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UW-Eau Claire Student Interns at White House

RELEASED: Feb. 21, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — Kara Kangas, a senior communication major at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, spent her fall semester interning at the White House in Washington, D.C.

After going through a lengthy application process, Kangas was one of 100 students selected out of 1,400 to participate in the White House Internship Program.

"I consider myself very fortunate to have had this opportunity," said Kangas. "Through this experience I gained a deep appreciation for the sacrifice and service our nation's leaders, on both sides of the aisle, provide for our country."

Kangas worked in the Intergovernmental Affairs Office of the Executive Office of the President. She primarily spent her time performing as an assistant for the president's liaison to the nation's governors and lieutenant governors. Kangas performed daily office duties, including data entry and answering telephones.

During her internship, Kangas toured the East and West Wings of the White House, attended the White House Rose Garden press conference between the president and Interim Prime Minister Allawi of Iraq, attended election events at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on election night, witnessed the president's acceptance speech, and met President Bush. The commissioned officer she worked for even treated Kangas and her parents to dinner at the White House Mess.

Kangas, who now lives in Fall Creek but attended Augusta High School, became involved in politics when her parents brought her along to an Eau Claire campaign event for former President George H. W. Bush in 1988. At that time she was six years old. Her interest in politics and her fascination with the White House ultimately led her to apply for the internship.

"Being accepted into such a highly competitive internship opened my eyes as to what I can accomplish with my life," said Kangas. "I encourage other students at UW-Eau Claire to apply for internships and jobs they are interested in, regardless of the competition level."

Kangas plans to return to Washington, D.C., this summer to participate in another internship program. After graduation in December 2005, she hopes to spend three to five years working in the political spectrum.

-30-

KP/NW

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