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Cal in the Capital Blog 2022

Cal in the Capital Interns in Washington, D.C.

Meet the student interns:

Andrea Jimenez

Political Science Major
Legislative Intern with the Office of U.S. Senator Alex Padilla

7/13/2022  My name is Andrea Jimenez, I am a Political Science major who is minoring in Public Policy and Chicano/Latine Studies. I am also a rising third year, who is currently a Legislative Intern with the Office of U.S. Senator Alex Padilla. So far, I have had the opportunity to attend Congressional Hearings, attend briefings, write memos, track legislation, etc.! The daily tasks that I have undergone have provided me with a connection and purpose in serving the general public. My internship directly deals with constituent concerns. The ability to see public opinions & concerns get implemented into legislation through leadership like Senator Padilla’s is truly inspiring. What motivates me to form relationships with the people in my office, alongside remaining engaged, is knowing that we are all pursuing the same end goal: democracy and equity for all citizens. My interest in policy and Capitol Hill has only been strengthened through my time at the office so far, and a particular milestone for me was seeing the Senator Co-Sponser the Lifeline Act which I had attended a briefing session for. Having the privilege of not only listening to affordable housing professionals advocate for a topic they were passionate about, but later being able to provide some insight of that passion into the office, was a life changing experience, reminding me of how on Capitol Hill every individual plays a role when it comes to implementing impactful change. On that same note, that is the impact I want to make. Knowing that I can play a role in implementing change for the greater good, at any capacity, is the impact I want to make.

8/3/2022  I would advise someone wanting to intern in DC to stay motivated. The application process can be daunting, and you will receive more no’s than yes’s, but you will end up where you need to be, interning at a place that suits you. I would advise that once arriving it is crucial to SOAK EVERYTHING IN. You will meet so many different people, and experience so many different things that will all play a part in shaping you into the person you need to be for your future endeavors. Each connection you make with others, might be your ticket to a potential career, so it is important to use your connections, and preserve them for as long as possible. As some would say, Washington DC is a walking LinkedIn! Finally, keep an open mind. Tasks that may not seem interesting, might be the best experience you ever have. The truth is, without optimism, you will not get too far. In addition, the more tasks that you do, the more you get to add to your resume, and the more you can tell people about. With regards to simply living in DC, get out and do a lot! There is never a dull moment in this area, thankfully, so it is important to take advantage. Walk around the monuments, take photos at the White House, check out the Smithosnians, do what you can to make your time worthwhile here! There are also some pretty great restaurants here, so I recommend checking those out as soon as possible. My writing skills have improved significantly since my time interning here on the Hill. I feel as though I learned how to condense my writing to be simple and straightforward, which is what most memos require. I have learned how to track legislation, which has only further enhanced my research skills. All in all, the skills you learn in DC vary, but I sure am grateful for mine!


Kaitlin Thach

Legal Studies Major / Public Policy Minor
U.S. Department of Education

7/14/2022 Prior to my arrival in DC, I had expected the capital to not consist of much. My knowledge of DC geography was very limited, so I thought that it would only consist of office buildings and national monuments. While a large part of DC does contain those structures, there is a lot more to experience and see here than I expected.  During my first week in DC, I had not begun my internship yet, so I was outside everyday exploring the city to my heart’s content. I went to the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the National Monument, the Vietnam and Korean War memorials, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Archives, the National Gallery of Art, the U.S. Botanical Garden, and so much more. Since all these places were free to visit, I was able to learn more about the nation’s history and follow various journeys without having to spend a single dime. On my adventures to see the capital’s wonders, I used the efficient metro system to get around and stopped by a multitude of cute coffee shops and delicious restaurants to sustain myself.  At the Department of Education, I am an intern with the Office of Communications and Outreach. In this office, I interact and collaborate with the media and other governmental organizations to inform the general public about the Department of Education’s mission and goals. I largely assist in planning, capturing, and editing videos, conceptualizing content, and supporting the Secretary’s agenda. Some of my longer term projects include writing blogs relating to higher education and coordinating with other interns for content.  Regarding public service, I find that my office at the Department of Education ensures accessibility as it connects groups interested in and affected by education matters. For example, one of my initial tasks at the Department was to attend and publicize a Title IX event to ensure that students are aware this right is available to them and to inform the public about the importance of protecting women and others in sports and STEM.  Currently, the Department is focused on Engaging Every Student to prioritize student opportunities outside of the classroom during the summer. It is known that many students are struggling to recover not only from lost time in the classroom, but also from social isolation and traumatic experiences that were brought on by the pandemic. Because high-quality out-of-school programs accelerate learning and nurture students’ social and emotional wellbeing, this project will build on investments to create quality afterschool and summer learning programs. Furthermore, my internship offers me the opportunity to support HEERF (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund) funding for underfunded institutions and community colleges. This funding is meant to help students meet their basic needs, provide financial  relief, invest in mental health supports, and more. Overall, this internship allows me to develop useful, high quality web-based content and publications to support important issues surrounding education in the United States.


