President Joseph Aoun presents student Jordan Clark, center, with the presidential scholar award. Clark was chosen as a White House summer intern.
May 8, 2009
“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.”