Keeping the Promise - Congressional Internship Program Opens Halls of Congress to Diversity

Today CHCI welcomes its second Spring Congressional Internship class to Washington, D.C. Sixteen undergraduates from 11 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will take part in CHCI’s nationally-recognized and award-winning CHCI Congressional Internship Program (CIP). Over the next 12 weeks, these young students will work in congressional offices, gain access to a powerful network of Latino leaders, and participate in CHCI’s proven leadership development curriculum. Their lives will be transformed as they move closer to achieving the American Dream.

With the support of Walmart, the CIP offers three internship sessions each year that provides Latino college students unmatched job opportunities in congressional offices on Capitol Hill.  The goal of the program is to expose talented Latino college students to the inner-workings of the federal government while preparing them to become part of the workforce pipeline to fill leadership positions in all sectors – private, public, and non profit.

"CHCI is committed to creating opportunities for young Latinos to come to Washington, DC, and learn not only how the federal government operates, but how they can work to impact public policy for the betterment of their communities," said Esther Aguilera, CHCI President & CEO. "Thanks to Walmart's support, we are keeping the promise to the next generation of leaders, doubling the number of congressional interns over two years, and ensuring that future halls of Congress accurately represent the growing Hispanic population in America."

The 2011 Spring Congressional Internship class reflects the national diversity of the Latino community, representing nine ethnic backgrounds, 16 academic institutions, and eight academic majors. Nearly 40 percent of the class is the first generation to attend college and 56 percent come from homes with total income below $30,000.

2011 Spring Congessional Interns Demographic profile

"This internship is going to change my life," said Tatiana Medina, CHCI Spring Congressional Intern and Wesley Chapel, Florida native. "With this amazing opportunity, I am going to gain the experience that I need to succeed. I am thrilled to know that I am part of this incredible opportunity that provides first-hand experience about the legislative process of our country."

The CIP provides Latino college students with work placement on Capitol Hill four days a week, where they gain substantive work and networking experience. Interns also participate in once-a-week educational programs and leadership training at CHCI headquarters, where they meet with national public- and private-sector leaders and engage in national policy discussions. Interns are required to complete a community service project and are provided with housing, roundtrip transportation to and from Washington, D.C., and a stipend. All of this is possible through longstanding support from Walmart and Southwest Airlines – official airline of CHCI's Congressional Internship Program.

Applicants can apply for the CIP at www.chci.org. The deadline for the 2011 fall session is April 29, 2011.

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 www.chci.org.

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

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