College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

UM Student Lands Internship at Congressional Black Caucus

Jarrius Adams of Hattiesburg on Capitol Hill

MAY 21, 2018 BY EDWIN B. SMITH

Jarrius Adams, a senior public policy and political science major, will be interning this summer with the Congressional Black Caucus. Photo by Marlee Crawford/Communications

Jarrius Adams, a senior public policy and political science major, will be interning this summer with the Congressional Black Caucus. Photo by Marlee Crawford/Ole Miss Communications

A University of Mississippi student has been accepted into the prestigious Congressional Black Caucus Foundation summer internship program in Washington, D.C.

Jarrius Adams, a senior public policy leadership and political science major from Hattiesburg, will be in the CBCF Congressional Internship Program from May 29 to Aug. 15. The rigorous program includes a full-time work week, educational seminars, individual and team building projects, and several social and networking events.

Participants become part of a corps of trained, young leaders with the skills, outlook and contacts to work for positive change in Washington and their local communities. Interns serve in Congressional offices, federal agencies and nonprofit organizations.

“I was extremely ecstatic and filled with joy,” said Adams about learning of his selection. “I immediately called Dr. Kristina Phillips (assistant director of the UM Office of College Programs) and shared the news. For a week after, I was in disbelief.”

Adams’ selection came as no surprise to Phillips, who noted that he is also participating in the Division of Outreach’s Washington Internship Experience.

“The CBC Internship program is extremely competitive, but I was always confident that he exceeded the program’s qualifications,” said Phillips, who met Adams in May 2017 as a Study USA participant. “I foresee Jarrius being an incredible asset to the state of Mississippi, as he is deeply passionate about moving his state forward, especially in areas of education and policy.

“I cannot wait to see where this internship leads his career path. He is well-deserving of the honor.”

Shawnboda Mead, director of the university’s Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement, also applauded Adams’ selection.

“Jarrius is an exceptional student leader who also cares deeply about social and political issues,” said Mead, who has known Adams since he attended the MPOWER conference before beginning his freshman year in 2015. Mead and Adams also have worked closely through his involvements with the center’s iTeam, a peer diversity educator program.

“It’s been a joy getting to know Jarrius, as he has left his mark on the university over the past three years. I’m confident he’ll be a tremendous asset to the Congressional Black Caucus.”

Adams has been assigned to the office of U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). His administrative duties may include answering phones, opening/dating/coding/logging and distributing mail, running errands, purchasing supplies, escorting constituents on Capitol tours or to the House/Senate visitor’s gallery, pulling newspaper clips, copying material, filing co-sponsorships of bills and delivering notices to other offices.

Among his legislative duties are answering mail, researching issues, tracking down reference material, gathering information on pending bills, developing special legislative projects or initiatives, attending hearings/meetings, following up on correspondence from other congressmen, checking facts and figures for speechs, ordering documents and preparing congressional records.

“All of these tasks need to be done,” said Meco Shoulders, coordinator for Thomas’ office. “Interns must recognize that every job is important and is a vital lesson to learn. They should approach their given assignments with diligence, conscientiousness, attention to detail, good judgment, diplomacy, follow-through, humor, patience and an appreciation of the big picture.”

Adams said he is anticipating a thoroughly enjoyable internship experience.

“I watch the news every day, and I am excited to be in the midst of the things that I see and read about,” he said. “No matter how much we love or hate politics, the reality is it affects every aspect of our lives.”

Adams previously interned at the Democratic National Convention and with CNN. While he appreciates both those experiences, he said being a CBCF intern is a “dream come true.”

A member of the Columns Society and president of the UM Gospel Choir, Adams is also an assistant speech and debate coach at Oxford High School. His other community involvements include serving as a member of the Lafayette-Oxford Democratic Executive Committee and the League of Women Voters, and as a Boys and Girls Club volunteer.

Adams said he is already looking beyond receiving his degree next spring.

“I want to get involved with Mississippi politics,” he said. “One day, I plan to seek office. This experience will give me the opportunity to find my strengths and talents, apply them to my community and, hopefully, ensure the best quality of life for us all.”