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Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, standing on the left, addresses Texas Legislative Internship Program students and other guests at a recent reception.

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, standing on the left, addresses Texas Legislative Internship Program students and other guests at a recent reception.

The Texas Legislative Internship Program (TLIP), created in 1990 as an educational opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students, has placed 10 interns this semester in positions in Houston and New York.

Five students are working for Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis’ office; two for the City of Houston, including one in Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Office; one for the District Attorney’s Office; one for Harris County Criminal Court at Law Judge Darrell Jordan; and one for the Innocence Project in New York.

While in the Texas Senate, Commissioner Ellis started the program to give students a unique opportunity to interact with officials from all levels of state and local government. About 700 interns have served in TLIP since its inception.

“I was inspired to create TLIP by my mentor, the late Congressman Mickey Leland, who always instilled in me to help the younger generation,” Commissioner Ellis said. “Now, we have former interns who are reaching back to pull the next generation forward.”
TLIP, sponsored by Commissioner Ellis and administered by Texas Southern University, offers students an opportunity to receive a minimum of six and a maximum of 15 academic credit hours for participating in the program, which combines academic study and research with supervised practical training.

During legislative sessions, TLIP interns are placed as legislative assistants in the offices of ranking members of the Legislature, including the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In the interim between legislative sessions, interns serve in the offices of elected and appointed officials at the state, county and municipal levels.

Former TLIP interns includes Texas Reps. Ana Hernandez, Armando Walle and Ron Reynolds. Judge Jordan also served in the program.

“TLIP continues to develop our future leaders,” said Commissioner Ellis, who serves as the interns’ adviser while his office assists in coordinating on-site activities. “For 28 years, the program has been the bellwether of success for college students.”

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