Meet HAF's 2017 Summer Interns

The Hindu American Foundation is pleased to welcome four outstanding undergraduate students to its annual summer internship program and one intern under a joint internship program with the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS). This year's program offers dual tracks: Congressional and Advocacy. Congressional track interns spend eight weeks in a Congressional office on Capitol Hill while Advocacy track interns work alongside HAF's fulltime staff in the Foundation's office. Our HAF-NCSS intern will focus on developing social studies curriculum and education resources.

Take a moment to get to know a little bit more about them!

Satyen Gupta, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)

Satyen is a rising second-year at the University of Chicago, pursuing a double major in Public Policy and Political Science and a minor in Latin American Studies. He interns with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii District 2, the first Hindu elected to Congress. Satyen also serves as the Chair of UChicago’s College Council, and works as a research assistant at the Harris School of Public Policy. He is excited about working in politics, and is specifically interested in the intersection of policy, race, and culture. He loves trivia competitions, photography, and finding great restaurants. This intern position has been endowed by Drs. Kiran & Pallavi Patel.

Sravya Tadepalli, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

Sravya is a student at the University of Oregon studying political science and journalism, and is most passionate about public policy and encouraging substantive political discourse and debate. Sravya placed 2nd at the USA World Schools Debate Invitational as a member of the South Oregon contingent in 2015 and now works as a debate coach for the Corvallis School District. She also works at KWVA Radio in Eugene, where she co-hosts a weekly roundtable show on Oregon politics. She also writes policy articles for the Millennial Action Project, an organization dedicated to creating a new generation of bipartisanship.

Arjun Venkataraman, Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ)

Arjun is a senior at Princeton University concentrating in Operations Research and Financial Engineering (ORFE) and pursuing certificates in Quantitative and Computational Biology (QCB) and Statistics and Machine Learning (SML). On campus, he is a Residential College Advisor (RCA), a member of the the Religious Life Council (RLC), as well as the president of Princeton Hindu Satsangam (PHS). In his free time, he enjoys trying to remember acronyms, having late night chats and avoiding homework. He is especially interested in education and the experience of young Hindus growing up as part of two worlds.

Smriti Ahuja, Advocacy Intern

Smriti is a rising sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University, pursuing a major in International Relations and Politics. A keen debator at high school, she has continued her passion in college and is a member and Publicity Chair of the CMU Mock Trial Team. Through her involvement with the Strong Women Strong Girls organization, she mentors young girls in the Pittsburgh community about female empowerment. She has been attending Arya Samaj Greater Houston since she was six years old and received her foundation of Hinduism there. She has continued her interest in Hinduism at college by being an active member of CMU OM, the Hindu culture and spirituality organization on campus. She is a fellow of the Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston’s ILEAD program collaborating with youth from different religion regarding issues of global peace and spreading the message of religious tolerance. She is the winner of “Hindu Youth Award” by Hindus of Greater Houston, for outstanding community service and leadership and has been recognized by Congressman Pete Olson for her community service efforts. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and watching her favorite TV shows.

Lea Silverstein, HAF/NCSS

Lea Silverstein is from Long Island, New York and started her undergraduate degree in history at American University in the fall of 2013, and just graduated this May. During her time there, she completed several internships that have furthered her interest in education. In 2015, she was an Educational Issues Intern at the American Federation of Teachers, where she advocated for the rights of teachers and students on policy issues such as teacher preparation programs and community schools. She then reignited her love of teaching when she taught college-level history to freshmen, and committed to the combined Bachelor's and Master's program in Secondary Social Studies education at American University. Since then, she has tried to be in the classroom and involved in education any way she can, whether it be through after-school programs in the Washington, D.C. area or through the #1 K-12 news source Education Week. Lea is now thrilled to be advocating for a more inclusive and well-rounded social studies curriculum and hopes to be a high school social studies teacher after graduating again next May.