7/29/2022  For a student that wants to intern in Washington D.C., I would definitely tell them to do it if they have the opportunity to do so. I would warn them that the city is very expensive and that  many internship opportunities in the Capital are unpaid, but if the student is able to find a paid position that is even better. Finding an internship can be hard, especially when students are  interested in the same roles and companies are only able to give out a handful of offers.  However, there are many internship opportunities out there, especially in the summer, and Cal in the Capital provides a lot of support to help you succeed in landing an internship in Washington D.C. In regards to being in D.C. itself, the University of California DC center is centrally located, so definitely take advantage of that and explore all that the city has to offer. In addition, the city is extremely walkable and public transportation is easily accessible, so museums, monuments, and many free events are at your fingertips.  Furthermore, during my internship, I have been able to learn and enhance many  skills. I have definitely enhanced my communication skills, as I now know how to converse with  real-world professionals and give them informative but concise breakdowns of issues. I also gained many technical skills. I did not have much experience using Microsoft tools before my internship, but I now know how to utilize Microsoft Office, Word, Sharepoint, and Microsoft Teams to complete projects. Although I previously had some experience with Canva and Adobe Premiere Pro to create content, I was able to learn and get feedback from others in order to create even better content that will publicly share the mission of the Department of Education. 


Anahi-Marcella Sandoval Araiza

Global Studies Major
U.S. Department of Education

7/14/2022 Working for the U.S Department of Education has certainly been a departure from the expectations I had coming here. I am a low-income student, but beyond that, I am the first in my  family to have an experience like this. Coming to college, I understood that doing an internship  was going to be something that I was expected to do. I had heard stories before of interns being  mainly used to provide the office with day-to-day tasks and were often side-lined from important  conversations. Being from the background that I am from, I understood or more accepted that I  didn’t really have the power to change this action. But now having worked with the Department  of Education and having completed the Cal in the Capital DeCal, I can pleasantly attest that this  is not the expectation that has to be the norm. The Cal in the Capital course taught me to  advocate for myself in those situations and beyond that the Department of Education has been  so kind. The staff working at the Department are welcoming, never diminishing you for your role  which you may deem insignificant. Immediately they offer a coffee chat, they leave space for  you to ask questions. The intimidation quickly fades and is replaced with a new sense of vigor to  serve.  At the Department of Education, I am working as an intern in the Office of the Secretary,  working on education policy in Puerto Rico and helping out with youth initiatives with the  Communications Department. I am a Global Studies major but my area of focus is Latin  America. Being able to work in policy that affects that region is truly special for me. I have strong  ties to the Latino community. Coming from Mexico and having experienced some of the  inequities faced by migrants and the Latino community, I want to make sure that I take  advantage of the opportunities I have to advocate for this cause. Furthermore, working with  youth initiatives has provided me with new, innovative ideas for my work at Cal in the student  government. Learning to engage a large population of students can be tricky but necessary  when you serve a campus of students who have so much potential for change. Although this is  a brief take on the work that I’ve done, I am so happy to be here, learning and connecting  through and with community.

8/24/2022  Interning in Washington D.C this summer has been an unforgettable experience, one that I  could not begin to express gratitude for. I am so happy and proud to have been able to complete  this after my first year at UC Berkeley because this experience has really set the tone for the kind of work that I will pursue in the next 3 years. For those who are ever offered the opportunity  to intern in Washington D.C, I implore you to take it. I was terrified to apply to Cal in the Capital  as a freshman, I believed that my experience would not be good enough and that some of the  identities I possess would hinder me further. I took a leap of faith in applying. Through this  internship, I have grown in the confidence that I have in myself and the work that I can do. While  in DC, I met with many people and got to hear their stories. If you have questions or have  people you want to meet, I would encourage you to do it. The professionals in DC have been so  kind. Their wisdom pushed me into new opportunities and I am filled more than ever with  excitement for my new projects.  Working in DC has monumentally impacted both my academic and career trajectory. As a  Global Studies major, I was able to work on Puerto Rico Education Policy. This has informed me  on the relationships that exist between the U.S. government and the Latin American  communities. It has also provided me with insight on what kind of advocacy I can pursue in this  space and added a complexity that I can present in any future work. Working in DC at the  Department of Education also influenced the goals I wanted to work on this year in one of the  organizations that I am a part of. I was able to see the things that the Department of Education  was completing and learn how this can align with the goals of students for the upcoming year.  That connection is immeasurably important to me.


