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2009 CHCI Interns

Name: Fernando A. Arroyo González
Hometown: Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
School: University of Puerto Rico
Major: Biology
Placement: The Office of Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I want to become acquainted with the legislative process and better prepared for future leadership responsibilities within my Hispanic community.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I hope attend a competitive medical school and later become a surgeon.



Name: Karla Bayona
Hometown: El Paso, TX
School: St. Mary's University
Major: International Relations
Placement: The Office of Congressman Silvestre Reyes (TX-16)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI internship: I would like to gain knowledge of how important decisions are made that help to shape our country; I would also like to learn the basic skills necessary to meet the expectations of a congressional profession. Finally, I hope to build long-lasting relationships that will strengthen my career path.

What I want to do or be doing in five years: I would like to have completed my undergraduate studies at St. Mary's University in pursuit of a law degree or master's. I would also like to continue my involvement with organizations like CHCI that look to better the life in the Latino communities.

Name: Jose L. Cervantes Jr.
Hometown: Ontario, CA
School: Bates College
Major: Politics
Placement: The Office of Congressman Joe Baca (CA-43)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I hope to acquire a better understanding of our nation's democratic processes. I wish to learn about politics so that one day I can make a difference. I would also like to pass the knowledge of my experiences to the next generation of Latino leaders so that one day they may continue to strive for a better future.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: In five years, I see myself returning to the United States from my travels abroad in Latin America. Using the knowledge and experiences gained, I will create a non-profit organization that will assist young Latino's with academics in hopes to further help pave the way Latino's everywhere.

Name: Adriana Cortes
Hometown: Anaheim, CA
School: California State University, Fullerton
Major: Philosophy and Political Science
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I would like to obtain a congressional experience that will enhance my professional skills and give me insight into the political process. My goal is to take what I have learned back to my Anaheim community.

I would also like to build lasting and meaningful relationships with people who are working towards the advancement,equality,improvement, and progress of the Latino community.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: In five years I will be a graduate from law school and will be organizing with a union with an emphasis on youth, immigrants, minorities, working class families, etc. I also see myself continuing to work in the grassroots movement and empower the next generation of progressive leaders.

Name: Cynthia Noemi Cortez
Hometown: Highland Park, CA
School: University of California, Berkeley
Major: Peace and Conflict Studies
Minor: Education
Placement: The Office of Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-31)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: Because Washington, DC is a cauldron for information exchange, I want to maximize my development while establishing relationships with people throughout the country. I want to learn how the government functions in order to help me become a more effective leader in the future.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: One of my life goals is to restructure urban public schools that need drastic improvements. In five years, I wish to work in the educational field in hopes of creating educational reform.

Name: Joseph Garcia
Hometown: Pueblo, CO
School: Colorado State University, Fort Collins
Major: Business Administration
Placement: The Office of Congressman John Salazar (CO-3)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I hope to gain insight of how a congressional representative's office works. I also hope to learn more about the problems facing the Latino community and even more importantly, viable solutions to the problems. Finally, I hope to extend my network of contacts with motivated individuals from across the country.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I hope to graduate from law school and either pursue a career in law or get a job with a Fortune 500 company.

Name: Miguel Garcia
Hometown: Detroit, MI
School: Harvard College
Major: History and Literature
Placement: The Office of Congressman Gene Green (TX-29)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I hope to gain real and meaningful experience through a hands-on learning environment. I hope my internship with CHCI will provide me with a diverse repertoire of experiences and skills to prepare me for my short and long-term career aspirations.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: In five years, I want to be a teacher working for the program Teach for America or attend law school. 

