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2010 CHCI Summer Interns

Download file Profile of 2010 Summer Interns

  Brennan Alvarez
AztraZeneca Intern
Hometown:Yucaipa, California
School: Santa Clara University
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Congressman Joe Baca (CA-43)

Brennan Alvarez is an upcoming senior at Santa Clara University in Northern California. He is currently pursuing a double major in political science and environmental studies with a concentration in sustainable development. Brennan has been working with various community organizations in recreation and development over the past three years at Santa Clara. Understanding the need for increased awareness of sustainability issues, he has also interned with grassroots environmental education organizations to further environmental programs, such as urban gardens, within primary school curriculum. Brennan is passionate about working to develop and implement solutions to remedy both environmental and social inequalities through community based advocacy programs.

   

Daniel Arellano
Hometown
: Tuscon, Arizona
School
: The University of Arizona
Major
: Poltical Science
Placement
: The Office of Congressman Raúl Grijalva (AZ-7)

Daniel Arellano is a junior at the University of Arizona, double-majoring in political science and economics. A native to Tucson, Arizona, Daniel has continuously sought to serve his community, volunteering with Southern Arizona Legal Aid and serving on the board of directors for Every Voice in Action Foundation, a local non-profit foundation that specializes in philanthropic support of youth voice in the community. Daniel has also held internships with Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Southern Arizona and with the Arizona Attorney General's Office of Victim Services, where he has gained invaluable insight into the workings of the criminal justice system and of the courts. These experiences have only further fueled his profuse interest in the study of law and politics, an interest he hopes to foment further during his CHCI experience in Washington, D.C.

A first-generation American, Daniel hopes to grow as a leader so that he can serve the Hispanic community in which he had the privilege of growing up. After completing college, he plans to attend law school, where he hopes to gain expertise in how law dictates the interaction between the institutions of governments and provides for the rights of individuals. He hopes to use this expertise to further the progress of the Hispanic community in the future.

  

Margaret Bice
Hometown
: Brownsville, Texas
School: Duke University
Major
: Political Science
Placement
: The Office of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)

Margaret "Maggie" Bice is a second-generation Mexican-American born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. Maggie graduated from Homer Hanna High School's magnet program in medicine in 2009. In high school, she worked as a lifeguard, swimming instructor, and interned with the local McCain campaign and her local newspaper. Maggie is now a rising sophomore at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina where she is double majoring in English and political science with a minor in cultural anthropology. Her post-graduation plans include attending law school and practicing family law while remaining involved in Texas politics; Maggie hopes to someday become a member of the Texas House of Representatives. She has sustained her political involvement while at Duke: she will be helping with the campaigns of Richard Burr and BJ Lawson in North Carolina when she returns to Durham in the fall. During her freshman year at Duke, Maggie served as a board representative for the College Republicans. For the upcoming year, she has been elected to serve as chapter treasurer in addition to being appointed to serve as a regional director for the North Carolina Federation of College Republicans. Outside of academics and politics, Maggie also participates in taekwondo and swimming at Duke at a recreational level. She is also involved with Duke's Campus Crusade for Christ.

 
Natalia Blanco
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
School: New York University
Major: International Politics
Minor: French
Placement: The Office of Representative Pedro Pierluisi (PR)

Natalia Blanco was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is currently attending New York University where she is majoring in international politics with a minor in French. Natalia has a great passion for the French language and plans to continue her study of the language next semester in Paris. Natalia is very interested in international law and plans to attend law school after graduating from New York University. She is an active member of NYU's Child (not) Soldier club where they work with organizations such as Invisible Children that help to provide educational opportunities for former child soldiers. Her family has always been involved in engaging community service and has instilled this in her from a young age. Natalia has a great passion for community service and tries to engage in as many community service opportunities as possible. When Natalia is in Puerto Rico, she volunteers in activities such as visiting children's hospitals and spending time with the patients. Natalia always likes to be involved in organizations that help children in any way and plans to continue participating in these types of organizations throughout her life.

  
Edward Castillo Porras
Hometown: San Francisco, California
School: The University of Arizona
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32)

Edward Castillo Porras was born in Daly City, California. Growing up Edward faced many obstacles with his family. With his father leaving the family to fend for themselves, Edward took the role of the man of the house and helped his mother with anything she needed. A couple years later, Edward's mom then decided that she wanted to move across the country to live with a significant other. With the help of his best friend's family, he was able to stay in the area to finish high school. While working to pay for his expenses, Edward managed to still excel in school.

