The US International Council on Disabilities (USICD) has selected its second class of eight Youth in International Development and Affairs (YIDA) summer interns. In a news release from the organization, it notes that the internship program is funded by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and the Reeve Foundation.
The USICD YIDA internship program is in its second year, according to the release, and is designed to bring together a diverse group of college students and recent graduates with disabilities from a range of locations nationwide to intern in international development and affairs agencies in Washington, DC. The eight participants have secured placements at the following organizations this summer: Burton Blatt Institute, National Democratic Institute, International Medical Corps, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Inter-American Development Bank, World Learning, Management Sciences for Health, and Human Rights Watch.
The release notes that the group recently arrived in Washington to participate in orientation sessions and get settled into their accommodations at George Washington University. In the release, USICD emphasizes its thankfulness to the participating organizations, which it says help facilitate the strategic objective of the YIDA program for full inclusion of professionals with disabilities.
David Morrissey, executive director, USICD, explains “Programs like YIDA show that people with disabilities can contribute to the field while projecting more inclusive practices globally. These interns are empowered to contribute their talents in meaningful ways, help reduce attitudinal barriers, and open up new career opportunities.”
Morrissey also articulates the organization’s gratefulness to the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and the Reeve Foundation for “their financial assistance to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities in the foreign affairs and international development arena. Receiving support from these organizations is a vote of confidence in the YIDA internship program.”
The release states that the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation recently launched its M>PWR Initiative, which is a national effort intended to empower youth with disabilities to lead productive lives, and its support for YIDA aims to help further this goal.
Kevin R. Webb, senior director of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation states that the foundation is pleased to support USICD with the funding it requires for its YIDA program, “It is vital that young people with disabilities have an opportunity to explore their career interests so they can demonstrate their capabilities to potential employers.”