Why Give?

Giving to CHCI means much more than making a monetary contribution.  It is a commitment to a shared vision to educate and empower young Latinos to realize their full potential and make a positive impact on this nation's future.  There is no better way to answer the question "Why give to CHCI?" than to hear from the young men and women who are products of our programs and to see where they are now.

CHCI 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award

CHCI awarded its 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award to Gabriella Gomez, a CHCI 1996-97 Public Policy Fellow.  Gomez is currently the Assistant Secretary for Legislative & Congressional Affairs at the Department of Education and is the first CHCI alumnus to be nominated and confirmed to an administration post by the U.S. Senate.  She is responsible for advising the secretary on legislative matters pending before Congress and is a prime example of an alumnus who has strived to improve the Latino community. 



Congressional Interns:



Victor Baten 
Hometown: Bonyton Beach, Florida
School: Florida State University
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18)

Former CHCI CIP Victor Baten, formerly placed with the Office of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18), is now employed as Program Assistant for the Greening Initiative on the House of Representatives.





Stephanie Brosig
Laredo, Texas
School: Cornell University
Major: Comparative Literature & Spanish
Placement: The Office of Congressman Joe Baca (CA-43)

Former CHCI CIP Stephanie Brosig, is participating in UC Berkeley's Pre-Law Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP).

The 8 week summer program runs from June 6 through July 31st and provides recipients with round-trip air transportation, dorm housing, a  meal plan, and a stipend. SROP aims to increase the level of diversity among students entering Ph.D. programs by providing research opportunities under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Brosig is one of only 20 students who were chosen to participate in the program from across the nation.

Public Policy Fellows:


Karla Acevedo
Maiden, MA
School: Boston College
Major: BA, Psychology, Women's Studies
Placement: Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC)

Former CHCI PPF Karla Acevedo is employed with the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) as their program lead.

LAYC was founded in 1968 for the purpose of serving immigrant Latino youth- nationally recognized for serving all low-income youth and families across the District of Columbia and in Maryland's Prince George's and Montgomery Counties. LAYC achieves operates a regional network of youth centers and public charter schools with a shared commitment to meet young people where they are and help them make a successful transition to young adulthood.

LAYC provides multi-lingual, culturally sensitive programs in five areas; Educational Enhancement, Workforce Investment, Social Services, Art + Media, and Advocacy.




Jenny Alcaide
Jackson Heights, NY
School: Hunter College
Major: BA, Political Science and Urban Studies
Placement 1: The White House, Office of Management and Administration
Placement 2: The Office of Congressman Luis Gutierrez (IL-4)

Former CHCI PPF Jenny Alcaide will be interning at the International Instiute of Education in Mexico City, Mexico.




Evelia Castillo 
Hometown: McAllen, TX
School: University of Texas at Austin
Major: BA, Government
Placement 1: The White House, Office of the Vice President
Placement 2: The Office of Congressman Henry Cuellar (Tx-28)

Former CHCI PPF Evelia Castillo is working as the administrative programs officer for the White Ribbon Alliance.

The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood is an international coalition of individuals and organizations formed to promote increased public awareness of the need to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all women and newborns in the developing, as well as, developed countries.





Raleigh Contreras 
Hometown: Lincoln, NE
School: University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Major: BA, Sociology, Economics
Placement 1: US Department of State, International Organization Affairs Bureau
Placement 2: State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs in the Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers (RSAT)

Former CHCI PPF Raleigh Contreras is now working as a senior consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton.

Booz Allen provides a broad range of services in strategy, operations, organization and change, information technology, systems engineering, and program management to clients.In addition, Booz Allen has specialized functional expertise in areas related to the core markets and clients we serve: defense and national security; homeland security and law enforcement; health; transportation; energy and environment; and financial services.


Julio Costa
Skokie, IL
School: University of Illinois, Champaign
Major: BA, Political Science, and Spanish
Placement: The Office of Senator Robert Menendez (NJ)

Former CHCI PPF Julio Costa will be attending law school in the fall after determining which program out of several schools he's been accepted to will best suit his interests.

  Judith Davila
Nogales, AZ
School: University of San Diego
Major: BA, International Relations, Economics, Spanish
Placement 1: The Subcommittee on The Western Hemisphere
Placement 2: American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) - Latin America and Caribbean Division

Vanessa De La Ossa
Miami, FL
School: Florida International University
Major: BA, International Relations and Sociology/Anthropology
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Carolyn Manloney (NY-14)

Former CHCI PPF Vanessa De La Ossa is working as a staff assistant in the Office of Carolyn Maloney.




Bertha Guerrero
Santa Ana, CA
School: University of California, Los Angeles
Major: BA, Political Science
Placement: The office of Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-7)

Former CHCI PPF Bertha Guerrero is working for Congressman Raul Grijalva as a legislative assistant.


Elizabeth Pastrano
San Antonio, TX
School: University of Northern Iowa
Major: BA, Public Administration: Economics & Finance, and Leadership Studies
Placement 1: The White House, Office of Legislative Affairs
Placement 2: The Office of Senator Tom Udall (NM)

Former CHCI PPF Elizabeth Pastrano will be interning with the American Federation of Teachers- Human Rights & Community Relations.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is a nationwide union of more than one million public school teachers, higher education faculty and staff, public employees, nurses and health care professionals, and paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel. The union works "to improve the lives of our members and their families, to give voice to their legitimate professional, economic and social aspirations, to strengthen the institutions in which we work, to improve the quality of the services we provide, to bring together all members to assist and support one another and to promote democracy, human rights and freedom in our union, in our nation and throughout the world."

