When people ask me what my major is, I tell them, ‘It’s African-​​American studies and pol­i­tics,’” said junior Jordan Clark. “So basi­cally, it’s Barack Obama.”

On May 22, the pres­i­den­tial scholar will con­tinue his studies right next to the Oval Office working as an intern in the com­mu­ni­ca­tions depart­ment. Clark learned on April 24 that of 6,000 appli­cants to the White House summer intern­ship pro­gram, he was among the few chosen for the job. Antic­i­pating his new posi­tion in the com­mu­ni­ca­tions office, Clark isn’t just eager. He’s overjoyed.

I’ve been fol­lowing Barack Obama since ’04 when some­body told me there was a black sen­ator. I was quickly just amazed by him. I read his book and found him to be a real inspi­ra­tion,” Clark said. “My mother is white and my father is black, and I just saw par­al­lels with Pres­i­dent Obama’s life.”

As soon as Obama got into office, Clark made it his goal to obtain an intern­ship. He put the White House intern­ship Web page up as his home­page and got to work writing the three required essays of application.

I think I spent 25 or 30 hours working on them,” he said. “I’ve been dreaming about this job.”

Although he’s not sure what his exact role in the com­mu­ni­ca­tions office will be, if he can help to get Barack Obama’s mes­sage out, he’ll be eager to do it.

Throughout his studies at North­eastern, African-​​American studies pro­fes­sors Robert Hall and Kwamina Pan­ford have inspired Clark to seize oppor­tu­ni­ties that have come his way.
When Clark learned of the White House intern­ship pro­gram through his affil­i­a­tion with the Wash­ington, D.C.-based Insti­tute for Respon­sible Cit­i­zen­ship, a lead­er­ship pro­gram for high-​​achieving African-​​American men, he seized his chance. It was also through this orga­ni­za­tion that Clark earned an intern­ship last year in Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s office.

Before he starts his intern­ship, Clark will travel to St. Croix with the Dia­logues of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram to study the region’s native music. North­eastern music pro­fes­sors Emmett Price and Leonard Brown will lead the pro­gram, which focuses on the study of the unique Caribbean sound of St. Croix. “We’ll study the music, do inter­views and make a film,” he said.

From there, he will travel to Wash­ington to begin what he expects to be the expe­ri­ence of a lifetime.

I still can’t believe I’m going,” he said. “This is really like a dream come true.”