Avery Arbaugh

Political Science Major
The Hub Project

Avery leading chants for a demonstration calling out corporate greed hosted by The Hub Project

Photo (left): Avery leading chants for a demonstration calling out corporate greed hosted by The Hub Project. Photo (right): Avery at a press conference on price gouging hosted by The Hub Project featuring Senators Booker, Merkley, Warren, and Representative Chakowsky

7/14/2022  This summer is the third time in my life that I have been more than 2 hours from the Pacific coast. Working in DC, right after my first year of college, seemed unimaginable to me a year ago. Having worked in politics nearly since I gained sentience, it seems inevitable that I’d eventually make my way here, but for much of my life, DC seemed more like a force to be reckoned with through the local grassroots than a place you can go and visit.  The road from local community organizing to national political advocacy is not without reflection. Throughout my application process through to today, a month into my internship, I thought it important to remember why we’re here, so as to not become an uncaring cog in the political machine that most of us are driven here to reform. I knew I wanted to work with an organization that I shared values with, and where I could feel like I was a part of the broad tradition that I like to call “the movement,” a movement towards a more empathetic and just world, and I found that in The Hub Project, and in the work we do to advocate for an economy that works for all of us.  One of the great things about going to DC hoping to be a part of a change, is that you’re never the first, and you won’t be the last. Those before us built up countervailing systems of institutional power, and we are part of an ever-present tradition to push those systems forward, until it’s time for the next cohort to take over.  Whatever drives you to want to go to the city with the worst summer weather this side of the Mississippi, someone has had that same drive before, and has built something here out of the drive you share. In DC, your greatest ally is that drive, it makes everything, from the mundane office work, to the senate press conferences, feel like it is a part of a cohesive whole, that you’ve finally found your place within.  I won’t soon forget my time in DC, inside the office, outside the Supreme Court, and everywhere in between, because I think it’s helped me find my place in the movement, and I hope it helps you too.


Marisol Medina

Political Science Major
U.S. Department of Education

7/15/2022  My name is Marisol Medina, I am a rising sophomore studying Political Science with an interest in data science, education policy, and law. While in D.C, I have served as an intern for the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of the Secretary. I am supporting the Senior Advisor for Labor Relations, Montserrat Garibay, a fellow Latina who I deeply admire. Since my arrival to the department, I have delved into the dynamics of labor unions in the field of education such as AFT and NEA, and learned about how their voices are amplified within the department.  My first project was to coordinate a DACA Roundtable chat with Secretary Cardona. This allowed me to strengthen my communication skills and gave me the opportunity to assist with briefing the Secretary. With my position, I have also contributed to a virtual social media campaign that highlights the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Most recently, I have worked on amplifying dual-language education through research, conversations with specialists, and a developing campaign.  This internship placement has been very valuable to my personal journey. I grew up in Inglewood, California—a community with largely underfunded schools. This meant a shortage of resources for students of color, who are most often first-generation and English language learners such as myself. Because I experienced these disparities first-hand, the fight for education equity has always been a priority of mine. Each day, I go into the office with the understanding that the work and learning I do is valuable. Additionally, meeting students with similar backgrounds and engaging in conversations with educators who understand the difficulties that students face inside and outside of the classroom has kept me grounded in such a buzzing city.  Despite my interest to create interpersonal connections as a lawyer, I recognize that I would love to have a broader impact through public policy. One of my most memorable moments here was meeting a Cal alum, who is also a Latinx Angeleno, working in K-12 policy. My conversation with them raised the possibility of obtaining a Masters in Public Policy and exploring career options in a field that merges a multitude of my interests. Following that, I was able to connect with a policy writer within the Department of Education, which deepened my interest in education policy. Public policy merges data with politics; further, good policy requires the knowledge and understanding of lived-experience. It is vital that policy writers comprehend, first-hand, the hardships endured by folks most affected by these policies.  Luckily, D.C. has taught me that the world can be my oyster and that there are a plethora of opportunities to explore. In an ever-evolving world, where people’s career paths and educational accomplishments do not have to be mutually exclusive, I am certain that I can explore all of my varied interests throughout my career. I am excited to continue down the path of persistent learning, especially when it means I can amplify work in the realm of public service.