The Human Rights and Community Relations Department keeps local and state affiliates informed of current trends, publications, and laws related to civil, human, and women's rights.


  Graduate & Young Professionals:



Jorge Madrid Motorola STEM Graduate Fellow
Hometown: East Lost Angeles, CA
School: University of Southern California
Major: Master's, Urban Planning and Public Administration
Placement: The Office of Sentor Robert Menendez

Former CHCI GYP Jorge Madrid is working as a research associate for the Center for American Progress, Energy Team.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) is dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action.

Building on the achievements of progressive pioneers such as Teddy Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, CAP addresses 21st-century challenges such as energy, national security, economic growth and opportunity, immigration, education, and health care by developing new policy ideas, critique the policy that stems from conservative values, challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter and shape the national debate.





Ulises A. Gonzalez National Association of Realtors Housing Graduate Fellow
Hometown: East Los Angeles, CA
School: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Major: Master's, City and Regional Planning
Placement 1: The Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Placement 2: The Office of International and Foundation Innovation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Former CHCI GYP Ulises A Gonzalez is the program coordinator for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic Organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide. The organization involves and serves all Hispanic nationality groups.


Rita Rico Azteca America Foundation International Affairs Graduate Fellow
Hometown: Chicago, IL
School: University of California, Los Angeles
Major: Ph.D., Political Science
Placement: The Office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Former CHCI GYP Rita Rico is currently a Foreign Service Officer as the Assistant Cultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago.


Rebecca Medina DaVita/Edward R. Roybal Health Graduate Fellow
Hometown: Whittier, CA
School: Loma Linda University
Major: Master's, Public Health
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)

Former CHCI GYP Rebecca Medina is working as part of the Latino outreach for the Campaign of Rodney Glassman for US Senate in Arizona.

Public Policy Fellows:


Maria Urbina 
Hometown: Carson City, NV
School: University of Nevada, Reno
Major: Journalism & Political Science
Placement: Office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV)

Former CHCI Fellow Maria Urbina who currently works in the Office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV), was admitted into American University's Women & Politics Institute's WeLEAD Class of 2011.

The leadership training program is the only program in the nation that aims to increase the number of women working in politics and running for office by providing weekly sessions addressing campaigns and elections, communication and message development, fundraising, public policy and government relations, and professional development.

The program provides participants the opportunity to explore various careers in politics, develop strategies for advancing their political careers, and form relationships for mentoring and networking.

Congressional Interns:



Hiram Lopez
San Diego California
School: California State University, San Marcos
Majors: Criminology and Justice Studies, Political Science
Minor: Sociology
Congresswomen Loretta Sanchez

Former CHCI CIP Hiram Lopez is currently participating in the Urban Fellows Program in New York City.

The Urban Fellows Program is a highly selective, nine-month fellowship which combines work in Mayoral offices and City agencies with an intensive seminar series that explores the current urban issues which have an impact on public policy. The program is richly diverse in that participants come from all over the country to work in New York City.

After participating in an extensive interview process, New York City Urban Fellows are placed at an array of agencies across the city where they learn about public policy through a hands-on approach.


Jasmine Rosa
Port Charlotte, FL
School: University of Central Florida
Major: Business Administration, Non-Profit Management
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (CA-39)

Former CHCI CIP Jasmine Rosa will be participating in the National Hispana Leadership Institute's (NHLI) highly competitive one-week program, Latinas Learning to Lead (LLL) program.

The NHLI’s LLL program selects 22 Fellows annually for an 8-day leadership training in Washington, D.C. Session topics include effective communication and presentation skills, public policy issues affecting the Latino community, and other professional and leadership development topics, such as financial literacy, and a technology component.

NHLI’s Latinas Learning to Lead Summer Youth program promotes and fosters the development of young college-age Latina leaders through training, mentoring opportunities, access to national networks and tools to create a community impact through their leadership projects. 


Mangelin Rivera
Jersey City, NJ
School: Rutgers University
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Albio Sires (NJ-13)

Former CHCI CIP Mangelin Rivera has taken a position with the New Jersey Immigration Policy Network (NJIPN).

 NJIPN is a broad-based coalition of New Jersey organizations dedicated to protecting immigrant rights and promoting inclusiveness and full participation of immigrants in the life of the country. The Network is committed to incorporating the experience of grassroots communities in its policy and advocacy work.

As a distinct institution, the Network works to enhance the effectiveness of pro-immigrant organizations and movements, and to facilitate communication, common purpose, and collaboration among them.

Congressional Interns:


Alberto Cardenas, Jr.
School: Texas Tech University School of Law
Major: Journalism & Political Science

Former CHCI CIP Berto Cardenas is a leading counsel lawyer at the offices of Vinson & Elkins.

In 2009, Cardenas was recognized as one of Five Outstanding Young Houstonians in 2009, and was named one of the Top 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business Magazine.