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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Hendricks Selected For Udall Internship
by Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton- Special Correspondent, Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Jeni Hendricks has been selected as a Udall intern for the summer, when she will work at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
(photo courtesy of Dartmouth Admissions)

PAWHUSKA, OK – Jeni Hendricks will not be spending her summer at home this year.

Instead, the Pawhuska native will be in Washington, D.C., as a Udall intern working for the Department of Justice in its division of environmental and natural resources.

A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Hendricks is one of 12 recipients nationwide for the highly competitive federal internship program for American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate, graduate and law students interested in tribal policy.

"It's a little nerve-wracking, but this has been on my radar for two years," she said. "I've wanted to do this and knew if it was meant to be, it was meant to be."

A Native American studies and anthropology junior at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, Hendricks found out about the program two years ago while interning for U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). Some of the other interns in the Chickasaw Nation citizen's office were Udall interns and raved about the program, which also provides housing assistance, a regular stipend, travel assistance to and from Washington and an academic scholarship.

To be considered for a spot, Hendricks had to fill out an application, including an essay on the legacy of the program's namesakes, former Rep. Morris Udall (D-Arizona) and his brother, former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall.

"The essay is the most important part," she said. "You talk about your interpretation of their work. That essay is what gets circulated among the offices to determine who you're matched with."

Hendricks said she does not know yet all of the specifics of what she will be doing this summer. Among the duties she has already been appraised of is that she will be sitting in on congressional hearings on different topics and writing up briefings about those sessions. She will also be expected to track the progress of certain pieces of legislation.

With plans to head to law school after Dartmouth and focus on government-to-government relations, Hendricks said she sees this as a golden opportunity to get to build relationships with other Native students with similar aspirations, as well as with more seasoned Beltway veterans.

"The program's emphasis is on Native policy, but it provides excellent outlet for networking," she said. "I'm looking forward to getting to know other Native youth who want to make an impact, plus networking with different professionals up on the hill."

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