Edward now attends the University of Arizona and his studying political science with a minor in Spanish. He has been working with the Latino community and fellow students in high school to encourage them to go to college. He understands the obstacles that many students face, but he believes that anything is possible if you work towards it. Edward hopes to work with a wide variety of students all over the world to help them succeed in life.

  Katherine Curiel
AstraZeneca Intern
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
School: Marquette University
Major: International Business
Placement: The Office of House Democratic Caucus Chair, John B. Larson (CT-1)

Katherine Curiel was born in California but currently lives in Milwaukee, WI, where she attended high school and currently attends college. She also lived in Mexico for a small part of her childhood where she was able to experience and learn the rich Mexican culture.

Katherine, an Honors Program student, will graduate in 2012 with a BS in international business and finance. After she completes her degree, she will be among the first generation in her family to attend and graduate from college. She also hopes to relocate to New York City, where she plans to pursue an MBA degree.

As an intern at Harley-Davidson Motor Company last summer, she gained an insight at her possible career path as a finance major. She was able to learn the basic functions of financial forecasting and was introduced to the field of corporate finance, which is one of her career options. She has also held a marketing internship in the Office of Marketing and Communication at Marquette University. There she was involved in advertising the university in newspapers that target perspective students.

Katherine tutors high school students for the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee and is also a ‘Big Sister' for Milwaukee's Big Brothers Big Sisters program, where she mentors a middle school student. Among her recent accomplishments are her title as her high school's 2008 valedictorian, Wisconsin All-State Scholar Award, 2008 U.S. Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award, and 2008 CHCI.

As a CHCI intern, she would like to learn about the current steps the government is taking to address the issues facing the Latino community and hopes to incorporate her interests in business and international studies.

 
Melina Davis
Time Warner Cable STEM Intern
Hometown: New York, New York
School: Barnard College
Major: Political Science
Minor: Environmental Science
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-12)

Melina Davis was raised in Miami, Florida and New York City. She is an undergraduate at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City.

Melina's commitment to environmental and social issues throughout middle and high school helped her obtain a scholarship to the Mahindra United World College of India. Located in rural Maharashtra, Mahindra is an international baccalaureate high school focused on international understanding and social engagement. In her second year at Mahindra, Melina helped develop a new research-based curriculum. She did independent field research on the social, economic, and environmental factors influencing livestock selection in the Himalayas. Her project was the pilot for the alternative curriculum, which has since become an academic option for Mahindra's students.

In 2007, while a freshman at Williams College in Massachusetts, Melina was active in student theater and statewide environmental activism. The following year, she took time off from college to serve as a field organizer for the Obama Campaign in Tampa. Responsible for voter turnout in 19 precincts, she contributed to an 18% increase in Democratic voter turnout compared to 2004 election results.

After the presidential campaign, Melina transferred to Barnard College, where she is majoring in political science and focusing on environmental and immigration issues. She is still active in theater, and most recently performed a one-woman show about about an undocumented immigrant's struggle to attend college in the U.S.

Melina is extremely honored to be able to participate in the CHCI Congressional Internship this summer. She is excited to learn more about the legislative process and to interact with the other summer interns.

  
Aniurka Duverge
Time Warner Cable STEM Intern
Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
School: Montgomery College
Major: Structural Engineering
Placement: The Office of Congressman Martin Heinrich (NM-1)

Aniurka Duverge is a native of the Dominican Republic and has lived in the United States since she was 13 years old. When she moved to this country, she did not speak any English and was put in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. It only took Aniurka two years to finish the ESL program, which typically takes five years to complete. She received the award for ‘Most Outstanding Student' in the ESL program. Aniurka lived in Chicago where she attended Bolingbrook High School for two years. While in Bolingbrook High School, she was part of the National Honors Society, was the manager of the Boys Volleyball team, and received many awards for her academic development. She was also ranked 96 out of 1020 students in her grade. High school taught her how to strive for the best, and her teachers made sure that she was prepared for the real world.

Aniurka moved to Maryland and attended James Hubert Blake High School. At Blake High School, she was part of Fuego Latino and the National Honors Society. She volunteered as a Spanish and physics tutor for many teachers, and she also volunteered at the local Boys and Girls Club and Laytonsville City Festival.

Currently, Aniurka is enrolled in Montgomery College where she wishes to pursue a career in civil engineering. She strives for two minors in architecture and environmental engineering. Aniurka is the first member of her immediate family to attend college, and she believes that having this opportunity to intern with CHCI will be very important.

