As the world turns its attention to the race for the White House and the battle for control of Capitol Hill in this Novembers Presidential and Congressional Elections, local student Conall Devlin is preparing for an exciting summer living and working inWashingtonD.C.

Conall Devlin who is a Business and Law student at University College Dublin and is a past Head Boy of Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School, was selected from more than 350 applicants to participate in the Washington Ireland Program (WIP). Conall joins other Aquinas past pupils Sarah McKegney (Class of 2008) and Rachel Bergin (Class of 2009) as alumni of the prestigious program. WIP is a cross-community charity which offers young leaders from Ireland & Northern Ireland the opportunity to live and work as an intern in Washington D.C, while completing leadership training and public service projects. WIP awards each student a prestigious 2-month internship ranging from Capitol Hill to government agencies, entrepreneurial businesses and the non-profit sector.

Throughout its eighteen year history, WIP has built strong links with the political elites inWashingtonD.C.with several interns working with thenU.S.Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton and current U.S. Senator John McCain.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says, “Many of WIP’s four hundred alumni are now emerging as a new generation of leaders committed to peace, stability and prosperity in bothNorthern Irelandand the Republic.”

This year, Conall will be joining this unique network and building their skills in DC. His internship is in the government affairs department of the International Brotherhood of Boilerworkers, a diverse union representing workers throughout the United States and Canada. “I am really overwhelmed to be on the Program. Working in Washington is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity particularly at this a poignant time in our history and I’m determined to make the most of it.”

Bryan Patten, WIP’s Executive Director, says “This year’s class are extremely accomplished, have a track record of community service and have demonstrated their capacity for leading in their communities. They truly exemplify the quality of our young people inIrelandandNorthern Ireland. The Washington Ireland Program will give them the opportunity to work with those who are leading on a global stage.  This experience will further hone their skills and help create a peaceful, stable and prosperous future forNorthern IrelandandIreland.”

If you would like to track the progress of this year’s team, you can read their personal blogs and view photos at the programme’s website: www.wiprogram.org.