Iafpe-ma.org – BOSTON- The Indian American Forum for Political Education announced the its flagship Summer Political Fellowship Program and its upcoming application deadline of February 15, 2015.

The IAFPE Fellowship Program provides an infrastructure for young people interested in political careers by placing applicants in two to three month political fellowship with the requirement that they give back to their community through a structured community impact project. Fellows receive close mentorship and evaluations by members of the IAFPE Fellowship subcommittee and staff in their respective fellowship placements.

Established partnerships and close personal ties to community organizations and political offices enables fellows to get the maximum benefit from a wide variety of placements. IAFPE is urging applicants to learn about this program from the current Fellowship Program leadership team and past IAFPE fellows at an upcoming January 31st Info Session taking place from 2:30-4:30p.m. at the West End Boston Public Library Branch or download the application form at www.iafpe-ma.org.

Political offices and organizations across the Commonwealth and country have hosted IAFPE fellows, including the Indian Embassy (Washington DC), the White House, Offices of Former Governor Mitt Romney and Former Acting Governor Jane Swift, US Congressmen James McGovern (D-MA 2cd District) and Joseph Kennedy (D-MA 4th District), State Representatives Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley), Dan Wolf (D-Harwich) and Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham), State Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton) and Former State Senator Scott Brown (R-9th Norfolk District), the Republican National Committee, the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, the MA Educational Financing Authority, and the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus.

Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus Executive Director Samantha Washburn-Baronie said, “We are proud to endorse the IAFPE Political Fellowship Program. Being an organization that works to promote women in politics, we are especially excited to see strong representation of women on the IAFPE Executive Committee board and we look forward to continuing to assist IAFPE in developing youth from the Indian American community into political leaders.”

State Representative Jay Kaufman said, “The IAFPE program fosters curiosity, open-dialogue, and engages fellows in political issues that directly impact them. Saatvik Ahluwalia, a constituent, interned in my State House office, and as a former IAFPE fellow, took the lessons learned back to our district in a run for Lexington Town Selectman. I’m honored to collaborate with programs like this that inspire, connect, and provide resources for youth to pursue political careers.”

Former IAFPE Fellow and Former Candidate for Lexington Town Selectman Saatvik Ahluwalia said, “The IAFPE Fellowship was instrumental in pointing me in the right direction. Working with Representative Kaufman showed me the incredible impact public servants can make on people’s day to day lives. It was a truly life changing experience.”

Former State Senator Barry Finegold (D-Andover) said, “An effective communications team is an important resource for political candidates seeking office. A major aspect of running a successful campaign is to bring talent from all backgrounds on board to help communicate a candidate’s vision to voters. Our IAFPE Fellow, Shaleen, was a core member of our Press team, working with our Press Secretary to ensure we pushed out innovative digital and social media content that maintained our messaging strategy on issues important to the role of Treasurer.”

Former IAFPE Fellow and Press Intern for State Senator Barry Finegold’s Campaign for Treasurer Shaleen Sheth said, “The IAFPE Fellowship was essential in figuring out my passion, my talents, and my potential. Working with Senator Finegold’s Campaign for Treasurer gave me the opportunity be innovative, educated about the Massachusetts community, and to explore a range of interests, like fundraising, marketing, advertising, creative writing, and journalism. I left this fellowship feeling prepared and confident in furthering my study of political science and hope to embark on a political career after college. The IAFPE Fellowship is a learning opportunity that gives you confidence in yourself, your abilities and your future.”

Vice President of IAFPE-MA Sonali Lappin highlighted its strengths, “This program and the resources available to the IAFPE provide a tremendous opportunity for our Commonwealth’s Indian American youth to learn about the political process and engage in shaping communities at the local, state and federal level. We make up a community that has a track record of being deeply involved in the education, science, business, health care, and information technology sectors. Civic engagement throughout our community serves as a powerful tool to shape public policy and create new leaders that impact our members.”

Acting IAFPE President Neena Mohanka said, “The Fellowship Program is one of our top priorities, greatest achievements, and stretches across generations, dating back to 1994. Because of her background in Massachusetts state politics and her involvement in community affairs, IAFPE brought Sonali Lappin on board to lead this important initiative and work with us and our extended IAFPE membership to dedicate the resources and time necessary to maintain the success of the program. I am proud that our program continues to foster curiosity and conversation as well as engage fellows in political issues that directly impact them. Our committee looks forward to reviewing this year’s applicant pool and encourages all those interested to participate in the program.”

Past IAFPE-MA President Ramesh Advani (2012-2014) remarked that recent changes to the Forum’s political fellowship would expand interest in the Indian American community. “Not only have we seen a commitment to strengthening the structure of this program and the resources available to our fellows, we’ve also seen that the Forum has expanded into social media platforms to actively recruit applicants. We are broadening our reach among youth by implementing generationally tailored recruitment methods. I know that with this kind of innovation, the Executive Board will find continue to find excellent fellows to become our next generation of leaders.”