 

Gypsy Gavia
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
School: Pomona College
Major: Chicano/a Studies
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Kathy Castor (FL-11)

Gypsy Gavia is a first generation Mexican-American, born and raised in Oak Cliff, Dallas, TX. She is working on a double major in Chicana/o & Latina/o Studies and political science at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. Recently, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Lima, Peru at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú where she studied Peruvian identity formation and federal assistance programs.

At Pomona, she is an active member within her college community as a board member of Empowered Latina/os in Action, a social and political organization that addresses Latino issues, and as a Latina/o Liaison, a student position that works with school administration to meet student needs. She has also been involved with the Women's Union, Student of Color Alliance, served as a Chicana/o Latina/o Student Affairs Sponsor for first-year students, and a co-founder of W.O.R.D, a student coalition whose mission it is to initiate responsible dialogue on issues facing communities of color. In addition, Gypsy was a charter member of a School of the Americas Watch organization at the Claremont Colleges where they had an awareness campaign about the military school and hosted a vigil for the larger community.

While in Texas, she has worked for various years as a teacher assistant for the Women of Texas Instruments Fund's AP Physics Camp, which provides educational opportunities to young women in the Dallas Independent School District by empowering them to excel in pre-AP and AP physics and explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Gypsy is looking to pursue a joint degree in public policy and law to better address disparities in education accessibility, institutional support for undocumented students, and comprehensive immigration reform.

  Samuel Gomez
AstraZeneca Intern
Hometown: Acton, Massachusetts
School: Hamilton College
Major: History
Placement: The Office of Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-4)

Sam grew up in La Habra, California. In Sam's early life, his grandmother, was civically engaged and was often recognized with awards for her participation and service in the community. Her example inspired in Sam at a young age a desire to seek a career of service in law, international affairs, or education. Sam attended high school in Acton, Massachusetts where he gained a deep appreciation for writing and literature. Sam attended engineering school at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, but soon learned that the math and physics involved were not his strong suit. After switching to a political science program, Sam transferred from Clarkson to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. At Hamilton, Sam soon found his niche in the History department, where he plans to graduate from the Honors program. Sam is interested in politics, history, aviation, engineering, and philosophy. At Hamilton, Sam participates in the competitive mock trial team and writes for the opinion section of the Spectator, Hamilton's student-run newspaper. Sam hopes to attend graduate school and study either law, international affairs, or education. While not studying, Sam enjoys sports, video games, camping, snowboarding, and golf.

  Vanessa Gomez
Hometown: Henderson, Nevada
School: The University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Major: Political Science
Minor: French
Placement: The Office of Senator Harry Reid (NV)

Vanessa Gomez is a first generation American born to Colombian immigrants. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Vanessa moved to Henderson, Nevada, at the age of three. A rising-senior at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Vanessa is an honors college student pursuing a bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in French.

Vanessa will write her senior honors thesis on child soldiers throughout various countries. She will conduct a literature-based transnational study to analyze the social, economic, and political determinants of the practice. As a testament to her human rights aspirations, Vanessa has already been published for her work "Human Rights Abuses in 1970s Argentina." Over the past year, Vanessa has interned in United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office, where she has worked with the Hispanic community in Nevada.

Upon completion of her undergraduate career, Vanessa will pursue a Juris Doctorate degree in conjunction with a master's degree in global studies. She hopes to work for a human rights organization such as the United Nations or Amnesty International.

  Doris Gonzalez
Hometown: Cornelius, Oregon
School: Oregon State University
Major: Philosophy
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32)

Doris Gonzalez-Gomez is a junior at Oregon State University majoring in philosophy with a focus on religious studies. She is a first generation Mexican-American born in Omak, Washington but has lived in Oregon for the past seven years. Doris is the oldest child in her family and attending college has been a difficult experience, yet she is glad to be leaving a path for her siblings to follow.

As she grew up, Doris struggled with homework, especially mastering the English language, but was lucky to have good neighbors that took the time to tutor her. Since then, Doris has valued the importance of giving back to the community especially working with first generation college students, as she knows from first hand experience that it is difficult to succeed without the support of others.

From the beginning of her college experience, Doris has helped other students succeed in college. She has been working as a writing assistant for three years through which she has been able to help other college students of all disciplines and levels with the writing process. In addition, she has been a RA for two years during which Doris has worked towards ensuring the safety and well being of residents on her floor. Through this role, she has done programming around finding the balance between work and play for first year college students. Recently, Doris was hired as an academic coach and will work with students who are in need of additional support. In sum, Doris truly values what others have done for her and she is taking any opportunity to give back to her community as she has the power to make a positive difference. Doris hopes that once she finishes her college education, she will be able to help her community on a larger scale.

