Upon taking office, Mayor Benjamin launched the Mayor's Fellow program that has welcomed over 300 students to date.  The program is open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and provides an opportunity to actively participate in the municipal government and gain first-hand knowledge of how a high-energy local government office operates. The Mayor's Fellow program caters to students satisfying class credit, fulfilling internship requirements, or those simply wishing to gain experience working in public service, the community, and the governmental arena.


Responsibilities include assisting staff with research in various areas that may affect departments/agencies within the City of Columbia, helping with special projects and assisting with various office tasks. Fellows work closely with staff to identify best practices. City of Columbia’s office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Selected students will be asked to dedicate ten to twenty hours per week to the fellowship program. Professional attire is required for all Mayor's Fellows.
If you are interested in this program, please apply immediately. 

How to Apply 

Spring 2020 Mayor's Fellows Applications are OPEN NOW and will be accepted until January 3, 2020. 

The attached application, along with a resume and references, should be completed and mailed or emailed to:

City of Columbia
Office of the Mayor
Attn: Mayor's Fellows Program
1737 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Email: ariel.cathcart@columbiasc.gov 

Phone: 803-545-4189
*In an effort to conserve paper, if you are able, please email the completed application.
Should you have any questions regarding the internship program or application, please contact Ariel Cathcart at 803-545-4189.

***Please note that this is an unpaid internship program.***

Meet the Fellows

Fall 2019 Mayor's Fellows

Ngozi Chukwueke (Peachtree City, GA) is a senior Marketing and Management double major with a Social Work minor at the University of South Carolina. After graduation, she would like to serve abroad in the Peace Corps for 27 months before returning to the United States to complete her Master’s in Business Administration and starting a career in corporate social responsibility. Ngozi has been involved in Student Government all four years at USC and looks forward to learning how the city government supports Columbia residents through programming and community-focused initiatives. In her free time, she can be found serving the community and working in the kids’ ministry at her church.

Julie Chung (Georgetown, SC) is a senior Political Science major and Chinese Studies minor at the University of South Carolina. During her time at USC, Julie has had the opportunity to study abroad three times in Hong Kong, Beijing, and South Korea. After she graduates in May 2020, she plans to attend law school. Julie is grateful to have the chance to be a Mayor’s Fellow for Mayor Steve Benjamin. As a Fellow, she hopes to learn more about how local government operates and aspires to gain more leadership experience. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, shopping, and learning new recipes.

Ashley Harrington (Irmo, SC) is a junior Political Science major and Philosophy minor at the University of South Carolina.  After graduation, Ashley plans to attend law school in hopes to become a corporate attorney.  Ashley sees the Mayor’s Fellows program as a way to better understand local government and best serve the city she grew up in.  She hopes her work as a Mayor’s Fellow will increase her knowledge on policy creation and negotiation.  Ashley spends her free time organizing events to increase civic engagement in college students and minorities. 

Christina Manolopoulos (Greenville, South Carolina) is a junior in the College of Information and Communications at the University of South Carolina. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Science with a minor in Political Science. After college, she plans to pursue political organizing focusing on restorative criminal justice and the impacts of information systems in relation to discrimination. As a fellow, Christina hopes to be exposed to the inner-workings of local government and an environment to foster professional development within her community.

Rashawn McClam (Florence, SC) is a senior Criminal Justice major and Political Science minor at the University of South Carolina. The Mayor’s Fellows program is an opportunity to gain hands-on experience of how local government operates and to learn more about the community of Columbia. Rashawn plans to work in local government with a focus on criminal justice reform. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends.

Lucy Rios (Colombia, South America) is a sophomore Mass Communication major and Psychology minor at Benedict College. Lucy is honored to be part of the Mayor’s Fellow Program because she sees it as an opportunity to gain experience in how a local government’s office operates and expand her knowledge about the different career opinions she has. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school and later go back to her country to work in something that benefits her community. Lucy enjoys writing, reading, and dancing.