Imagine getting a job at the White House for a Christmas present. It happened to two Anne Arundel Community College students.
Jennifer Stuckert, an Odenton resident, and Patricia DeWitt Rayfield of Severna Park, were notified last week that they will start work in January at the White House as interns, along with about 200 other college students from 41 states.
"This is the first time anyone from the school had ever applied for this internship," Mrs. Stuckert said.
"I wasn't very nervous when I applied, because I thought that since Anne Arundel Community College was such a small school, our chances weren't very good. This is very, very exciting."
Ms. Rayfield, a Savannah, Ga., native who, like Mrs. Stuckert, returned to school after starting a family and establishing a career, says she too is "just happy to get the internship."
Mrs. Stuckert and Ms. Rayfield were selected in a competition among college juniors and seniors from across the nation.
To be chosen, candidates must demonstrate academic excellence and a commitment to public service.
The White House internship jobs include working on special projects and helping with administrative duties.
The program runs from Jan. 19 through April 25.
During that time, each intern will work in one of the following departments: Cabinet affairs, chief of staff, communications, correspondence, executive clerk, the first lady's office, intergovernmental affairs, political affairs or the visitors' office.
"We got to list our preferences, and I applied for the office of Cabinet affairs because I thought it would be fascinating to see how the agencies worked together. The first lady's office was next, because I think Mrs. [Hillary Rodham] Clinton is one of the most overtly involved first ladies we've had," said Mrs. Stuckert, 25, who is working toward a degree in history.
"And I was interested in the office of political affairs because they told me it involved analysis, and that's what I did when I was in the Army. But we don't find out where we work until the first day."
Ms. Rayfield, 53, who returned to school after her husband died, picked the president's office, hoping to schedule his itinerary, the first lady's office and communications.
Ms. Rayfield once worked at UPI taking dictation and was a writer for the Savannah Morning News.