Heard on the Hill

Disabilities Internship Renamed for Rep. Gregg Harper and Son

Retiring Mississippi Republican founded the program in 2010

The internship program for students with intellectual disabilities will be named for its founder, Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A Capitol Hill internship program is getting a new name in honor of its founder, retiring Republican Rep. Gregg Harper, and his son.

The program will now be called the Gregg and Livingston Harper Congressional Internship Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, Rep. Rodney Davis announced Tuesday. 

“My son, Livingston Harper, has served as the inspiration for me during my time in Congress to focus on improving the lives of those with Intellectual Disabilities,” Harper said. Livingston has Fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition.

The program works with George Mason University’s LIFE Program — a postsecondary education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities — to place students in House and Senate offices. Nearly 200 offices have participated since the program began in 2010.

“I and many others on Capitol Hill have been positively impacted by the influence and hard work of these interns,” Harper said.

The interns are paid stipends through a grant provided by the HSC Foundation, which works to support youth with disabilities as they move into adulthood.

Davis is committed to continuing the program after Harper leaves Congress later this year. He will take over Harper’s spot as the top Republican on the House Administration Committee.

“My office has participated in this program for several years, and I know the value and joy it brings not only to the participants, but also to the members and staff of the offices they work in,” said Davis in a statement. "Chairman Gregg Harper has been a champion for disabilities, and I will ensure that his legacy, the Harper Program, continues on our committee in the 116th Congress and beyond.”

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.