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CHCI Graduates First Spring Internship Class with Walmart Support

On Wednesday, April 21, 2010, CHCI held a breakfast graduation ceremony at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center to celebrate its first class of spring Congressional Interns thanks to the support of Walmart.

CHCI received a $1 million donation from Walmart in 2009 to add spring and fall sessions to its award-winning Congressional Internship Program for the next three years.

"Walmart is committed to expanding opportunities for young Latinos across all sectors of society. Walmart's support of the expansion of the CHCI Congressional Internship Program reflects this commitment by increasing diversity on Capitol Hill where Latinos are severely underrepresented. This program opens the door for young talented Latinos to experience the public policy arena," said E. Ivan Zapien, Senior Director, Federal Government Relations, Walmart.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Esther Aguilera, CHCI President & CEO provided opening remarks highlighting the positive impact CHCI's programs have on the Latino community and the great job that CHCI interns perform while working in congressional offices.

"This is truly a unique class of individuals, coming from six different states, and all committed to giving back to the community," said Aguilera. "Thanks to Walmart's support as CHCI's Legacy Partner, we can eventually triple the number of students we bring to Washington, D.C., to work on Capitol Hill."

The Interns experience has been extraordinary as they have met with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, toured the State Department, witnessed the passage of health care reform from the House Gallery, and participated in Walmart Shadowing day, where the interns were mentored by Walmart's federal relations team in Washington, D.C.

CHCI Spring Intern Blogs on Walmart Shadowing Day

CHCI Spring Congressional Intern Edwin Rosado provided class remarks at the ceremony. "As CHCI starts to lay down the track for you, your motivation begins to provide the fuel for your future. You feel like you have been upgraded from a steam engine loaded to capacity to a bullet train on a high-speed rail," said Rosado.

During the past 12 weeks, the Congressional Interns have left their imprint on the D.C. community. From educating the community about the importance of census participation, to rallying on Capitol Hill for immigration reform, to volunteering to serve food at a local soup kitchen, the Interns have blossomed into civically engaged leaders.

Spring Congressional Internship Class Graduation photos.

About CHCI
CHCI is the premier Hispanic nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c)(3) leadership development organization in the country that educates, empowers, and connects Latino youth by providing leadership development programs and educational services. CHCI directly impacts the lives of more than 1,700 students and young professionals each year through its fellowships, congressional internships, scholarships, Ready to Lead (R2L®) college readiness program, and R2L NextGen program. CHCI NextOpp is its latest resource allowing young Latinos to save, search and share life-changing opportunities for Latinos across the United States.

The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic members of Congress, nonprofit, union and corporate leaders. Visit www.chci.org, or join us on Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.

Media Contact:
Scott Gunderson Rosa: (202) 548-5876