNE Group, and is attempting to learn Farsi at the Middle East Institute in her spare time.  

Mitra Yazdi is a rising junior at Yale University majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics with hopes of attending law school in the future.  In the past she has been involved with non-profit organizations focusing on human rights issues such as OMID Advocates for Human Rights and the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.  In addition, she has extensive volunteer experience with organizations that promote cancer research and awareness.  Mitra will be spending her summer as an intern with Senator Dianne Feistein’s San Francisco office working on constituent and community outreach as well as research. 

The purpose of the CHIP program is to promote increased civic participation among young Iranian Americans by offering college students or recent graduates of Iranian descent the opportunity to get a first-hand look at our nation’s legislative and political process. The program is enhanced by access to PAAIA events as well as opportunities to network with and be mentored by Iranian American staff on Capitol Hill, in the administration, and in non-governmental organizations throughout the country.  In addition to providing interns with highly desired experience in the public sector, this opportunity also allows interns to identify and secure career opportunities in public service that may be otherwise difficult to find.

CHIP is made possible in-part by the generous contribution from PAAIA Member and IAPAC Board of Director member, Dr. Akbar Ghahary. The recipients of the CHIP program receive a stipend of $2,000 each.

Click here to learn about PAAIA’s previous CHIP Fellows.

Click here to learn more about PAAIA’s CHIP program. The deadline to apply for the Fall 2013 CHIP Fellowship is July 15, 2013.

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