 
Eduardo Gonzalez
GE Hispanic Forum Intern
Hometown: Laredo, Texas
School: The University of Texas at Austin
Double Major: Journalism & Latin American Studies
Double Minor: Spanish & Portuguese
Placement: The Office of Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)

Eduardo Gonzalez was born in Laredo, Texas, but was raised in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. He is currently double majoring in journalism and Latin American studies and double minoring in Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas at Austin.

Eduardo has two passions in life: journalism and foreign languages. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. His goal is to combine both passions to become a foreign correspondent and work for the growing Spanish media market in the United States. He lived in Mexico for fifteen years, studied in Brazil for three months, served as a missionary in El Salvador, interned at a radio station in Spain for six months, and most recently volunteered in India for spring break. All these experiences abroad allowed him to interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds and to learn how to navigate across personal, cultural, and linguistic boundaries. After all these wonderful experiences, he realized that he wants to focus on international reporting for the rest of his life.

Also as an undergraduate, Eduardo reopened the student chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, volunteered as a mentor for first-year students and is currently on the Dean's Honor List.

As a CHCI summer intern, he hopes to gain significant work experience, especially at the press department of Congressman Henry Cuellar, as it relates to his major, and learn more about the policy making process.

 
Nancy Haro
Hyundai Intern
Hometown: Pomona, California
School: Swarthmore College
Major: English
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Grace Flores Napolitano (CA-38)

Nancy Haro is the proud daughter of two Mexican immigrants, who came to America in hope of offering her family a better life. Raised in Pomona, CA all her life, she graduated from Ganesha High School in 2009 as third in her class. She currently is attending Swarthmore College, where she works on a possible double major in English and Spanish.

Nancy had the honor of being a mentor to kids from Chester, PA through a Saturday program called Dare 2 Soar. In addition, she was an active member of Swarthmore Women of Color Collective, which gave her the opportunity to organize a group to go to attend the 25th Anniversary of the Empowering Women of Color Conference held at UC Berkeley. Nancy always attends the meetings of Enlace, Swarthmore's Latino cultural group, and next year she will have the great honor of being Co-President of Enlace. Finally, Nancy was involved in a group formed by three women, called Swatties for a Dream. This group is important to Nancy as its goal is to educate the campus about and promote the Dream Act, and Nancy has friends who would greatly benefit from the Dream Act. With this group, Nancy walked about 10 miles from Philadelphia to Swarthmore with other Dream Act advocates who were walking from New York to DC. In addition, on other various occasions they have gone to march for immigration reform.

Nancy has been honored by being accepted as a Richard Rubin Scholar. This is a program that was established at Swarthmore several years back, which pairs students, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, with a campus mentor who can guide them through their college career.

 
Felipe Hernandez
AstraZeneca Intern
Hometown: Paramount, California
School: University of California, Irvine
Major: Political Science & Music Performance
Minor: Philosophy
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-39)

Felipe Hernandez is a first generation Mexican-American born in Lakewood but raised in Paramount, California. He is currently a sophomore at the University of California, Irvine - UCI, working to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in political science, a Bachelor of Music in music performance in guitar/lute, and a minor in philosophy. He is a member of the Campus Wide Honors Program at UCI as well as a member of the Law Forum, a certificate program that provides undergraduate students with law experience via classes.

As the first in his family to attend a university, Felipe has been committed to be an involved student at UCI since his freshman year. He serves as the financial chair for the Pre-Law society and undergraduate board member for the Bren Events Center Board. Felipe is the founding vice president of finance for the Global Law Brigades, a non-profit humanitarian organization composed of student volunteers who travel to Panama and Honduras to provide critical legal education and aid. This year, Felipe was selected to be a part of the UCLA Law Fellows program that seeks to prepare high-potential undergraduate and graduate students for a career in law.

His passion lies in the legal field. He is strongly dedicated to obtain a degree in law and hopes to one day be able to provide a service to society by aiding citizens in obtaining justice and having their voices heard. Most importantly, he plans on returning to his community to provide assistance to those that need it most.

As an active musician, Felipe is dedicated to inspire those around him to become more tolerant, open-minded, peaceful, and to appreciate other cultures through music. He has performed with various musicians in California, Arizona, Mexico, New Mexico, Texas and performs in a band with his family on the weekends.

