Student Secures Coveted Federal Internship

PARAMUS, N.J. – Bergen Community College student Askar Mirza has secured a federal internship through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program (HNIP).

Less than half of those who applied earned one of the 177 spots in the program. Mirza will work for the United States Agency for International Development within the Office of Management, Policy, Budget and Performance this semester.

“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to serve the millions of people that benefit from American international development efforts,” he said.

Mirza, of Ridgefield Park, a political science major, plans pursue a career as a political staffer or campaign strategist. He has served as the treasurer of the Student Government Association and as a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the Judith K. Winn School of Honors at Bergen. Mirza also worked as a summer intern for Ranch Hope, a faith-based community organization dedicated to aiding youth living in out-of-home care.

“We are so proud of Askar,” Assistant Director of PTK and Honors Anna Gergen and Director of the Judith K. Winn School of Honors and Associate Professor of Composition and Literature Seamus Gibbons said in a co-signed statement. “As a member of the Judith K. Winn School of Honors and Phi Theta Kappa, Askar has had the opportunity to grow academically and as a leader here at Bergen, which will serve him well in his new position.”

Mirza’s placement in the program comes as the College has expanded its efforts to develop opportunities with partners such as HACU, which offers resources for Hispanic-Serving Institutions such as Bergen. HACU advocates on behalf of more than 500 colleges and universities, while providing access to programs, initiatives and funding for Hispanic students. The organization’s internship program exposes academically qualified students to challenging professional and educational experiences in federal government departments such as agriculture, justice and labor.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

Photo Caption: Askar Mirza

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