This Summer's Crop Of SikhLEAD Interns
The SikhLEAD Internship Program partners with congressional offices and federal agencies to provide Sikh-American college students with enriching internship experiences. Through this program, students are afforded first-hand perspective into the functioning of the federal government and legislative process. Since 2000, over 40 students have participated in its internship programs.
Here is this summer’s intern class.
AMRITA KAUR BAMRAH
White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Amrita is entering her third year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working towards a dual-degree in Economics and Global Studies. Her studies focus on governance and conflict resolution particularly in South Asia. Amrita’s interest in the region has led her to intern for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As an aspiring lawyer, she serves on the board of the Pre-Law Honors Society on campus and is also a leader of the university’s Sikh Student Association. She attends various conferences and panels where she speaks about the many issues Sikhs in America face today, aiming to create and spread awareness about the faith. She also has a passion for art, spending her free time creating oil paintings and sketches.
AMRITA KAUR SEHGAL
Intern with Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA)
Amrita Sehgal is entering her fourth and final year at the University of California, Berkeley. She will graduate with a degree in Economics, and plans on working for a few years before attending medical school. In addition to practicing medicine, she would like to pursue a career researching health care policy. As a Congressional Intern, Amrita hopes to gain relevant experience researching and working under the Health Care Committee in the House of Representatives. At home, in Palo Alto, California, Amrita is involved in the Sikh community where she routinely gives speeches delving into the meaning of the Guru Granth Sahib at local kirtans.
JAYWIN SINGH MALHI
Intern with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Jaywin Singh Malhi is a junior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and is double-majoring in Business Management and Political Science. Jaywin is a Senator in SMU’s Student Senate and involved in various committees across campus, from the Vice President’s Student Advisory Board to the Honor Council. After completing his undergraduate studies, Jaywin plans to attend law school and hopes to pursue a career in corporate law and later, public service. In his spare time, Jaywin enjoys playing the tabla, public-speaking, juggling, and people-watching.
SUNEET KAUR DHILLON
SALDEF Legal and Legislative Intern
Suneet is a recent graduate from the Ohio State University with a dual B.A. in International Studies and in English. As a civil rights advocate, she is drawn to working with communities that are negatively impacted racially and socio-economically. Currently, she is a corps member for Teach For America, where she works to close the achievement gap for students in Prince George’s County Public Schools. In 2010, Suneet was an intern on Capitol Hill with Congressman Zack Space (D-OH). SALDEF provides Suneet the opportunity to combine her civil rights interests with her strong desire to improve awareness about the Sikh community.
MANINDER SINGH SAINI
Intern with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Maninder is a junior at the University of California, Santa Cruz studying Economics and Mathematics. Through his work as a Resident Assistant, Maninder is involved in community building and development with an emphasis on social justice and environmental responsibility. Maninder’s work with social justice issues has led to his interests in civil rights and raising awareness of the challenges faced by minorities. This work has fostered Maninder’s interests in public finance and policy. Growing up in the heart of Silicon Valley, Maninder has an affinity for computers and technology and in his spare time enjoys playing basketball and watching ESPN.
Intern with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Gurkaran is a sophomore at New York University majoring in Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in East Asia, politics, rights and human development. He has lived in both Texas and New York. Having volunteered in a variety of Sikh organizations and Gurdwaras, Gurkaran has seen, interacted with, and understands many of the problems facing a diverse range of Sikhs from all over the country. Pursuing a degree in law or business, Gurkaran strives to provide for and consult fellow Sikhs with their legal and financial problems and hopes to aid and further empower the Sikh American community.
SALDEF Development Intern
Manjot is a sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is pursuing a degree in Philosophy. He has been involved in the Southern California Sikh community for many years and was recently appointed the Director of External Events of the Sikh Student Association at UCLA. He also writes for The Daily Bruin and is a part of the Cultural Affairs Commission, which promotes cultural, political and social empowerment on campus. He is excited to be in Washington, DC this summer, advocating for the rights of Sikhs and addressing the misrepresentation of Sikhs in the media.
Conversation about this article
1: Gurdeep Singh Xellentra (New Delhi, India), June 23, 2012, 11:53 AM.
What a charming bunch of youngsters .... It seems they are going to LEAD in all the needed ventures. Would love to learn more - a big thanks to sikhchic.com for this piece.
2: Harinder Singh 1469 (New Delhi, India), June 23, 2012, 12:42 PM.
Oh my gosh! Why aren't they wearing 1469 tees? How can we have missed such wonderful young men and women from the West? Please do get hold of us for your next project ... we'll be proud to be associated with your 'lead'.
3: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), June 23, 2012, 8:28 PM.
What a lovely royal congregation of youngsters where every one looks a prince or a princess. The gushing "ma sadkay" mothers must be running out of black tikkas to ward off the evil eye and nominally daub their necks.