During his free time, Felipe enjoys composing music, traveling, learning about cultures, and writing. His hobbies include: playing soccer, jamming, cooking, and relaxing with the good company of friends and family.

 
César A. López
Hometown: Bayamon, Puerto Rico
School: Georgetown University
Major: International Politics
Placement: The Office of Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-13)

César López was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He will be a senior for the 2010-2011 academic year at Georgetown University (GU) in Washington, D.C. He is pursuing a B.A. in international politics in the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service, and a certificate in international development.

As an undergraduate, César has taken various courses in the areas of foreign policy and security studies. In addition, he has done various research projects on Latin America, especially on Cuba and issues of democratic governance in the region. In addition to his interest in Latin American affairs, César has taken various courses on the Middle East and strategic policymaking. César has also been very active in extracurricular groups, such as the International Relations Club, the Philodemic Society (Georgetown's debating society), and Catholic Campus Ministry.

Following his interest in policy development, César was an intern at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, D.C., which is in one of the most prestigious think tanks in western hemisphere affairs. At the Dialogue, César was able to work in the Program of Democratic Governance doing research and working on publications led by Prof. Marifeli Pérez-Stable. He has also been able to work with the government of Puerto Rico working in the Office of the Governor, in the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, and in the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico.

César is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society. He also works as a Spanish interpreter and language services assistant in the Departments of International Services and Patient Advocacy in the Georgetown University Hospital.

As a CHCI Scholar and Intern, César intends to learn about policy-making processes and apply some of the knowledge he has acquired in college in the past years to a real political environment, thus getting more involved and being able to contribute to the Latino community through public service.

 
Maria Mandujano
Hometown: Weiser, Idaho
School: University of Idaho
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz (TX-27)

Maria Santos Mandujano was born in Portland, Oregon and raised in Weiser, Idaho. She is currently attending the University of Idaho majoring in political science, international studies and Spanish. Maria was recognized as an Outstanding Sophomore for the academic year of 2009-2010 and received the Dean Vettrus Leadership Award at the University of Idaho. She will be attending California State University, Chico for the academic year of 2010-2011 through the National Exchange Program. At the University of Idaho she was vice president of National Society of Collegiate Scholars and secretary for Ambitious Women of Excellence Strength Unity and Motivation.

Throughout her first two years at the University of Idaho Maria dedicated much of her time to the well being of farmworkers throughout the United States. During the summer of 2009, Maria was an intern for Into the Fields Internship Program with Student Action with Farmworkers. Her placement for this internship was in Raleigh, North Carolina where she worked for the North Carolina Justice Center as she did outreach for many farmworkers within the area. Maria has recently been actively working with Human Rights Watch as she has been involved with the Children's Act for Responsible Employment (H.R. 3564) and participated in a congressional hearing in Washington D.C. to present her personal experiences as a child farmworker in Southern Idaho and continues to be an activist for the C.A.R.E. Act.

After the completion of her undergraduate Maria's goals include working as a participant in the Fullbright Fellowship to work on sustainable development in Latin America. She then wishes to attend graduate school to further her work with social activism here and abroad.

 
Jose Ricardo Moreno
Time Warner Cable STEM Intern
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
School: Columbia University
Major: Chemistry
Placement: The Office of Congressman Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)

Jose Ricardo Moreno is a first generation Mexican-American born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He attended the School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, Texas before heading to New York City to study at Columbia University. Now a rising sophomore, he intends to double major in chemistry and art history.

Jose Ricardo is currently a part of the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program as a John W. Kluge Scholar and an executive board member of Columbia University Television. As a Kluge Scholar, Jose Ricardo produced a research project focusing on the Suprematism style of Kazimir Malevich. He works as executive producer of a new student-run talk show focused on voicing the concerns of under represented minority communities at Columbia and an investigative reporter to Columbia Television News.

As a CHCI-Time Warner Cable Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) intern, Jose Ricardo hopes to integrate his interests for reporting and science by investigating current efforts to increase Latinos' participation in STEM disciplines. When he is not filming news stories or producing, he enjoys studying organic chemistry, watching sci-fi movies, rereading William Faulkner's Sound and the Fury, and exploring New York City.

