2012 CHCI Spring Interns

CHCI welcomed its 2012 Spring Congressional Interns on February 6.  The class is composed of 12 diverse individuals from nine states.  They come from 12 different academic institutions, are pursuing nine different majors, and 58% are the first generation to attend college.  What is unique about this class of interns is that 100% come from households with an annual income of less than $45,000.

Detailed Demographics: Download file 2012 CHCI Spring Congressional Interns Demographic Profile

Each intern followed a unique path that led them to CHCI's internship program.  Learn more about these impressive individuals. 

Luisa Batiz

Yenipher Delarosa

Christian Del Cid

Iliana Garcia

Linda Gomez

Isaac Hasson

Stephanie Kamey

Lucas Palacio

Ana Rivera

Pablo Saba

Maria Suarez

Cristina Villa


2012 Spring Intern-Luisa BatizLuisa Batiz
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
School: State University of New York at Binghamton
Major: Sociology
Placement: The Office of Sen. Kristen Gillibrand

Luisa Batiz is a first generation Garifuna Honduran American born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  Currently, she is pursuing her bachelor's degree in sociology with a minor in global studies at Binghamton University.

Luisa has a long-term commitment to serving underprivileged communities of color.  In the past, she has designed a 10-week workshop series focused on self-esteem and leadership skills in female adolescent teens in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.  She has also volunteered as an assistant teacher in La Ceiba, Honduras.  Luisa has continued her work with youth of color as she founded a student organization called WE SPEAK BU, which was created to address the increasing rates of HIV/AIDS among women of color.  As she prepares to further her education, she plans to continue to tackle issues that adversely affect Black and Latino communities.

As a CHCI intern, Luisa aspires to gain a first-hand look into the daily transactions that take place on the Senate floor and to use her experience as a foundation for a career in public policy. 

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2012 Spring Intern-Yenipher DelarosaYenipher Delarosa
Hometown: Stockbridge, Georgia
School: Georgia State University
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Rep. Xavier Becerra

Yenipher Delarosa is of Dominican ancestry. She is a senior at Georgia State University, double majoring in political science and philosophy, with a pre-law concentration. She will graduate with honors thesis research distinction involving the Ethics of Immigration with the Philosophy Department. She has been the vice president of the Honors Student Organization, HSF Scholar, registered mentor and LASA member. This first-generation student has volunteered for Hands on Atlanta and Books for Africa. In spring 2011, she was awarded most helpful member by the International Student Association Council.

Yenipher grew up in metropolitan Boston, and moved to Henry County, GA, at the age of 15. She graduated from Stockbridge High School and then gained experience as a customer service representative with RCC and Associates--becoming a certified insurance subagent. The local office also attended to the needs of immigrants, which is where Yenipher’s passion to fight for the human rights of Latinos grew. Later, she interned for the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials to increase the Latin American involvement in politics and to achieve more adequate representation of the Latino community. As a graduate of the GALEO Institute for Leadership, Yenipher believes in cooperation, compromise, equality and inclusiveness to achieve higher goals and solutions.

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2012 Spring Intern-Christian Del CidChristian Del Cid
ometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
School: University University of Maryland-College Park
Major: American Studies
Placement: The Office of Sen. Debbie Stabenow

Christian Julian Del Cid is a first generation college student at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD).  He was born in the District of Columbia to Guatemalan immigrants.  Christian is a senior majoring in American studies with minors in Spanish business and U.S. Latino studies.  He is a devoted student leader and serves as a peer mentor for the College Success Program based out of the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education--a program designed to act as a support network for minority men at UMD.  Christian is also a proud Hermano of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc., an organization that puts the Latino community and empowerment of Latino students at the forefront of its goals. 

In fall 2012,  Christian plans to graduate not only with a degree, but also with a secured job.  He would like to put his skills to the test and return to graduate school after a year's experience in the real world.  Graduate interests include public policy, international development or pursuing a master's in American studies. With a variety of internships and student leadership roles a dynamic and versatile job would be a great fit. 

As a CHCI Intern, Christian intends to make the most out of this challenging opportunity by networking and absorbing as much as he can from the hands-on experience that will be provided.  He has a particular interest in international development/relations as well as discovering the missing link between Latinos in government at all levels. 

