Three young adults with intellectual disabilities are working as interns in Congress, courtesy of a new pilot program affiliated with Mason LIFE, a post-secondary program for adults with intellectual disabilities at George Mason University.
While the internships don’t guarantee future paid employment, organizers are hopeful that the office experience and self-confidence the students gain will give their resumes a welcome boost.
Mississippi Republican Rep. Gregg Harper, whose son has Fragile X syndrome, reached out to Mason LIFE to get the internship program started.
“After dealing with these issues for 20-plus years, that’s kind of where our heart is,” Harper said. “A lot of times, when you get out of high school and you’re dealing with intellectual disabilities, you fall off the educational face of the Earth. Sometimes you’re looking to give hope to some of these families who want their child to continue on.”