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$2,500.00 for the James A. Finnegan Award; additional individual $2,000 awards; honorable mentions as recommended.  To receive the full monetary award, winners must accept and complete the required portions of the summer internship.


Placement in a named summer internship in state government.


Finnegan Interns also earn weekly salaries paid by state agencies during their state government employment.


The internships are named for the late James A. Finnegan and other men and women who have made important contributions to the "art of government" in Pennsylvania.

For more information about our program, click here.

Awards Ceremony 2014 (S0340604xA89D7).jpg


Undergraduate students who at the time of essay submissions, are attending accredited Pennsylvania colleges/universities and Pennsylvania residents attending accredited colleges/universities elsewhere, who have completed at least 1 semester, are eligible to apply.

Summer Experience

Students should expect to be assigned to hybrid positions in state government. These internships may be in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of government at the discretion of the Finnegan Foundation. Interns attend seminars/Zoom meetings with leading elected or appointed public officials and key media personnel. In order to receive the full monetary awards mentioned above, applicants MUST be available to secure an internship during the summer for a minimum of 8 weeks and a maximum of 10 weeks, generally beginning in late May and ending mid to late August.


A panel of distinguished judges, under supervision of the Board of the Finnegan Foundation, chooses a number of winners. The judges consider a student's background, civic endeavors and career interests, and the designated written essay on a political science theme. Pandemic permitting, winners are announced in late march at a luncheon in the Governor's Residence.

Application Deadline

Application, together with attachments, must be electronically transmitted

no later than 11:59 PM on January 26, 2024

or POSTMARKED no later than January 26, 2024. 


Please mail the application to Kathy Speaker MacNett, Treasurer, 320 Market Street, Suite 600W, Harrisburg, PA  17101 or submit via email to

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