2022 SikhLEAD Internship Program

A project of SALDEF
Kiran Kaur Gill
Washington, Washington D.C., US
$5,840pledged of $50,000 goal
$5,840goal: $50,000
Yes tax deductible

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SikhLEAD: Empowering the Next Generation of Sikh American Leaders 

SALDEF’s SikhLEAD Internship Program has been developing the next generation of Sikh American leaders for over a decade.

The SikhLEAD Washington DC Internship program partners with congressional offices, federal agencies, and Washington DC-based organizations to provide Sikh American students (undergraduate, graduate, and law students) with enriching Internship experiences.  

Each summer, this program provides future leaders with hands-on experiences in the executive and legislative branches of government, and mentorship from experts in the field. These internships allow students to explore a potential career track, create a network of professional and personal contacts, develop real-world skills, and build confidence.

This program creates a robust pipeline of aspiring Sikh American leaders with critical experience working in the government. This experience is essential for becoming community leaders, policy advocates and elected officials who can foster change and represent the Sikh American community.

The SikhLEAD Internship program has expanded to include a SikhLEAD Regional Program which is open to all 50 states. The SikhLEAD Regional Internship Program is modeled after the Washington DC Program and provides high school and college students with internships in state and local government as well as partner organizations across the country.

In addition to internship opportunities, the SikhLEAD Internship programs provides students a chance to:

  • Collaborate on Seva projects (Sikh community based)
  • Attend networking events
  • Connect with Mentors
  • Gain professional development through the leadership workshops including discussions with Sikh elected officials and Sikh Americans in the White House.

As a result, the SikhLEAD participants gain many new experiences and skills, and grow their personal and professional networks. 

Mehnaz Grewal, a legislative intern at the Office of Representative Ilhan Omar and SikhLEAD DC class of 2021, reflected on her own SikhLEAD experience, “I have had the incredible opportunity to become directly involved in many of my interest areas, connect with amazing experts in their fields, and experience Capitol Hill Washington DC in person!” 

“I was the first student from my sangat to participate in the SikhLEAD Internship Program, a program dedicated to giving youth like myself the skills and real-world experience they need to make public service and community empowerment a core part of their lives. I appreciated this opportunity to grow my national sangat and to learn that all of us in Indiana are part of a larger network of Sikhs building and serving our community,” shared Japjit Tutt, SikhLEAD Regional Class of 2021.

 “Participating in the SikhLEAD Summer Internship Program allowed me to develop an even stronger connection to Sikhi––both as I cultivated some of my best friendships with my fellow SikhLEADers and as I learned how to apply Sikh values to my work as well as my personal life.” shared Ikaasa Suri, a SikhLEAD alumni.

What Your Donation Supports

  • Stipends and travel support for our national program participants 
  • Staff support in working with placement offices, screening candidates and mentoring participants
  • Program Development
  • Logistical support for in person programming sessions 
  • National and Regional Networking sessions 
  • 08/08/2022

    SikhLEAD Internship 2022

    SikhLEAD Regional 2022 Internship Program selected 66 students across the nation to participate in the program this summer from June 11th- August 13th. These SikhLEADers were placed in coveted local, state government and partner organization Internships. The program also hosted virtual sessions for the SikhLEADers every Saturday inviting esteemed speakers such as Senator Manka Dhingra, Rep Ranjeev Puri, Councilman Mikey Hothi for Sikh Elected Officials Panel, LTC Kamal Kalsi and Kulvir Singh (SikhRI). In addition to this, professional development sessions were conducted and all the SikhLEADers were connected with Sikh Mentors from their respective fields of career interest to provide them with guidance and mentorship. 

  • 09/01/2021

    SALDEF 2021 SikhLEAD Internship Program

    In 2021 we successfully placed 83 SikhLEAD internship participants in various internships all across the country including congressional offices, federal agencies, and Washington, DC-based organizations. The participants also successfully completed 18 seva projects that contributed to the community. In addition, they also received mentorship, attended various workshops and gained many leadership development opportunities throughout the summer. The highlight for many of the SikhLEAD participants this summer was the ability to grow their network with many other young Sikh professionals and students from all across the country.

  • 06/14/2021

    SALDEF 2021 SikhLEAD Internship Program

    In 2021 we have placed 15 students into our Washington DC SikhLEAD Internship program. These students are from 9 states and have internships at the Equal Employment Office, Rep. Illhan Omar, Senator Manka Dhingra, NCAPA, Congressman Thompson, New Heights Communication, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and others.

    Regionally 67 students from 17 states have been placed in internships with multiple assemblymen and assemblywomen, senators, council members, mayors, state representatives, partner organizationsin State legeslative offices and other partner organizations. 

    The SikhLEAD Internship Program also requires students to complete group seva projects, attend leadership development sessions and obtain advise from their mentors. 


