HillVets first conducted a survey of Capitol Hill in 2014 with the purpose of connecting our fellow veterans to one another. What we found was surprising…there were not many of us!
In fact, if we were to compare Capitol Hill to any of our country’s federal agencies, the Hill would rank dead last.
As such, thanks to a generous support from the DAV, Wounded Warrior Project, the Rumsfeld Foundation and various other supporters we are working to increase the veteran presence in Washington, D.C.
As a nation, the United States is at an all-time high of divisiveness. Our nation’s veterans have shared experiences and know what it means to work toward a common cause.
Less than 1% of Capitol Hill Staff have any military experience despite more than 60% of our annual budget being related to military service.
At HillVets we believe in the value of the veteran voice in the policy discussion, we believe that military identity trumps partisan identity and forges trust across aisles; and we believe the American people all generally want to see more compromise and action.
With the support of many of our nation’s most powerful veteran’s organizations and veterans, we are seeking fellows interested in joining our network and pursuing a career in politics and policy.
So what is the HillVets House Fellowship?
Simple, we are helping veterans like you transition and prepare for meaningful work on Capitol Hill and in public policy: staffers, lobbyist, non-profit advocates, federal employees are the most common employment outcomes for previous fellows.
We provide you fully furnished housing in the heart of D.C., a food stipend, training, and a network of veterans at all levels of success in our Nation’s Capitol.
Why did we create HillVets House?
HillVets is a vibrant network of veterans in D.C. Most of us struggled hard to get to where we are and this is a way for us to give back. We also are alarmed with the low number of veterans in critical positions in and around Capitol Hill and believe that our nation, and veterans, win if we increase those numbers.
How long is the HillVets House Fellowship?
We will provide a food stipend and housing for 4 months. Following your initial four months, you will be responsible to cover your costs at a graduated scale; month 5 = 25%, Month 6 = 50%, Month 7 = 75%, Month 8 = 100%.
**Our goal is for our fellows to find a paid position within 4 months.**
Upon successful placement into a paid position, fellows have two months to move out of the housing.
Who are we looking for?
Hungry, motivated self-starters, looking to get involved in policy and who have a history of making it happen. D.C. is not for the faint of heart. Our most successful fellows have been their own best advocate. Finding a permanent position in D.C. is not dissimilar to running your own campaign. We are here to provide you with your campaign headquarters and a network of veteran supporters to help you become successful now and into the future. At minimum, applicants must possess a 4-year degree or be graduating and who will permanently relocate to D.C. This is not for a check on your resume, it is not an internship to experience Washington, D.C.
What are my expectations if I am accepted?
Because we do not provide a living stipend, we highly recommend our fellows immediately seek Part-Time work, which there is a lot of in Washington D.C., so that you have a steady stream of income.
Participation in HillVets monthly Networking Socials, as well as a monthly event for current and previous fellows, and The HillVets 100 and our Summer Soiree are mandatory good times.
But most of all, we expect you to work hard, and be your best advocate in finding your dream job in policy or politics!
“My experience as a Hillvets fellow was exceptional. The ability to learn the inner workings of the legislative branch by formal education and firsthand experience, followed up with concrete opportunities to continue service on Capitol Hill is unique among government fellowships. The fellowship shaped me as a veteran, and (feedback later demonstrated) my status as a veteran left a lasting effect on the member of congress with whom I served. Hillvets opened doors to a career path that otherwise would have taken much longer to materialize.”
-Jason Goldberg- Research Scientist/Engineer in Support of DARPA
“HillVets is a growing organization, but the organization is growing intelligently. Since I left the Army, I wanted to help the veteran community. Hillvets bridged the gap for me by selecting me to work for congress to fight and advocate for veteran rights. While I was a fellow, Hillvets provided me with more connections, resources, tools and support to thrive in the workforce.”
-Keronica Richardson-The American Legion, Assistant Director/Women and Minority Veterans Outreach
“HillVets was a great opportunity for me to experience the legislative process first hand, while developing friendships with other like-minded veterans and congressional staffers. I decided to go to law school after completing my fellowship, and I am sure my HillVets experience helped set me apart during the competitive law school application process. I was also frequently asked about the fellowship during job interviews, which gave me the opportunity to highlight this valuable experience.”
-Joe Betteley is a rising third-year law student at the University of Virginia School of Law, and he will be a summer associate at a law firm in Washington, D.C. starting in May 2017.
“HillVets has played an instrumental role in my DC experience. The summer spent as a HillVets fellow inspired me to pursue a long-shelved goal – earning my Master’s degree – and my cohort encouraged and mentored me throughout the application process. Additionally, through continued volunteering with HIllvets, I have come to appreciate the vast impact a small organization can have – in HillVet’s case, helping veterans to seek continued service to our country as policy advisers.
The HillVets community is a team; we strive to bring out the best in each other and to encourage endurance in the face of setbacks. I am grateful for the time spent with, and lessons learned from, this incredible community, one in which I will always belong.”
-Abigail P Gage
Masters Candidate JHU-SAIS-Former HASC Staff Member
Can I use the GI Bill or VR&E?
Maybe, if you can get college credit from your educational institution while participating in the program you should be able to receive GI Bill benefits. On VR&E, if you can make the argument that this is as siting you in you reaching your vocational goal, which seems like it should be, the VA may grant you VR&E benefits.
- Travel to and from Washington, D.C.
- Our first class may not receive both housing and a stipend
How do I apply and what are deadlines?
Applications are being accepted and available openings are filled on a rolling basis! Apply today to be considered for current and future openings.