U.S. Rep. Bill Barrett, R-NE, has announced his selection of three young Nebraskans to serve as interns in his Washington, DC, office this summer.

"This year, as with every year, my office was contacted by many highly qualified young people from my district. As always, this was a difficult choice for me to make, but I am sure the young people I have selected will work their hardest for the folks in the Third District," Barrett said.

Derek Gentert, Wauneta; Mark Knudsen, Ogallala; and Tucker Omel, Grand Island, will each spend several weeks living and working in our nation's capital.

Gentert, a graduate of Wauneta-Palisade High School, is the son of Steve and Delores Fortkamp. He is enrolled at Chadron State College as a legal studies major, with a political science minor.

Knudsen, a graduate of Ogallala High School, is the son of Herbert and Karen Knudsen. He will graduate with a bachelor's degree in history, with a minor in English this December.

Omel, a graduate of Grand Island Senior High School, is the son of Dr. James and Patricia Omel. He is studying at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, where he is majoring in political science and pre-law.

During their time in Washington, DC, interns will assist Barrett and his staff with a variety of clerical and support tasks. Intern duties include researching and drafting letters in response to constituent inquiries, assisting with press releases and other media relations tasks and giving personal tours of the U.S. Capitol. In addition to their office duties, interns will have the opportunity to attend special lectures, luncheons, and social activities designed to give interns a better idea of what Washington, DC, has to offer.

Congressional interns are selected by Barrett based on a number of factors, including collegiate activities, leadership positions, grade point average and a short essay detailing why candidates want to serve as an intern.

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