  • 03/25/2021

    SALDEF 2021 SikhLEAD Internship Program

    In 2021 we have accepted 15 students to our Washington DC SikhLEAD program and Regionally we have expanded to over 15 states (Including - CA, NY, MI, IL, FL, MD, VA, MA etc). On average, we have enrolled about 5 to 10 students in each state in the regional program.  

    Both the DC and Regional SikhLEAD students are currently under the placement process. Seva projects are also being assigned to them to be delivered during the summer.

Name Donation Date
Match Fund $1,250.00 August 2022
Gurbux Singh $1,250.00 August 2022
Match Fund $500.00 July 2022
Gurpal Bhuller $500.00 July 2022
Match Fund $50.00 July 2022
Jim Roeder $50.00 July 2022
Match Fund $20.00 July 2022
Anonymous $20.00 July 2022
Match Fund $100.00 July 2022
Narinder Singh $100.00 July 2022
Match Fund $1,000.00 July 2022
Satinder Malhi $1,000.00 July 2022
DAF DVN Administrator $1,000.00 July 2021
Anonymous $100.00 May 2021
Anonymous $101.00 April 2021
N. S. $250.00 November 2020
Match Fund $100.00 November 2020
Guneet Kaur $100.00 November 2020
Match Fund $250.00 November 2020
Arvinder Kaur $250.00 November 2020
Match Fund $250.00 November 2020
Sukhdev Singh $250.00 November 2020
Match Fund $250.00 November 2020
G. S. $250.00 November 2020
Match Fund $100.00 November 2020
Anonymous $100.00 November 2020
Match Fund $250.00 November 2020
Karen Singh $250.00 November 2020
Match Fund $250.00 November 2020
Kavneet Alag $250.00 November 2020
R. K. $50.00 November 2016
N. B. $100.00 November 2016
P. S. $100.00 November 2016
A. S. $101.00 December 2015
M. S. $10.00 November 2015
M. S. $100.00 November 2015
J. B. $500.00 November 2015
M. S. $10.00 September 2015
M. S. $50.00 September 2015
M. S. $10.00 July 2015
M. S. $10.00 May 2015
M. S. $10.00 March 2015
M. S. $15.00 March 2015
M. S. $10.00 January 2015
J. M. $101.00 January 2015
M. S. $10.00 November 2014
M. S. $500.00 November 2014
V. B. $10.00 November 2014
V. B. $10.00 October 2014
M. S. $10.00 September 2014
V. B. $10.00 September 2014
V. B. $10.00 September 2014
V. B. $10.00 August 2014
M. S. $10.00 July 2014
V. B. $10.00 July 2014
M. S. $10.00 May 2014
M. B. $10.00 May 2014
J. K. $10.00 May 2014
V. B. $10.00 May 2014
H. S. $21.00 April 2014
V. B. $10.00 April 2014
M. S. $100.00 March 2014
J. K. $10.00 March 2014
V. B. $10.00 March 2014
M. S. $100.00 February 2014
V. B. $10.00 February 2014
M. S. $100.00 January 2014
J. K. $10.00 January 2014
V. B. $10.00 January 2014
H. S. $100.00 December 2013
M. S. $100.00 December 2013
V. B. $10.00 December 2013
H. S. $200.00 November 2013
P. S. $40.00 November 2013
G. S. $50.00 November 2013
H. S. $200.00 November 2013
D. M. $110.00 November 2013
B. G. $100.00 November 2013
J. K. $10.00 November 2013
D. M. $500.00 November 2013
H. K. $500.00 November 2013
D. M. $1,000.00 November 2013
M. A. $500.00 November 2013
J. A. $500.00 November 2013
D. M. $550.00 November 2013
J. A. $500.00 November 2013
M. S. $50.00 November 2013
D. M. $500.00 November 2013
G. S. $500.00 November 2013
M. S. $50.00 November 2013
V. B. $10.00 November 2013
V. B. $10.00 October 2013
J. K. $10.00 September 2013
M. S. $50.00 September 2013
V. B. $10.00 September 2013
V. B. $10.00 August 2013
J. K. $10.00 July 2013
M. S. $50.00 July 2013
V. B. $10.00 July 2013
V. B. $10.00 June 2013
J. K. $10.00 May 2013
V. B. $10.00 May 2013
V. B. $10.00 April 2013
J. K. $10.00 March 2013
V. B. $10.00 March 2013
V. B. $10.00 February 2013
J. K. $10.00 January 2013
J. S. $10.00 January 2013
V. B. $10.00 January 2013
M. D. $100.00 December 2012
V. B. $10.00 December 2012
V. B. $10.00 November 2012
V. B. $10.00 October 2012
M. S. $50.00 September 2012
V. B. $10.00 September 2012
H. S. $25.00 May 2012
I. S. $117.39 March 2012
I. S. $50.00 February 2012