Advice for the Application

The application is both a personal statement and statement of purpose. Approach the application as if it were a personal statement and integrated statement of purpose, not a series of disconnected questions. Your application should reveal to our readers: who am I? Who do I want to be? What kind of contribution do I want to make, and how? Why does my career plan make sense, and why is the internship right for me?

Use questions 1-5 to:

  • Demonstrate your values, interests and motivation to support tribal communities, or pursue a career related to tribal government and/or public policy;
  • Provide insight into your goals and aspirations, both personal and professional;
  • Demonstrate any skills or knowledge that will be useful in a congressional office or agency;
  • Alert the Foundation to any unusual circumstances or hardship that may have affected your academic performance or limited your activities.

Like a personal statement, a good application has a thesis or story line. Your career goals should provide readers with a road map: who you are, what trajectory you're on, and how you will get there. Readers will look for consistency between your stated career goals and activities and interests. The complete application should create a clear and coherent picture in the reader's mind of who you are, who you will be, and how you'll connect your present and future selves.

Research the life and legacy of Morris Udall or Stewart Udall. The essay should demonstrate:

  • Excellent research ability, by using and citing outside sources;
  • Outstanding writing and communication skills. Congressional interns should have strong writing skills in order to be assigned substantive projects;
  • Your knowledge of Morris Udall or Stewart Udall's commitment to Native American and/or environmental issues.

A strong essay will follow a two-part structure. The first part should be a critical analysis of the legislation or policy statement, the issues it addresses, and its impact. The second part should relate these issues to your interests and career goals.

Don't overlook the importance of style and presentation. Tone, grammatical errors, and carelessness influence how readers perceive you as a professional and whether you are capable of producing quality work as an intern. Do write in your own voice, but be sure it's your professional voice. The readers know you only through the application, and they are assessing not only your commitment to Indian country, but your suitability as a future intern.

Keep the audience in mind. The readers who will decide if you are selected as an intern are Native American professionals and educators. Your application, if you're selected as an intern, may also be read by congressional or federal agency staff who are considering you for their office. Don't forget that you're not just applying for an internship opportunity; you may also be applying for a job if you're selected.

Select recommenders who can attest to your:

  • Commitment to and potential for making a difference in your tribal communities or regarding issues affecting Indian Country;
  • Maturity and responsibility;
  • Leadership and ability to take initiative;
  • Academic and professional achievements;
  • Other personal characteristics.

Observe the resume format prescribed in the application materials: Objective, Education History, Professional Experience, Clubs and Organizations, Awards and Recognition, Related Experience (i.e. coursework, research, and extracurricular activities). Include both paid and volunteer work experience. Briefly identify or explain any honors or activities that readers are unlikely to understand (one sentence maximum). If you are selected as an intern, your resume, essay, and short answers will be sent to Congressional and agency offices for review and placement.

Be sure that your application is free of grammatical and typographical errors and easy to read. The application form, essay and resume must be typed or word-processed. Handwritten applications will not be accepted.

Postmark all necessary materials by

Finally—a few words of advice

  • Start early. Leave yourself plenty of time to revise your application.
  • Get feedback. It's hard to be objective about your own writing, particularly when the topic is YOU. Ask professors, advisors, and friends to read your application and give you honest feedback.
  • Revise, then revise again! First drafts are never as good as 2nd or 3rd drafts. Give yourself time between drafts to reread your writing with fresh eyes.


A complete application consists of:

  • Application form with signature
  • 800-word Essay, signed and dated
  • Resume (2 copies)
  • Copy of tribal enrollment card or other tribal verification
  • Proof of permanent residency (for First Nations of Canada members)
  • Current transcript
  • Other transcripts
  • Three evaluations and reference letters, signed and sealed across flap (may also be mailed directly to the Foundation by the recommenders)

The application and all supporting materials must be postmarked by .