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Mount Holyoke College
Weissman Center for Leadership

Leadership and Public Service

Leadership and Public Service (LAPS) provides transformative opportunities for students who want to address pressing and critical problems facing the world through public service. We define public service broadly and inclusively. It can be running for office, serving as an elected official, working for the government at any level, advocating for policy solutions, lobbying for constituent needs, engaging with your local community through organizing or activism, or belonging to one of the many institutions world-wide that promote democracy, peace, and justice.

Many of our LAPS initiatives are inspired by a MHC student delegation’s 2011 visit to the U.S. State Department to strategize about how underrepresented populations can find more ways to enter the public service arena. Through LAPS, students can engage in a diverse set of opportunities, such leadership workshops, public lectures by renowned policy makers and advocates, and site visits to Washington DC, Boston, and New York. We also offer paid internships with local elected officials such as Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Mount Holyoke College student Jessica Taylor '17 with Senator Elizabeth Warren

Internships through the LAPS program

Students can intern at the offices of elected officials, as well as non-profit organizations that are working on policy at state and national levels.
Photo of a group of students on a site visit to Washington, D.C.

Careers in Public Service: Site Visits

The Weissman Center, together with our campus partners, sponsors trips each year for students who are interested in careers in public service.
Photo of the capital building in Washington D.C.

MHC Semester in D.C.

Combines an intensive internship in Washington, D.C. with rigorous coursework in government, policy, advocacy, and related fields.
The capital building and the Publlic Leadership Education Network logo

PLEN Grants

Grants are available to MHC students to attend public policy seminars in Washington D.C. that are sponsored by the Public Leadership and Education Network.