Engagement in the work of the federal government lies at the heart of a White House Fellowship. Work assignments can offer unparalleled experience working with senior administration officials on ever changing issues and challenges. This work often requires long hours and, at times, unglamorous duties that require as much perseverance as ability on the Fellows’ part.

White House Fellows typically spend a year as full-time, paid assistants to senior White House Staff, the Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials. Their assignments demand a capacity for quick learning and a willingness to work hard, often on issues outside of their area of expertise. Responsibilities range from chairing interagency meetings and designing and implementing federal policies, to drafting speeches for cabinet secretaries to representing their agencies on Capitol Hill and in international treaty negotiations. Job assignments are made by the Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships in consultation with agency officials on the basis of interviews conducted during “Placement Week”.

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An excerpt:

BALTIMORE – The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health announced today it is doubling its efforts to improve American Indians’ educational and health status.

On the occasion of its 25th Anniversary, the Center for American Indian Health’s 500 Scholars Initiative will raise $3 million over the next three years to promote education and training opportunities for 500 American Indian and Alaska Natives, through programs spanning high school to post-doctoral education. Initiatives will include programs to help youth finish high school, 25 graduate and doctoral degrees at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and allied Hopkins Schools of Nursing and Medicine, and work-training opportunities at Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian health for post-baccalaureates and post-doctoral scholars.

“The most effective way to eliminate health disparities is through education that allows tribes to take ownership and control of their health systems and solutions,” said Dr. Mathuram Santosham, founding director of Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. “That is why our Center is deeply committed to the 500 Scholars Initiative and to accelerating our training and scholarship opportunities.”

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Here, from Ed Week.  An excerpt:

The Council of Chief State School Officers is looking to a small-scale Montana program for help in reversing the fortunes of hundreds of thousands of American Indian children.

Despite federal attempts to raise the profile of the challenges that Native American students face, they are often an afterthought, said William Mendoza, the executive director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education.

“They’re underrepresented, underserved, and darn-near invisible,” Mendoza said.

While Congress and the Obama administration have pressed the Bureau of Indian Education to overhaul operations at the schools it oversees on or near American Indian reservations, more than 90 percent of the 950,000 American Indian children attend traditional public schools run by local districts.

That makes district- and state-level intervention crucial.