For many first-generation students, higher education is a stepping stone that symbolizes resistance, work ethic, and a commitment to our parent’s struggles. The short time I have spent at UC Berkeley revealed that pursuing higher education was in fact possible for someone like myself. Nevertheless, I still felt that accomplishing my life-long dream of interning in D.C. seemed very far away. The East Coast was thousands of miles away and I felt unprepared to intern at the federal level as only a freshman in college. But as my dedication to public service proves time and time again, my lived-experiences and passion for social equity can open doors of opportunity.  During my senior year in high school, I was moved by Secretary Miguel Cardona at the time of his appointment. I see myself in Dr. Cardona. He is someone who represents a similar story to mine, as an English language learner and first-generation college student, who also values equity in education. Therefore, experiencing D.C. as someone who stems from underserved communities was empowering. My identity helped me connect, on a personal level, with the work I did at the U.S. Department of Education to support students and educators of diverse backgrounds. I quickly learned that D.C. was a melting pot of very unique and talented individuals who care deeply about improving the lives of people across the country, something I too resonated with. I met incredible role models who inspired me and shared words of wisdom with me throughout my time there. Forging these connections cemented my desire to continue down the path of public service and established a sense of belonging, despite being incredibly underrepresented in government.  D.C. taught me the importance of connecting with people who share similar experiences and unifying our voices to advocate for one another. As I return to Cal, to tackle my second year of undergrad, I am reminded to connect with fellow Latinos on this campus, and to dedicate my energies to empowering and educating my peers. I also feel excited to approach my academics with more of an open mind. I learned that careers in public service are not linear and that I should provide myself with the freedom to dive into all of my intellectual interests. I look forward to diving into courses in our Education and Public Policy departments and hope that I learn to cohesively merge my varied interests. Although I have a lot more to learn, about life, government, and myself, I left D.C. with the confidence that my contributions to public service are valuable. I know now that I can help others and that my true strength lies in my community and my lived-experiences, because all stories matter. 


Defne Cruz Rodriguez

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

7/15/2022  As a first-generation student, coming to Washington D.C. has been a bit difficult. Getting out of your comfort zone and working in the workforce, makes it all real. Although I miss home, I believe this experience has made me become a stronger and more resilient person.  Currently, I am an intern with the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity in the  Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services.  Overall, my experience has been great as I engage in a work environment that aligns with my values. So far, one of the biggest projects I have worked on is bridging the gap between federal employment and diversity. As a Latina woman, it has been rare to see other individuals in the office space who identify as Latinx. By working on this project, it has allowed me to connect with Hispanic Serving Institutions to bring more diversity to the workforce by providing a pipeline program to connect students to federal employment opportunities. Being given the opportunity to work and learn in a new environment always allows me to grow. I think something important to note is that this learning opportunity has given me the chance to decide that I personally would want to work more with individuals who are receiving services such as Head Start or even focus on research about the effectiveness of the programs implemented by the Administration for Children and Families. The reason why I have decided this is because shadowing and connecting with others with the agency has allowed me to see that there are different types of employment opportunities relating to very similar goals and work.  Every experience I gain is a step closer to finding what I want to pursue in the future. As of now, I want to become an attorney who focuses on human rights or education, but I am open to other experiences that can influence my career. I am thankful for the opportunities on my path because as a low-income and first-generation student, it is challenging to build a network and receive opportunities. In the future, I hope to be able to continue growing and find an employment opportunity that truly matches my interests and passions.


Issabella Romo

Legal Studies Major and Political Economy Major
U.S. Department of Education

7/15/2022  I’m very grateful that Cal in the Capital gave me the opportunity to come to DC for the first time. I’ve always imagined DC as it is portrayed in the news or political TV shows, and I didn’t know what to expect from DC before my arrival. I’ve come to love how DC is full of rich history and beautiful scenery, and its seemingly endless opportunities to learn something new.  Continuing the pattern of firsts that this program has offered me, this is also my first time working in a federal agency. Having come to DC being well-informed in politics, I quickly learned how to work outside of politics and how agencies’ work intersects with politics.  As an intern for the White House Initiative for Hispanics which is housed at the Department of Education, I have learned how to engage with the Latinx community on behalf of the government.  It has been very insightful being able to hear about what the community’s needs are and what resources the government currently offers. In this sense, my internship is centered around public service; I am actively serving a large group of individuals and working to uplift the community in the government and country.


