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The Mass Media

Governor’s Office of Access and Opportunity is Reaching out to New Generation of Public Servants at UMass Boston

CDFP+Class+2015
CDFP Class 2015

The Governor’s Office of Access and Opportunity is reaching out to University of Massachusetts Boston community members in their efforts to increase the participation of UMass Boston students in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts state government through the Commonwealth Diversity Fellows Program (CDFP).
Launched in 2011 in partnership with UMass Boston, the CDFP is a semester-long fellowship that seeks to give motivated undergraduate and graduate students first-hand experience with the inner workings of the state government.
This year, the Governor’s Office of Access and Opportunity Program Coordinator Anisha Chakrabarti invites all interested UMass Boston students to apply for a fellowship, regardless of their field of study. “There is something for everyone in the state government,” she says.
According to Chakrabarti, CDFP is a unique opportunity for students who are interested in pursuing a career in public service and/or want to explore a career working in the state government in a variety of fields, ranging from policy to research. 
Many former CDFP fellows have expressed that their time in the CDFP was one that was transformative. Stephen Muse, member of the 2012 cohort said, “I came to see and better understand the strengths and challenges of working in a public office.” He completed his fellowship in the Governor’s Office of Community Affairs.
Other former CDFP fellows say their fellowship experience has given them a new passion for working in the state government and a greater appreciation for public service and public servants. “The CDFP for me was a perfect environment to help me become more diverse, work better with others who have a different mindsets,  and really begin my career in public service,” says Nick Rizzo, a CDFP fellow of the 2015 class.
The CDFP Board Members work to ensure that selected CDFP fellows are placed in one of the many state departments that is closely aligned with the individual interests. This list includes the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, to name a few. 
Jennifer Galvao, Office of Access and Opportunity Co-Program Coordinator, agrees that the CDFP is a great way for young professionals and students to get involved in the state government. She adds that the learning experience of the workings of the state government through the fellowship is equally intriguing. “CDFP [is a thorough] and enriching experience,” Galvao says.
Both Galvao and Chakrabarti encourage UMass Boston students to apply for Commonwealth Diversity Fellows Program. The application deadline is Saturday, October 31, 2015. To apply, visit http://www.mass.gov/governor/administration/groups/oao/cdfp/.
Winston Pierre can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @winstonnewspost