For the first time, this summer two students with disabilities will receive all-expenses-paid grants to attend Berkeley's prestigious Summer Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs thanks to an innovative program of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.
The foundation, in conjunction with the Graduate School of Public Policy, will sponsor the new Mitsubishi Electric America Scholars Program at Berkeley for each of the next three years. Each summer, two students with disabilities who have completed their junior year at a college or university will be chosen for admission to the program.
The summer institute, administered by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, annually selects and prepares 30 outstanding students of color for graduate school degrees and for public sector careers at all levels of government.
The 15-year-old program provides rigorous preparation in quantitative analysis, communications skills and policy analysis. It also offers internship opportunities and financial support during graduate school.
Program alumni currently are advancing in careers at the White House, Capitol Hill, state governments, mayor's offices and non-profit organizations across the country.
"We believe that this program, by helping people with disabilities to have a greater voice in shaping public policy, will benefit not only individual scholars, but also the millions of Americans with disabilities nationwide," said Rayna Aylward, the foundation's executive director.