 
Raymundo Reyes
Hometown: Glendale, Arizona
School: Arizona State University-West
Major: English
Placement: The Office of Congressman Ed Pastor (AZ-4)

Raymundo Reyes was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. His family moved to Arizona, where Raymundo has had over nine surgeries due to a genetic disorder. Currently, Raymundo attends Arizona State University, and he majors in English and with a philosophy minor. He is also part of the Barrett Honors College, which has given Raymundo the opportunity to enroll in an upper level law school course at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. The law school class, Civil Rights Legislation, is challenging and has demonstrated to him what is expected and necessary to survive in law school. In the fall, Raymundo will begin to work on his honors thesis which focuses on the challenges that undocumented children face in this country. He is on track to graduate from ASU in May 2011, and plans to attend law school after that. Raymundo became a U.S. citizen through the naturalization process in 2009, and he believes that his experience as an immigrant has influenced his decision to practice immigration law after law school.

Most of Raymundo's community service efforts have gone to Relay for Life, which is an organization that raises money for cancer research. He enjoys reading, playing rummikub, and relaxing with his friends and family.

 
Rocio Rodarte
Hyundai Intern
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
School: Brown University
Major: International Relations
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)

Rocio Rodarte was born and raised in Commerce, California. She attended Bell Gardens High School, where she was a lifetime member of the National Society of High School Scholars, a Who's Who Among American High School Students scholar, and a College Board Advanced Placement Scholar with Honors. She graduated Salutatorian and is a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship. She is now a rising senior at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and is concentrating in international relations in the track of Political Economy of Development. At Brown, she is a volunteer with Project Health, a national organization that aims to connect underprivileged residents with the resources necessary to ensure they have access to better health care. She devotes much of her time working with up to twelve cases at a time, helping families find better housing, lower their utility bills, find employment, and ultimately ensure that adequate health care is provided. Additionally, she is the Latino Student Life Programmer for Brown and works to program events that create awareness of Latino issues on campus and essentially build a stronger community among the few Latinos on campus. In the past, she has been the Semana Chicana Programmer for Brown's Latino History Month and has served as the financial director for the Latin American Student Organization. She also works at the Student Call Center where she serves as a student ambassador, calling alumni and networking to ask for funds for the university. Rocio hopes to eventually attend law school and practice either public interest or international law.

 
Rolando Rodriguez
Bohnett Foundation Intern
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
School: Columbia University
Major: Architecture
Placement: The Office of Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-31)

Rolando Rodriguez was born and raised by Salvadoran parents in the heart of South Central, Los Angeles. He attended a medical magnet school where he served one term as class president and other terms as student body president. While there, his history teacher instilled in him a desire for public service, which is why he applied for the CHCI internship.

Rodriguez is the LGBTQ Coordinator for the Columbia Mentoring Initiative and Q House, as well as a peer advocate at the Columbia Gay Health Advocacy Project. When in Los Angeles, he volunteers with Vote for Marriage Equality at the Gay & Lesbian Center and with Equality for California.

A devotee of the arts, Rodriguez wishes to use the power of narrative as a tool for healing. He is currently the assistant costume designer for the Barnard College Theater Department and the graphic designer for NOMADS, a student group that produces new theatrical works. Rodriguez's first multi-media show was produced in April. When not in a theater, he writes, paints, or simply imagines.

 
Stephanie Rodriguez
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
School: New York University
Major: Anthropology
Placement: The Office of House Democratic Caucus Vice-Chair, Xavier Becerra

Stephanie Rodriguez is first generation college student attending New York University. As a rising senior, she is majoring in anthropology and politics and a minor in Middle Eastern studies.

She has held many leadership positions in different student organizations such as Latinos Unidos Con Honor y Amistad, Bella Quisqueya, Hispanic Scholarship Chapter at NYU, and Herencia Latina planning committee. Through her involvement, she has been able to engage the community directly through activism and humanitarian works. She has also been involved in international service projects through ProWorld where she traveled to Peru to help the indigenous communities. Through her works she has received notable prizes such as NYU's Presidential Service Award, and the NIA award.

Stephanie had the opportunity to intern with Council Member Julissa Ferreras of the 21st district in Queens. Through her internship at City Hall, she was involved in various projects that highlighted issues within the Latino immigrant population. This topic that she has great passion for has led her to become an advocate for the Dream Act and also the We Are Alex campaign. Her dedication to service and community has pushed Stephanie to become a role model and a motivation to other aspiring Latino youth.