Name: Krystle Gonzalez
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
School: New York University
Major: Communications
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-12)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I hope the CHCI internship will allow me to expand my knowledge of the inner workings of Washington, DC so that I can familiarize myself with the politics necessary to truly combat social injustices that minorities are subjected to on a daily basis.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: My passion for correcting injustice extends beyond my local community and I am truly committed to not only helping Hispanic Americans rise above their circumstances, but am fiercely passionate about inequality on a global level. In the next five years, I hope to make this passion known by continuing my work for non-profit organizations that address the needs of the underrepresented. I plan to join the Peace Corps after graduation to begin grassroots efforts of promoting education in countries where the importance of education is largely ignored.

Name: Veronica Gordon
Hometown: Miami Beach, FL
School: Yale University
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Congressman Raúl Grijalva (AZ-7)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I hope to apply the theoretical knowledge I have learned through my studies and understand how Congress works, how policy is made, and how interests are balanced.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I hope to either work to develop environmental policy or attend law school.

 

Name: Melissa Graham
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
School: Carroll College
Major: History
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Grace Flores Napolitano (CA-38)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I hope to gain the experience and supportive network to help me realize my personal future, but I also expect that this opportunity will give me all of the leadership tools necessary to better my community.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I will attend graduate school while remaining active in my community.

Name: Daisa Guilarte
Hometown: Hyde Park, MA
School: College of the Holy Cross
Major: Political Science, Peace and Conflict Studies
Placement: The Office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (MA)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I want to achieve a real understanding of politics and develop lasting friendships from the internship. I hope to gain practical knowledge and a greater appreciation for the incredible work that happens in Congress. I also want to develop my leadership skills to help the Latino community in the future.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: After college, I plan to either attend graduate school in the area of international relations or public policy. I also am interested in law school to study immigration law. I would like to ultimately serve as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State.

Name: Jael Hernandez-Vasquez
Hometown: Hamden, CT
School: Columbia University
Major: History and Classics
Placement: The Office of Congressman José Serrano (NY-16)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I want to engage in serious dialogue with other Latino leaders about the Latino community in the United States and discuss issues that surround different policies. I also want to gain experience on the workings of our legislative government so that I may take what I learn and use it as a future leader in my community.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I plan to have obtained my Juris Doctor and masters in international affairs. I also want to work for the government of the Dominican Republic to ameliorate diplomatic ties with the United States, European Union, and all of Latin America.

Name: David Justiniano
Hometown: Haddon Township, NJ
School: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Major: Political Science & Urban Studies
Minor: Latin American Studies
Placement: The Office of Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-13)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I want to expand my knowledge on constituent services and legislative process to help my community. I want to be able to use the necessary tools in order to change people's lives through policy.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: Five years from now, I see myself pursuing my law degree in international law or my doctoral degree in international relations and diplomacy as well as providing my services to the U.S. legislature, consulate, embassy, or an international organization such as the U.N. or OAS.

Name: Anthony Martinez
Hometown: Pocatello, ID
School: Idaho State University
Major: Marketing
Placement: The Office of Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-31)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I would like to be surrounded by other exceptional young leaders along with their passions, interests, and ideas, and to develop meaningful and prosperous relationships with them. I would also like to increase my awareness and knowledge of Latino issues and concerns. I want to develop my leadership skills, take back what I have learned from the internship to my community, and motivate young people to achieve.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I would like to spend a few years involved in working for Teach for America or join AmeriCorp. I also want to attend graduate school with and work with our nation's youths.

Name: Alden G. Matamoros
Hometown: Chicago, IL
School: DePaul University
Major: Political Science/Economics
Placement: The Office of Congressman Luis Gutierrez (IL-4)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I want to obtain valuable work experiences in government and build relationships to last a lifetime. I want to be able to get a better feel for Washington, DC and its institutions of government. I would also like to obtain leadership skills from CHCI to better serve my community upon completion of the program.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I want to attend graduate school and get my masters in public policy. I am also interested in getting my Juris Doctor.

Name: Noel Mendoza
Hometown: Bell, CA
School: Georgetown University
Major: Culture and Politics
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I hope to gain a better understanding of government and participate in the numerous beneficial programs and events that may arise during my stay in Washington, DC.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I plan to teach at Verbum Dei High School and make plans to attend either law school or graduate school for a public policy program.

