FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2nd, 2022
WASHINGTON DC — Today, Pay Our Interns (POI) issued a statement recognizing the Biden Administration’s announcement that White House internships will be paid for the first time, commencing with the fall intern class of 2022.
“We’re glad to see the White House has listened to the ongoing calls of advocates and will be implementing a paid internship program for the first time,” said Carlos Mark Vera, the Executive Director of Pay Our Interns. “Generations of White House interns have worked for free, creating a barrier to entry for the many young people who wish to pursue careers as public servants. We applaud President Biden and Vice President Harris for this necessary change, Congress for including $4.5 million to compensate White House interns in the FY22 omnibus bill, and all advocates who have worked tirelessly to make internships accessible and fairly paid. This decision is a significant step towards establishing clear guidelines and making unpaid internships at the highest level of our government a thing of the past.”
For more than three years, Pay Our Interns has led a dedicated group of stakeholders to call on the Biden Administration to pay White House interns. In the fall of 2020, the organization worked directly with more than 200 former White House Interns on a letter, calling for the Biden transition team to pay interns.
Our organization also worked in partnership with members of Congress, including Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), to ensure that the internships would be funded, appropriating $4.5 million directly to pay these internships.
Since the founding of Pay Our Interns in 2016, POI has successfully pushed Congress to allocate funds towards paid internships on the Hill, helping to secure over $48 million to date.
In 2021, Carlos Mark Vera, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Pay Our Interns testified before the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, on access to equitable internships. His testimony included further contextualization on broadening intern recruitment, improving access to internships, expanding remote internship opportunities and providing intern housing.
Pay Our Interns was founded in 2016 by two former unpaid interns of color. It is the nation’s leading organization fighting to ensure all students have equitable access to professional career paths through the implementation of paid internships countrywide—especially students from historically excluded communities.
Pay Our Interns seeks to ensure individuals from all backgrounds are represented across industries impacting their communities and develop pathways for advancement. In doing so, POI creates a more equitable workforce, more diverse leadership, and a more just world. POI is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
For more information, visit www.payourinterns.org.