 
Olgalidia Rosas
Comcast Intern
Hometown: Rockville, Maryland
School: University of Maryland, College Park
Major: Family Science
Placement: The Office of Congreswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47)

Olgalidia "Lidia" Rosas is from Rockville, MD and currently attends the University of Maryland, College Park. She is majoring in family science with a citation in leadership and civic engagement. She has been a member of the CIVICUS Living and Learning Program as well as the Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program. Throughout her college career she has been a dynamic campus leader as the president of the Latino Student Union and has been heavily involved with her sorority, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated. She has been a resident assistant for two years and has worked heavily in the Multicultural Involvement and Community Service Office (MICA) on campus. She has been a trip leader for an Alternative Spring Break trip to Lima, Peru during her sophomore year where she led a delegation of students to help remodel a children's center. She has interned at the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) and at the White House within the Office of the Vice President.

 
Jaymie Roybal
Hometown: Espanola, New Mexico
School: University of New Mexico
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM-3)

Jaymie Roybal was born and raised in a small town in northern New Mexico. She attends the University of New Mexico where she is pursuing a bachelor of arts in political science and a bachelor of science in signed language interpreting. Upon graduation, Roybal plans on attending law school.

In high school, she was an active member of numerous organizations including: Student Senate, volleyball, National Honor Society, Raising Student Voice and Participation, Link Crew, AVID, Mentoring New Mexico and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She also served as a student docent for Choices: Through the Eyes of Students, an organization that serves to educate people on the history of the Holocaust.

In college, Roybal is an active member of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP). She takes a full course load while working part-time at the UNM Ticket Office. She also takes a great interest in the youth in the community. Roybal has coached various youth volleyball teams and has also been a children's ski instructor. Currently, Roybal is a candidate for attorney general of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico and the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society. She is also active in the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO), a program that prepares undergraduates for law school.

Education is extremely important to Jaymie. She seeks to learn from every opportunity presented to her. She values leadership and strives to influence her peers in a positive manner.

 
Eric Ruiz
Comcast Intern
Hometown: Jersey City, New Jersey
School: Boston College
Major: Poltical Science
Placement: The Office of Senator Robert Menendez (NJ)

Eric Ruiz is a first generation Honduran-American, born and raised in northern New Jersey. In the fall of 2010, he will begin his senior year at Boston College, and will graduate with a degree in political science and philosophy.

His interest for public policy and government began with his involvement with the Model Congress club in high school, and has continued with his participation in social justice classes and causes in college. He has volunteered at the Educational Development Group Inc., a non-profit organization committed to the opportunity for workforce mobility for Boston immigrants by providing them with affordable English language and computer training classes. At EDG, Eric worked as a tutor in intermediate English for a class of twelve students from countries in the Caribbean, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa. Eric is also a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts, and mentors a fourth grade student from Boston's inner city, serving as a positive influence and role model.

Eric is a recipient of the Sr. Thea Bowman Scholar Award, and a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society chapter at Boston College. This year, Eric's personal memoir was selected for publication in the first edition of Boston College's Witness Journal.

As a CHCI intern, Eric looks forward to gaining insight into the legislative process, community engagement in Washington, D.C., and learning from the current and future leaders of the Hispanic community. In the future, Eric hopes to attend law school and pursue a career in public policy.

 
Claudia Triana
Comcast Intern
Hometown: Miami, Florida
School: Georgetown University
Major: International Politics
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18)

Claudia Triana was born to Cuban and Chilean parents in Miami, Florida. She is currently completing her last year in Georgetown University, pursuing a bachelors of science in foreign service. She is majoring in international politics with a concentration in security studies and certificate in justice and peace studies.

Claudia came to Georgetown with a strong passion for social justice and has been able to explore new venues such as participating in organizations such as the D.C. Schools project which tutors immigrant students in several public schools in the D.C. area. She has also been involved with other organizations that foster educational and development skills for underprivileged communities through campus initiatives.

While in college, she has become interested in microfinance and would like to research the prospects of bringing such innovative techniques to Latin American communities. As a CHCI intern, Claudia hopes to explore ways of improving the quality of lives of immigrant communities through development and diplomacy.

In the past year, Claudia has studied abroad in Egypt and Qatar and become familiarized with the Arab world and gained a better understanding of many Arab misconceptions. One of her future ambitions is to promote dialogue between different cultural communities as a way to diminish misconceptions and stereotypes.

 
Claudia Valencia
Comcast Intern
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
School: University of Illinois at Chicago
Major: Communications
Placement: The Office of Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-4)

Claudia Valencia was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago - UIC, majoring in communication. Her passion for intercultural relations lead her to decide to minor in international studies and sociology.

In high school, she studied abroad for a summer in Italy and since then she has participated in numerous volunteer activities with the American Field Service. Her drive to build ties within various ethnic groups has stemmed from her countless encounters with teens from all across the world. She believes that building strong intercultural relationships at a young age is key in fostering peace in the United States and abroad.