Yessica Mox

Political Science Major
House of Representatives

7/15/2022   My name is Yessica Mox; I recently graduated with a Political Science degree. I will be interning  on Capitol Hill for the House of Representatives this summer. I was excited to start my summer  internship because I had never been to D.C. I was most nervous about working as an intern on  Capitol Hill because it seemed like an intimidating place. I expected that the office would be  strict, and we would not have many opportunities to work on more significant tasks.  Nonetheless, I knew that as I progress in my career toward public service, this would be an  excellent opportunity to learn and be part of a larger office that handles various issues.  Despite my impressions, the office was welcoming, and so was my supervisor. He has been a  great support system that pushes us to work on different projects that will give us valuable skills.  The other staff have also been open to conversing with interns to learn more about their careers  and advise them. Therefore it has made me feel comfortable to ask for more work and have  conversations with the legislative staff. These conversations have been an excellent way for me  to work on other projects. For example, I recently worked on a memo for one of the Supreme  Court decisions. I also attended a briefing on LGBTQ+ issues in the United States and Latin  America.  These opportunities demonstrated the broad policy portfolios the legislative staff has to  work on and the type of work they need to do. These experiences have changed my perspective  on federal work and how policies are researched, written, and passed. I want to work on higher  education and immigration policy; therefore, I hope to work on a project relating to these issues  before my internship is over. The advice I constantly receive is to connect with other staff  members and learn about their work. My goal will continue to be to create connections to  flourish professionally and socially.

9/2/2022  My experience with networking in D.C. has been great. There are various events Congressional  interns can attend to network with staff and other interns, which has been helpful if you do not  know where to begin with networking. My supervisor has provided great advice and supported  us in attending coffee chats with people I want to learn more about. Furthermore, I could speak  with all the legislative staff at the office and learn about their careers. This was an excellent  experience because it allowed me to learn about the staff and for them to learn about me. I could  also ask for future projects in my interest areas through these coffee chats. It allowed me to work on policy memos, attend congressional briefings, and sit in on constituent meetings. I also participated in Congressional Staff Associations, another great way to network with professional  staff. I had three different mentors by joining various staff associations and attending their  events. This gave me insight into the different career paths I want to pursue.  Although all of the above was helpful in networking, building a community was also beneficial  in my endeavors. It was difficult in the beginning to create genuine connections, but becoming  closer to other interns in my office and other offices were essential. We would eat lunch together  or after work. This made the office environment easier to work in and make friends in the same  position. I also attended other events with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, where  interns from different organizations gathered to meet and connect. This was a memorable  experience because I met fellow UC Berkeley alumni interning in D.C. I connected with them,  and they gave me advice about post-grad plans. I am glad I was able to meet them because not only did we have similar life experiences, but they were also willing to show me around. Overall, these events allowed me to meet people with the same interests and lived experiences as myself. 


Jose Valera Primo

Political Science Major

7/17/2022  Prior to arriving in D.C., the preconceived notions I had about the city as someone who has  never been here before, were that it was a structured, clean, and organized city with a lot of  older men in suits. When I first arrived, the first thing I noticed was how hot and humid it was – I  was already missing California. Shortly after, my preconceived notions were true as I was  heading to the UC Washington Center. The city streets were very clean and organized. All the  buildings seemed to be a similar height, and the architecture was breathtaking. The one thing I  got wrong was the demographics of the city. Though there were a lot of older men in suits,  there was a significant amount of younger people around. I was too focused on Congress, where the average age of a member is over 57, and did not realize how D.C. has a multitude of other organizations, and institutions where younger professionals work. After a few weeks in the city, I started to see how DC can give one a lot of opportunities to learn and grow. There are so many people with different backgrounds, and experience levels who are happy to make connections with you.  The organization I work for is Technoserve, a nonprofit organization that helps to lift people out  of poverty by connecting them to information, capital, and markets. This summer, I am helping  Technoserve with their Global Outcome Indicators, which will help them measure their impact.  Working with Technoserve has given me an insight into an NGO that works in several countries  across Africa and Latin America. It is insightful seeing how Technoserve works day-to-day given  that their employees are around the globe, and in different time-zones. I get to see how my  supervisor delegates meetings, and get first-hand accounts of people in the region of Latin  America. I can see how the people at Technoserve are dedicated to their work of helping people  living in poverty across the world. There is a sense of purpose, and a desire to learn more about  what works, and does not work in their projects. Overall, I am glad to be placed at Technoserve  because of my passion for nonprofit work and research, especially in Latin America.