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2012 Spring Intern-Iliana GarciaIliana Garcia
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
School: Hope College
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard

Iliana D. Garcia is a first generation Mexican-American college student born and raised in East Los Angeles by her mother Graciela Villeda. She is knowledgeable in Spanish, English, Italian, German, and some Greek.  In high school, Iliana was awarded with a scholarship from CALS Early College High School and the East Los Angeles Rotary Club to study aboard in Italy for the 2007-08 academic year. 

In 2009, she enrolled at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.  She is currently a junior pursuing a degree in philosophy and political science with an emphasis on international relations.  At Hope College, she is a founder and proud member of the Theta Gamma Pi Sorority.  As a Phelps Scholar, she is heavily involved in promoting diversity on campus and in the local community.  During her sophomore year, she became a member of the Eta Kappa chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society.  In the same year, Iliana studied abroad in Greece and traveled throughout Europe and Turkey.  Recently, she was re-elected to serve on the Panhellenic Executive Board in the Fall 2012.  Iliana has also volunteered at the Latin Americans United for Progress nonprofit, Children’s After School Achievement Program, and the Pueblo Del Sol Boys and Girls Club. Through these experiences she recognizes the importance of being civically engaged and active in her community and worldwide.

As a CHCI intern, Iliana hopes to gain insight from her hometown representative on how the Latino community benefits from current U.S. policies as well as skills to become prominent leader.  She believes this internship opportunity will be a stepping stone to pursue a career in international law or public policy.   

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2012 Spring Intern-Linda GomezLinda Gomez
Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin
School: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Major: Zoology
Placement: The Office of Sen. Michael Bennet

Linda Gomez is a first generation Mexican-American born in Del Rio, Texas, but raised in Guanajuato, Mexico. At the age of nine, she and her family moved to Madison, WI, where she has lived since.  She was the first in her intermediate and extended family to receive a high school degree, graduating at the top four percent of her class from Madison LaFollette High School.  She is currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is pursuing a major in zoology with a certificate in women’s studies.

Linda’s continual hard work paid off as she received two full-ride scholarships to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She is a Chancellor Scholarship Program Scholar as well as a Rotary Club of Madison Scholar. Through these organizations, she has volunteered in numerous activities, including helping in the local public library, bell ringing for the Salvation Army, and cleaning local parks.  In addition, Linda has also directly helped the Latino community by using her bilingual abilities to provide aid to those in need, such as translating documents.  Apart from all of her academic obligations, Linda has also been able to maintain a part-time job at the University of Wisconsin Survey Center where she helps in the supervision of interviewers, screening of possible bilingual employees, and performs daily team and individual tasks.

As a CHCI intern, Linda hopes to further grow as a person and improve her leadership skills by broadening her understanding of the legislative process and public policy.  Upon graduating, she plans on pursuing a law degree so she can continue to make a positive impact in the Latino community.

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2012 Spring Intern-Isaac HassonIsaac Hasson
Hometown: Evanston, Illinois
School: Northwestern University
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Sen. Mark Kirk

Isaac Hasson is a second generation Ecuadorian, Colombian, and Spanish American born in Queens, NY, and raised in Katonah, NY.  He is a B.A. candidate at Northwestern University, pursuing a degree in political science, economics and sustainability.  Isaac was a recipient of the Posner Research Fellowship, researching the impact of Chinese investment in Sub-Saharan Africa.  At Northwestern, he serves in the University Senate representing SEED, Northwestern’s largest environmental organization, and serves as the leader of the Party of the Center in the Northwestern Political Union.

Isaac also helps run two separate service projects, the North Shore Restoration Project—where the volunteers help park stewards remove harmful invasive species from forest preserves—and both the after-school and citizenship programs at Centro Romero, where volunteers 1) tutor children from Spanish-speaking families in subjects made difficult by the language barrier and 2) assist immigrants preparing for their naturalization exams.  For the past few months, Isaac has worked at the Jon Huntsman for President campaign, serving in the communications department in the War Room, assisting the operations staff with event planning, and assisted the political department with Latino outreach.

