CHCI Congressional Internship Program Brings Diversity to Capitol Hill

Leadership Program Prepares Young Latinos for Future in Public Policy

CHCI welcomed the arrival of its 2012 summer congressional internship class on Monday, June 11, 2012. Forty undergraduate students traveled from 19 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to take part in the nationally recognized and award-winning CHCI Congressional Internship Program (CIP).

The CIP works to expose talented young Latinos to the inner-workings of Congress, while preparing them to become part of the workforce pipeline to staff positions in Capitol Hill, where Latinos continue to be vastly underrepresented. The CIP prepares young Latinos to be role models for their community and take the first steps to becoming the future leaders of America.

“CHCI is committed to provide young Latinos a pathway to employment on Capitol Hill in the interest of narrowing the wide gap of staff diversity that we observe in Congress,” said Esther Aguilera, CHCI President & CEO. “Latinos will soon make up one of every two new entrants into the U.S. labor market. Our mission is to ensure that the future workforce of America is prepared and qualified to take on leadership roles across all sectors of the economy, including the public sector where decisions are made that affect our community and the entire nation.”

CHCI also strives to create diversity within its own class of interns. The 2012 class represents ten different Hispanic ethnic backgrounds, pursuing 20 different fields of study for their bachelor’s degrees. CHCI Summer Congressional Intern and Ceres, Puerto Rico native Déborah Román, political science major at the Inter-American University in Arecibo, sees the internship experience as an opportunity to attain, develop and polish the necessary skills to become a leader in order to better serve the Latino community.

“Mutual understanding is a key part of productive efforts” said Román. “Forming bonds of communication and being able to acquire knowledge in both legislative and leadership arenas will ensure my continued development towards being a liaison between the Latino community and the government.”

The Congressional interns participate in weekly CHCI leadership and professional development sessions and meet with corporate representatives, national elected officials and foreign dignitaries. They also engage in a community service project during their stay in Washington, D.C. The interns are provided with housing, roundtrip transportation and a stipend.

CHCI’s Summer Congressional Internship Program is supported by AARP, David Bohnett Foundation, The Gilbert and Jackie Cisneros Foundation, Comcast Foundation, Darden, Dario Marquez, General Electric Hispanic Forum, General Motors, Hyundai, Merck, National Association of Broadcasters, News Corp, Prudential, Shell, Time Warner Cable - the official sponsor of the intern community service project, and Southwest Airlines – the official airline of the Congressional Internship Program.

About Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization, provides leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging leaders. The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic Members of Congress, nonprofit, union and corporate leaders. For more information call CHCI at (202) 543-1771 or visit

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