Alum funds public policy internship expenses

By Julia Train

At the end of 2023, Edward P. Manning ’82 gifted Rider $200,000 to establish The Manning Fund for Public Service, which will offer financial support to students who secure unpaid internships or professional opportunities in government, the public sector or within nonprofit advocacy groups. 

Manning’s idea for the fund came from personal experiences when attending Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. During that time, he was able to complete a two-month internship working on social justice issues at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. because of a stipend he received.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the stipend that they gave me …and so I realized how important it is for students,” said Manning. “Without some financial assistance, a lot of students can’t afford to do those kinds of internships where you don’t get paid and a lot of them don’t pay. They’re critically important for students who want to go into public service.”

At the end of March, the first two recipients, who were the only applicants, were announced. Christina Natoli, a junior political science major and Ginamarie Capozzoli, a senior criminal justice major, will each receive a $2,250 stipend to help them with internship-related expenses.

Capozzoli missed the original mass email, but her mother saw it and forwarded it to her.

She immediately sent her resume and a letter explaining her financial needs to Micah Rasmussen, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics and Kelly Bidle, dean of Rider’s College of Arts and Sciences, who chose recipients. A few days later, she had an interview to talk about her two internships.

She spends one day a week in Philadelphia at the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and another day at the United States Postal Inspection Service in Trenton, New Jersey.

At ICE, Capozzoli works with tracking court cases for convictions and making sure immigrants’ passports are following them along the process with proper documents. At the United States Postal Inspection Service, she helps investigate mail-related crimes, such as mail theft. 

After graduation, Capozzoli hopes to work in some aspect of law enforcement. 

“I love my two internships. I love ICE and I love Postal. I would love to work there, but since the processes are so long for federal governments, I’m also looking at prosecutor’s offices within my area to possibly be a detective,” she said.

Natoli sent her resume and letter over on Feb. 25 and heard back about an interview four days later.

Natoli’s been interning at the Office of the Attorney General in Trenton in the criminal justice department within the appellate division. She’s been working with cases that are out on appeal, by looking at case files and going to appellate court. 

“I’m planning to go to law school, so this internship was definitely really helpful for me,” said Natoli. “It really meant a lot to me that I’m embarking on this next journey. I had someone who is a little bit further along in that I could recognize the importance of stipends like this in furthering those goals.”

Although Manning wishes he could be more involved in his alma mater, he can’t due to living in Sacramento, California, and being a partner and co-owner at KP Public Affairs, a combined public relations and advocacy firm that’s a part of the national public affairs and lobbying firm, Public Policy Holding Company.

Manning wants to ensure that as many students as possible have the ability to experience the benefits internships offer, since they’re often a gateway to a student’s first job.

“I wanted to make sure students weren’t left out of that opportunity because they couldn’t afford to do the internship and not be paid,” said Manning.

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