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African American Studies Program

Ms. Fuller goes to Washington

UofSC AFAM Studies minor Antionna Fuller doesn’t let any grass grow under her feet. No sooner had the senior touched down in Columbia this past May from a MayMester trip to Cape Town, South Africa, made a quick change of clothes, she took off to the nation’s capital to walk the halls of Congress as an intern for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF).

The CBCF is an American educational foundation, which conducts research on issues affecting African Americans. Although linked with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Foundation is a separate nonprofit group that runs programs in education, healthcare and economic development.

From four hundred applicants, Fuller was one of only 49 students nationwide tapped for the paid internship.

Fuller said, “Given the prestige and competitiveness of the internship, I️ could not believe I was selected! I would like to thank USC’s Black Alumni Association for giving current students the opportunity to network with alumni. At an event, I️ met an alumna who interned with CBCF. She shared with me her experience, connected with me after and helped me as I️ was applying for the internship. I️ encourage students to take advantage of networking opportunities as such!” 

As an intern, Fuller worked in the office of South Carolina Congressman James E. Clyburn and sat in as he testified on the Reconstruction Era National Historic Park Act (a bill that helps preserve historical landmarks in SC). Fuller also had the opportunity to introduce Congressman Clyburn during his intern lecture series.

With plans to apply to law school after graduation, Fuller’s goals are to work either in juvenile justice or philanthropy. She said the Capitol Hill experience was an invaluable lesson in civics and government.

Fuller said, “This summer has been the best summer yet! The friendships I️ have fostered, the mentors that I️ gained and the memories that were created, will be cherished forever. I’m so happy I️ was able to manifest my passion to give and serve others.” 

This fall, Fuller is serving as AFAM Studies’ first philanthropy intern, and is working with the Central Carolina Community Foundation. The internship is funded through the Soul of Philanthropy Columbia Exhibit.

As a part of her duties, Fuller will help select non-profit organizations to receive funding for their programs.

Fuller is very excited for this opportunity, and said, “At CCCF I️ don’t feel like an intern, but an active member of the team. Everyone is so kind and so helpful. They listen to my insight and value my contributions to the Foundation. I️ am excited to leverage my philanthropic knowledge and see what we will accomplish in our year together!” 

“I’m grateful for the AFAM department at USC for believing in my dreams, pushing me to achieve them, and offering their support and assistance in any way, along the way. Within this department is where I️ found my home away from home and my family,” Fuller said.


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