As a CHCI intern, Isaac hopes to promote Hispanic issues as American issues through coalition building and advocacy, with the ultimate goal of the integration of these issues into mainstream political dialogue.

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2012 Spring Intern-Stephanie KameyStephanie Kamey
Hometown: Fresno, California
School: University of California-Riverside
Major: History. Law & Society
Placement: The Office of Rep. Jim Costa

Stephanie Kamey is 23 years old, born and raised in Fresno, CA.  She attended Fresno City Community College and worked various full-time jobs before transferring to the University of California, Riverside in 2010.  She is scheduled to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree by March of 2012, majoring in history/law and society, with a special interest in philosophy.

On top of her education, Stephanie has a variety of experience in the work field.  She has worked as a Historical Reporter for Northtown Housing Development Corporation, interviewing community members and recording the historical significance of their data.  She has worked as a Data Transcriber for the IRS inputting tax return information.  One of the most meaningful jobs she held was as a Legislative Assistant for an attorney’s office where her love for law and policy blossomed.  She was a peer educator for two years in the kNOw More program advocating for abuse-free teen and adult relationships and at UCR, she participated in Intramural Sports Club every quarter.  She has received various awards for her work ethic and dedication to her employers.

Through the CHCI internship, Stephanie hopes to gain a working knowledge of the U.S Congress and the process of law making in the Supreme Court.  She hopes to network with all levels of employees in various departments to make the most of her stay in D.C.  Above all, she wants to gain valuable experience that will help her inspire other Latinos to attend college and become involved in bettering the Latino community through civic engagement and self initiative.

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2012 Spring Intern-Lucas PalacioLucas Palacio
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
School: Creighton University
Major: International Relations
Placement: The Office of Rep. Linda T. Sánchez

Luke Palacio is a third generation Mexican-American born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska.  He is currently a sophomore at Creighton University, studying international relations, and is scheduled to graduate in May 2014.  During the Fall 2011 semester he was selected to be an intern for the campaign of Nebraska Democratic Senator Ben Nelson.

He graduated from Creighton Prepatory High School.  During high school, he was chosen to be a part of a select group of students to participate in Youth Leadership Omaha (YLO), which is a leadership development seminar put on by Creighton University and a nonprofit organization called The AIM Institute.  Out of that group of 40 students, he was chosen to participate in the second part of the program called Youth Leadership Omaha Ambassadors.  They were tasked with helping to plan the next year's YLO session, as well as planning a youth forum based around planning for the future.

For the last three years, Luke has worked at a volunteer fire department in the rural areas of Omaha.  He started when he was 12 years old as a cadet, just doing basic training.  Once he turned 16, he was allowed to participate in official department training, as well as respond to all fire/medical calls.  Now at 19, he is a nationally-registered emergency medical technician.

As a CHCI intern, Luke hopes to further develop his leadership skills, become more familiarized with the American government system and provide a role model for others in the Latino community.

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2012 Spring Intern-Ana RiveraAna Laura Rivera
Hometown: Mission, Texas
School: University of Texas at Austin
Major: Government
Placement: The Office of Rep. Henry Cuellar

Born in Pomona, California, and raised in Palmview, Texas, Ana Laura Rivera is a first generation Mexican-American and the first person in her family to pursue higher education.  She is pursuing a degree in government and humanities honors and an interdisciplinary certificate in human rights and social justice at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ana Laura is passionate about women’s empowerment, which has led her deep involvement in reproductive justice issues.  She is a member of the Young Women of Color Leadership Council (YWOCLC) with Advocates for Youth.  As part of YWOCLC, she has organized and led campus events to raise awareness, advocate, and empower among young people, especially young women of color, about the need for sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention efforts.

Service-learning has always been a priority to Ana Laura; as a result, she devotes a vast amount of time giving back to her community and school.  She has served as part of the Executive Board for the University of Texas at Austin Service Scholars Program and is a Bernard and Audre Rapoport Service Scholar dedicating her time to about 300 service hours per year.  As the project leader for the Honduras Project, she led a group of five young women to Honduras, where they worked with two ChortÍ-Mayan Indigenous communities and hosted a health education project to improve the standards of living and promote health awareness in the local community.  Ana Laura also served as president for the ONE Campaign Student Chapter, an organization that creates an awareness and fights against extreme poverty in developing countries, particularly in Africa.  Because of all her great accomplishments, Ana Laura was recently selected as a recipient for the Texas Exes Presidential Leadership Award, one of the most prestigious student awards at the University of Texas at Austin.