Claudia is strongly passionate about helping the Latino community grow into an even stronger community. Her recent support and participation in the UIC's Dream Gala, a gala put together to raise funds for a scholarship for undocumented Latino students, further exemplifies her fervor in working towards promoting and supporting Latino youth.

For about two years now, she has been working at the Metro Achievement Center, a center in Chicago focused on helping young inner city girls succeed academically and personally. She believes that there is nothing more rewarding than being able to help a young girl develop good academic and character skills and watch her succeed and work to her utmost potential. Claudia's passions include traveling, dancing, swimming, and spending quality time with friends and family.

 
Jefrey Velasquez
Bohnett Foundation Intern
Hometown: Bronx, New York
School:  Mount St. Mary College
Major: History
Placement: The Office of Congressman José Serrano (NY-16)

Jefrey Roberto Velasquez was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. He has a strong family support system mostly coming from his mother, Lourdes Castro who raised Jefrey on her own. Jefrey attends Mount Saint Mary College located in Newburgh, NY and his major is history and political science. This year, Jefrey was a resident assistant and he was placed in a leadership role serving as a role model for freshman students. He was also a liaison of the Residential Life Department. Jefrey also held meetings to discuss what new information the department wanted to share with the residents. This job was a great experience for Jefrey because it helped him gain confidence in public speaking.

In his time off, he likes to have fun with friends and family, enjoys playing basketball, and other outdoor activities. Jefrey also likes to stay informed, so he enjoys watching CNN, BBC, the National Geographic channel, and the History Channel.

 
Ashley Visitacion
Time Warner Cable STEM Intern
Hometown: Pueblo, Colorado
School: University of New Mexico
Major: Biology
Placement: The Office of Congressman Gene Green (TX-29)

Ashley Visitacion was born in Bremerhaven, Germany to two U.S. Army soldiers. She moved around a few times and has seen much of the United States but was a fortunate Army child who was able to be raised mainly in Fountain, Colorado.

Ashley graduated with honors from Fountain-Fort Carson High School and as the student body president. She was the vice president of the National Honor Society, varsity volleyball player, swim team captain, and volunteered her time at a local elementary school. She also developed the Yellow Ribbon Project, a program that provides care packages for deployed soldiers at Fountain-Fort Carson and was selected to participate in two state leadership camps.

Ashley is more determined to help younger Latinos achieve their aspirations as the minority due to witnessing her mother's life. As a young child, Ashley's mother, Josie Cabrales-Jahnke, and her siblings worked in the chile fields of Hatch, NM helping their parents earn a living. Josie graduated from Hatch Valley High and soon after joined the U.S. Army. While in the Army, she was awarded the highest peace time award, became a drill sergeant, and became a first sergeant. She retired as a combat veteran with twenty-two years of service. Josie's determination inspired Ashley and as a result, Ashley has mentored young Latinos and volunteered to teach elementary kids how to read. Ashley has also directly impacted troubled Latino children since she was eleven years old, as a foster sister. She is currently a Big Sister to a young Latina in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization in Albuquerque, NM. She has mentored many Latino children by providing purpose, direction, motivation, and focusing on one child at a time, all throughout a span of eight years.

Ashley is currently attending the University of New Mexico and majoring in political science with a double minor in biology and religion studies. She just finished her first year of college and continues to set high goals for herself and to help other Hispanics in her community overcome hardships.

 
Sasha Ward
GE Hispanic Forum Intern
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
School: University of Denver
Major: International Relations
Placement: The Office of Senator Mark Udall (CO)

Sasha Antoinette Ward is from Denver, Colorado but has lived between Panama and Denver her whole life. She is currently studying at the University of Denver, majoring in international studies. Sasha became interested in international studies in high school when she participated in a Palestine and Israel discussion and was inspired by the United States' current public policy. When she entered college, Sasha began to take more classes in public policy and international governance. She also had the opportunity to be in a student exchange in Mongolia and it was a memorable experience. Another influence is her family's history during the United States' invasion of Panama in the late 1980s.

Sasha was pleased to be accepted into the CHCI internship because she will now be able to witness the process of public policy first hand and have the opportunity to get a glimpse of what her future career could be. As of now, she is involved in Latino Student Alliance, La Raza Youth Leadership, Muslim Student Alliance, Rotaract International, and Amnesty International. During her free time, Sasha takes the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends and reads as much as she can in interesting unknown cultures. Sasha hopes to study abroad her senior year.


 


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