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From Swaziland to the White House

Apr 11, 2014
by Tom Iacuzio

Vincent D’Agostino’s passion for HIV/AIDS education has followed him from disease-stricken villages in Swaziland, Africa, all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Shortly after graduating from Flagler College in 2002, D’Agostino applied to the Peace Corps and requested to be stationed in Africa. His request was granted and he made his way to a village in Swaziland, where the HIV/AIDS infection rate was nearly 50 percent.
 
“After (Africa), I decided I really wanted to help work with HIV/AIDS on a national level,” said D’Agostino.
 
When he returned to the States, D’Agostino found a job working days at a Hospice center and enrolled in law school, taking classes in the evenings. It was then that he started applying to the White House internship program.
 
“I really wanted to work for this administration,” he explained. 
 
The White House typically accepts 100 interns for every semester, and each acceptance period typically sees anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 applicants. 
 
After applying eight times, D’Agostino landed an internship in September of 2013 with the Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House.
 
D’Agostino was placed with the Office of National HIV/AIDS Policy, where he was able to do research and draft legal and policy memos for the office’s director.
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