In the mid-1980s, as an effort to cultivate the next generation of leadership, the Illinois General Assembly, in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Springfield, created a program to give students of color the opportunity to work as interns with elected officials and within other sectors shaping public policy and to receive a stipend, as they complete their degrees.
This five university consortium, formerly known as the Board of Governors, is comprised of: Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Western Illinois University and Northeastern Illinois University. This consortium is instrumental in exposing students to the fundamentals of creating, shaping and implementing public policy initiatives.
The founders of the program believed that this exposure was critical in developing the next generation of decision-makers within the public and private sectors. Twenty-six years later, several hundred students have participated in the program. We are committed to supporting and expanding the program for the next decade of leadership development.
None of this could be possible without the caliber of students who have participated in a variety of placements. And for that, we thank all of our past and current students for having participated.