Alexis Arellanes Gains National Policy Experience Through CHCI
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the nation’s premier Hispanic youth leadership development and educational organization, is hosting Arcadia native Alexis Arellanes, who studies political science at the University of San Francisco, for its nationally recognized Summer Congressional Internship Program.
Arellanes was one of 38 interns chosen out of hundreds of applicants from across the country to work in the nation’s capital for eight weeks, where she is placed at the Office of Representative Norma Torres.
By exposing young Latinos to the legislative process and strengthening their leadership skills, the program is ultimately promoting the presence of Latinos on Capitol Hill and in public policy positions.
“Over the past few weeks, my congressional internship with CHCI has proven to be an exhilarating and educational experience,” said Arellanes. “I’ve gained insight and knowledge of the inner workings of a representative’s office and feel more confident in determining my career goals. More importantly, I’m learning the value of network strategy, effective communication, building relationships, and leadership skills that will enable me to be a stronger, more effective leader in my own community.”
CHCI’s Congressional Internship Program comprises four central elements:
– Diversity: the 2016 summer interns represent a diverse range of Hispanic heritage, 34 academic institutions, and 23 majors. Moreover, 89 percent come from households whose incomes are below $45,000.
– Work experience: intern duties include responding to constituent inquiries; drafting correspondence and memos; monitoring hearings; conducting research, data entry and analysis; and assisting with general office operations.
– Leadership development: interns attend weekly sessions and meet with distinguished leaders from a range of professional backgrounds, engage in substantive policy discussions, and participate in professional development training.
– Community service: interns are also required to fulfill CHCI community service hours. This summer, CHCI interns completed their community service at Casa Ruby, Bread for the City, Young Government Leaders, and CARECEN.
The selection process is competitive; CHCI receives at least 13 applications for every one available summer internship opportunity. Interns demonstrate high academic achievement, evidence of leadership skills and potential for leadership growth, a demonstrated commitment to public service-oriented activities, and superior analytical and communication skills. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee comprising alumni, board of directors, and staff.
Individuals who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival are eligible to participate in CHCI’s internship and fellowship programs. Eight of the CHCI summer internship participants are DACA students.
CHCI interns receive round-trip transportation to Washington, housing, and a stipend. The nonprofit organizes similar 12-week internships in the fall and spring.
Applications for the Spring Congressional Internship Program will open in July. The deadline is November 2016. Interested students can apply at: http://chci.org/programs/internships.