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FDR Memorial Legacy Committee and University of The District of Columbia Award Internships

  • Dec - 22 - 2022


  Michael Reeves Deland Internship Students Awarded to Semere & Simms

Washington, D.C. (December 22, 2022) – The FDR Memorial Legacy Committee and the University of the District of Columbia are pleased to announce that undergraduate students Tewelde Semere and Derrick Simms have been awarded the Michael Reeves Deland Internship for the 2022-2023 school year.

“Mike Deland was a true public servant. He believed in equality, opportunity and justice. It was always clear that what he did was for the future generations,” explained Mary E. Dolan, Executive Director and Founding Member of the FDR Memorial Legacy Committee. “Tewelde and Derrick are the future and it is a great honor for the FDR Committee to carry forward Mike’s legacy in this internship program with these two great people!“ 

The Michael Reeves Deland Internship, established in January 2022 by Mike’s college roommates, Charlton Ames and William “Nick” Bancroft, is an ongoing tribute to Mike and his spirit of optimism, courage, indefatigable determination, and commitment to promoting opportunity, equality, and inclusion.  Administered in partnership with the University of the District of Columbia, this internship is designed to provide workforce development opportunities for disabled students.

Internship Responsibilities

The students’ internship responsibilities include conducting research and other activities related to "The Impact of Food Insecurity on Postsecondary Students/Persons with Disabilities who reside in Wards 7 & 8 in the District of Columbia" project. Specifically, they are working to identify disability and food organizations, facilitate community meetings, conduct action research, communicate project activities in digital and print formats, and ensure accessibility for research participants. 

Tewelde Semere is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering with a concentration in computer engineering. In addition, he is an AmazonNext scholar who has been researching food injustice and food deserts in Washington, D.C.

Before pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work degree, Derrick Simms earned an Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies (AA) from the University of the District of Columbia. Derrick is committed to advocating in the workforce and the community for persons with disabilities. 

About the FDR Memorial Legacy Committee

FDR Memorial Legacy Committee is a citizen led organization with the mission to promote education about the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C., improve inclusion and accessibility so all visitors can experience the Memorial and preserve the Memorial for future generations. The organization, borne out of the successful disability led campaign in the 1990s for disability representation at the Memorial, is committed to sharing the diverse perspectives of the Roosevelt era and that era's legacy today.  Please visit for more information.

About the University of the District of Columbia

The only public university in the nation’s capital and the only urban land-grant university in the United States, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) committed to a broad mission of education, research and community service. Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, UDC offers workforce training, professional certification and 81 undergraduate and graduate degrees designed to create opportunities for student success. The University is comprised of a Community College and Division of Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; School of Business and Public Administration; College of Arts and Sciences, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences and the David A. Clarke School of Law.  Learn more at


a photo of a person with a goatee smiling and wearing a white and blue pinstripe button-down shirt.

Photo caption: Tewelde Semere, a computer engineering undergraduate student at The University of the District of Columbia, has been awarded the 2022-2023 Michael Reeves Deland Internship.

 a headshot of a person with a beard and mustache thoughtfully looking into the camera.

Photo caption: Derrick Simms, undergraduate student studying social work at The University of the District of Columbia, has been awarded the 2022-2023 Michael Reeves Deland Internship.