 

Name: Kelly J. Murguia
Hometown: Kansas City, KS
School: Brown University
Major: Commerce, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship
Placement: The Office of Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM-3)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I want to have a clearer understanding of the political issues that face our country. I also want continue enhance my professional network.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I would like to attend the Stanford Graduate School of Business in order to obtain a MBA. I hope to get involved with the philanthropic and community outreach initiatives for a company.


Name: Edgar A. Nunez
Hometown: Queens, NY
School: New York University
Major: Politics
Placement: The Office of Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM-3)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I want to fully understand the workings, dynamics, and culture of a congressional office as well as how the office interacts with their constituents. I want to emerge myself into the political world and figure out if politics will be my career.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I want to be a staff assistant, hopefully Chief of Staff, for a Member of Congress.

Name: Maritza Perez
Hometown: Elko, NV
School: University of Nevada, Reno
Majors: Journalism (Public Relations) / Spanish
Minors: Political Science (American Government) / Economic Policy
Placement: The Office of Senator Harry Reid (NV)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI internship: I hope to gain invaluable knowledge through the CHCI internship that will lead me to a successful legal and political career. Moreover, the CHCI internship will help me solidify essential leadership tactics. The networking experience this internship will provide me will also prove to be useful in my future endeavors.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I will have graduated from a prestigious law school with a dual MBA and human rights/civil rights law degree. My ultimate goal is to be a U.S. Senator working with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Name: Melessa Rodriguez
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
School: University of Texas at Austin
Major: Political Communication and Mexican- American Studies
Placement: The Office of Congressman Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I hope to gain insight of the political system at the federal level and to cultivate my leadership and professional communication skills. As a CHCI intern, I look forward to forging strong relationships with other emerging Latino leaders.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: In five years, I plan to have a master's degree in public policy and a law degree. My goal is to use my education and experience in order to serve my community and to shape legislation that has the ability to positively impact the Latino community.

Name: Jasmine Rosa
Hometown: Port Charlotte, FL
School: University of Central Florida
Major: Business Administration, Non-Profit Management
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (CA-39)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I hope to gain experience and skills in public speaking, public policy, professionalism. I also want to increase my ability to network and learn from others.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I want to work with a non-profit organization that specializes in helping low-income and disadvantage youth.

Name: Cristobal Salinas, Jr.
Hometown: Schuyler, NE
School: University of Nebraska at Kearney
Major: Spanish Education, English as a Second Language
Minor: Dance
Placement: The Office of Senator Michael Bennet (CO)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I want to develop a better understanding of how our U.S. government works, gain and practice leadership, communication, and organization skills. I also want to increase my professional network from across the nation.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: In the next five years, I would like to teach at a college level and work on my PhD in Spanish literature. 

Name: Armando J. Santiago Pintado
Hometown: Carolina, Puerto Rico
School: University of Virginia
Major: Political Philosophy, Policy and Law
Placement: The Office of Congressman Solomón Ortiz (TX-27)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I want to take full advantage of the incredible networking and leadership-building opportunities that CHCI and the internship will provide me. My goal is to successfully integrate both points of view into developing a model for how government can work.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: After having completed my Juris Doctor, and possibly a master's degree in government and public administration, I will undertake a career as a labor law attorney or as a District Attorney in Puerto Rico.

Name: Priscilla Esquivel Weninger
Hometown: Houston, TX
School: Wellesley College
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Congressman Ciro Rodriguez (TX-23)

What I want to achieve through the CHCI Internship: I hope to get a feel for what it is like to work in D.C. and on the Hill. I also want to learn from CHCI leaders and fellow interns.

What I want to do or be doing in 5 years: I see myself making strides in the field of education policy in Texas or California. I'll  have completed my M.P.P./J.D. I will pursue: work on a school board, work at an education law firm, or start my own charter school.


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