Alumnus of the Month
Francisco Heredia - June 2013 - Alumnus of the Month
Hometown: Somerton, AZ
Current Job: National Field Director for Mi Familia Vota
CHCI Program: 2003 Summer Congressional Internship Program
CHCI Program Placement(s): Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ)
1. What motivated you to apply to the CHCI program(s), and why do you think they are important for Latino youth?
What motivated me to apply for the CHCI internship was the opportunity to expand my knowledge on how government works. It was the end of my sophomore year at Arizona State and had decided to pursue a political science degree, to which this experience fit perfectly and it contributed to what I wanted to learn more about. The internship program provided me the opportunity to experience something that few have a chance to do - see the inner workings of Congress. These programs give a kid from the fields of Somerton, AZ, the opportunity to experience the halls of Congress, something that I never thought I would do.
2. What have you been doing since you finished the CHCI program(s)?
Since 2003, I have graduated with my B.A. in political science and a certificate in American public policy and also received my M.A. in public administration from Arizona State University. I have since worked in the nonprofit sector, state and federal government, but my real passion is politics. Currently, I am the national field director for Mi Familia Vota, a national nonprofit organization that builds Latino political power through increased civic participation. I coordinate all national and statewide field activities ranging from voter registration, citizenship outreach, and currently ensuring that immigration reform passes. The organization is present in six states (AZ, CA, CO, FL, NV, TX).
Personally, I have been married for over six years to Carmen and have two young boys, Israel (age 4) and Pablo (age 2).
3. What impact did your CHCI experience have on your career and development as a leader?
The experience with CHCI opened my eyes to the type of work that I continue to be very passionate about to this day. It provided me a network of contacts with individuals from across the county that I still interact with.
4. How do you continue to give back to the community?
Community service and providing mentorship to others is very important to me. This is why I served as a mentor through Big Brothers/Big Sisters for several years, participated in local city and state boards, and volunteered through many nonprofit agencies over the years that serve the Latino community.
5. Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years, and what do you still want to achieve?
I am not sure where I will be in 5-10 years, but I know that whatever I do, I will continue to do my part to ensure that Latinos have the political power to have a true seat the decision-making table. The intersection of serving my Latino community and politics is where my passion lies.
6. What advice would you give current and future CHCI participants?
My motto that I have carried within me since I was young is, “You need to have the ganas to make things happen for yourself.” This ganas, or the willingness to work hard, is crucial if you want to create real change.
Past Alumni of the Month
Raymond Rico - May 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Alejandra Castillo - April 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Yara Lorenzo - March 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Antonio E. Sandoval & Milagros “Mimi” Aledo-Sandoval - Alumni Couple of the Month
Abel Herrero - January 2013
Jessie Mosqueda - December 2012
Kenia Seoane Lopez - CHCI Alumnus November 2012
Hon. Liza Rodriguez - 2012 Distinguished Alumnus & October 2012 Alumnus
Melissa Chabran - CHCI Alumnus June 2012
Jessie Ulibarri - CHCI Alumnus May 2012
Congressional Staff-CHCI Alumni April 2012
Anthony Alcoser-CHCI Alumnus March 2012
Diana Mendoza-CHCI Alumnus February 2012
Betsaida Alcantara-CHCI Alumnus December 2011
Orson Aguilar - CHCI 2011 Distinguished Alumnus & September 2011 Alumnus
Cynthia T. Cruz-CHCI Alumnus August 2011
Miguel Lopez - CHCI Alumnus July 2011
Alejandro Becerra - CHCI Alumnus June 2011
Staff Members for the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy - CHCI Alumnus May 2011
Happy 30th Anniversary CHCI Fellowship Program!
Raul Magdaleno - CHCI Alumnus March 2011
Carlos Elizondo -- CHCI Alumnus December 2010
Ana M. Polanco -- CHCI Alumnus April 2010
Sami Hamed -- CHCI Alumnus March 2010
Couple Edition -- CHCI Alumnus February 2010
CHCI Alumni Association Chapters' Special Edition - October 2009
Edith Rocío Robles -- CHCI Alumnus August 2009
Silvia Inéz Salazar--CHCI Alumnus July 2009
Francisco J. Uribe CHCI Alumnus June 2009
Heidy Servin-Baez CHCI Alumnus April 2009
March 2009: White House Edition
William (Bill) Arce CHCI Alumnus February 2009
Stephanie Valencia CHCI Alumnus January 2009
Miguel Ayala CHCI Alumnus December 2008
Eric Rodriguez-CHCI Alumnus November 2008
Sonia Ramirez CHCI Alumnus October 2008
Mildred Otero CHCI Alumnus September 2008
Juan Ciscomani CHCI Alumus August 2008
Leo Prieto CHCI Alumnus July 2008
Octavio Saenz CHCI Alumnus June 2008