Chaniece Williams ’19 will put the political science degree she earned last month to use beginning today, when she reports for work in Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration through the prestigious Governor’s Fellows Program.
Williams is among the 28 participants selected for the program, joining some of the best and the brightest students in the commonwealth. The summer program, which runs through the end of July, offers rising college seniors, graduating seniors and graduate students from across Virginia an opportunity to gain valuable, firsthand experience working under cabinet secretaries and alongside staff in the governor’s office.
One of my post-college goals is to make a difference in my community, and I believe this opportunity is one step in my journey toward reaching that goal.Chaniece Williams ’19 Tweet This
“Every summer I look forward to the arrival of the governor’s fellows and the unique experiences, perspective and energy that each one of them brings,” Northam said. “This program aims to cultivate the next generation of Virginia leaders by introducing young Virginians with a desire to serve to the workings of the executive branch and helping them build the skills and relationships to create a positive impact in our commonwealth.”
Williams received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Longwood on May 18. Her minor was homeland security, and she aspires to a career working at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, specifically dealing with the issue of immigration.
“I am honored to be included in this group of governor’s fellows and to have the chance to be mentored by these incredible public servants,” Williams said. “The knowledge I will gain from these two months will be invaluable as I move forward in my career path. One of my post-college goals is to make a difference in my community, and I believe this opportunity is one step in my journey toward reaching that goal.”
While at Longwood, Williams was an active student leader on campus, serving in organizations such as Student Educators for Active Leadership, Phi Sigma Alpha, Hispanic Latino Association, Pre-Law Club, Global Leaders and the National Society of Leadership and Success, and as a justice on the Honor and Conduct Board.
Established in 1982 by then-Gov. Charles S. Robb, the fellows program brings exceptional students from colleges and universities across the commonwealth to Richmond for two months to work in state government. By working daily alongside policymakers, the students get to experience governance firsthand. The fellows cultivate and sharpen leadership skills by taking on a variety of tasks and projects—becoming valuable members of the team and tackling real problems. They also learn from special guest speakers from the administration and take field trips across the commonwealth. The program is open to students from Virginia universities or Virginia residents attending college outside the commonwealth.