As a CHCI Intern, Ana Laura hopes to gain insight into the legislative process.  This internship will support her aspirations to pursue a doctorate in public policy and make a difference within the U.S. Hispanic and Latino community.

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2012 Spring Intern-Pablo SabaPablo Saba
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
School: University of Central Florida
Major: Marketing
Placement: The Office of Rep. Judy Chu

Pablo Saba was born and raised in Miami.  He currently attends the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, where he is a senior studying marketing with a minor in Middle Eastern studies.  After he graduates, Pablo hopes to attend law school and study international business law.  At UCF, he is a member of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc. and has held several positions, including president, vice president, alumni relations chair, public relations chair, and senior advisor.

Throughout his time in Orlando, Pablo has been actively involved in helping at-risk youth in the Central Florida area.  He has worked with the UCF Upward Bound program for two years helping at-risk youth become first-generation college students.  He has also worked with Youth Central, an alternative suspension program dedicated to reducing delinquency among at-risk youth.  Despite some setbacks, he is currently working toward establishing a high school mentoring program to engage minority high school males in gaining acceptance into an institution of higher learning.  Pablo is also a writer and spoken-word poet, currently in the process of compiling his works into a publication.

As a CHCI intern, Pablo hopes to absorb and apply all of the knowledge and experience he will receive to his local community.  His goal is to help create a generation of Americans who are not only aware of how the government works, but are also actively and civically engaged in shaping its future to ensure that it represents all of those living within its borders.

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2012 Spring Intern-Maria SuarezMaria Suarez
Hometown: Miami, Florida
School: Florida International University
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Maria Desiree Suarez is a senior at Florida International University, and previously attended Miami Dade College.  She is majoring in political science with a minor in English and specialization in law and ethics.  Her dream is to attend law school and become an immigration attorney to represent the Hispanic immigrants in the United States.  Inspiration to pursue such endeavors came from her previous internship experience at The Office of the Public Defender in Montgomery County, where she worked closely and on a daily basis with Hispanics facing deportations and criminal chargers.

Besides working full time throughout her college years, Maria has been able to maintain a high GPA as well as volunteering her time in the community.  She has served as a volunteer in her local hospital and also participates in yearly events to feed the homeless.  Maria had also demonstrated her ability as a leader.  She held leadership positions for three consecutive years during her time in Miami Dade College.  She served first as secretary, then vice president, and later president of Student Government Association. 

As a CHCI Intern, Maria  hopes to work closely with Representatives from her district to learn about the legislative process at the federal level with the end result of giving back to the Latino community in the future.

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2012 Spring Intern-Cristina VillaCristina Villa
Hometown: Nogales, Arizona
School: Arizona State University
Major: Criminal Justice & Criminology
Placement: The Office of Rep. Raúl Grijalva

Cristina Villa is a senior at Arizona State University (ASU) where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and criminology.  She was born and raised in a small border town at Nogales, Arizona.  As the eldest of three siblings, Cristina is the first in her family to be graduating from a four-year university.

Cristina has participated in Public Allies Arizona, an AmeriCorps program, with ASU’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovations.  She was placed at Camp Fire Arizona where she led weekly afterschool programs and monthly family events at three, title one schools.  These programs were geared towards building youth leadership skills, while constructing better communities within the respective areas of the schools.  During her 10-month term of service, she had the opportunity to positively influence approximately 1,237 youth and families.  Cristina is also a member of Alpha Phi Sigma–the honor society of ASU's School of Criminal Justice and Criminology.  In her community, Cristina volunteers with AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, a college access program for Latino/a youth.  She is also the Co-chair of a rising program for the female students within the organization called, Aguila Latinas Maravillas de Arizona (ALMA).

As a CHCI Intern, Cristina is looking forward to gaining an unmatched experience and valuable knowledge about public policy that will help her grow as a young professional and a leader in the community.

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