Eman Nazir

Management in Environmental Economics and Policy Major / Public Policy Minor
The Climate Reality Project / The Plastic Pollution Coalition

7/19/2022 I always knew that D.C was the heart of our country; a place where you felt the drive of politics,  and the need to bring about a positive impact. For those reasons, throughout my undergraduate  journey I had hoped to end up interning here; this summer I finally got that opportunity. Fortunately, my expectations were exceeded. After spending a few days in D.C I knew I made the right choice by coming here. As someone who has always been passionate about public service and politics, there was something about D.C which complemented that vision and ambition.  This summer I was fortunate enough to secure Internships with The Climate Reality Project and  The Plastic Pollution Coalition. The Climate Reality Project is an organization which uplifts the  voice of grassroots level environmental advocates and trains our future environmental leaders; as an Engagement Support Intern I have been able to help connect ‘Climate Reality Leaders’ via different engagement platforms and have been able to assist in large-scale trainings held across the world. The Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance working towards a more just and equitable world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact on our communities; as a Technology and Advocacy Intern, I have been helping the organization launch a new website (acquiring numerous new skills) and I have been assisting them in numerous outreach events, gatherings for congressmen such as Representative Alan Lowenthal, and in meetings with state Representatives.  This summer, I had hoped to gain professional insight into the world of environmental non- profits, advocacy, and public service- I got exactly that. Working with both organizations has taught me a lot about this sector which I was previously unaware of. Everyday I learn something new about how I can better help the people around me, and everyday I fall in love with this city even more.


Carlos Ruiz

Political Science Major
The Office of U.S. Senator Alex Padilla

7/15/2022  My name is Carlos Ruiz and I use He/Him pronouns. I’m an incoming 4th year student majoring in Political Science with an emphasis in theory. I was fortunate enough to get a legislative internship with the current U.S. Senator from the state of California, Alex Padilla. I have attended some extraordinary events where there are always engaged and truly professional Cal Alumni, but I’ve been amazed to find some Cal alumni even while riding the Metro. They are all just wonderfully kind people. The first person I met was David, a chemist at the FDA. I remember him because I was at an event where there were many Cal Alumni and I was embarrassed to talk and socialize but he approached me and told me all about what he does and what his experience was while in Berkeley. But I remember his words because they have encouraged me to approach networking from a different perspective. He said, “if you don’t ask we can’t answer” meaning they were all there because they were willing to help us out in our careers.  There are many admirable Cal alumni I met – one of them is the founder of the Cal in the Capital Program. Dr. Michael McGinnis, who founded the program in 1957, not only graduated from Cal with my same major and emphasis but was also involved in school government. He attended UCLA School of Medicine and obtained a Masters of Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, which to me was just surreal. His qualifications did not stop there because he also served with (I believe) 4 different American presidents in DC. These interactions have been influential from the perspective of learning that I can maybe also achieve great things having come from the same university. Of course, I have a long way to go, but I am very hopeful for the future more now than ever. Anywhere I go, I know that I can count on a Cal alumni, as well as if I was ever in a position where I could be of help to a Cal student or alumni I will without a doubt help them out to the best of my ability.


8/3/2022   This opportunity has without a doubt changed my life forever in a way that is extremely evident. I know often through life we do certain things that unconsciously make life different for us, but I  feel as if I’m able to see the improvement after being in our nation’s capital. I had never imagined myself here. I am a transfer student, and 3 years ago, I did not even think of UC Berkeley as something I could accomplish, not to mention being in DC. I am fortunate to have created beautiful and lasting relationships that will stick with me. I am proud to have represented my family and my school in a proper manner so that the day someone asks about me only positive things can be said. It means the world to me to have this opportunity. Programs like these are what give me hope for the equality of opportunity for everyone.  I used to say that by bettering myself day to day I would be able to better serve the public. But although that remains true, through this internship I was able to contribute some grains of salt directly to my community.  One of my many assignments was to attend a briefing on a contaminated river impacting the US-Mexico Border of Tijuana which is where I grew up. Although I thought the information was interesting and the request during the hearing reasonable at the time, I did not think much about the project. And just a week after the hearing I noticed on the Senator’s Twitter that he had taken action to solve this issue along with some of his colleagues such as the Congressman from my district. I hope that those actions I did during DC (although small) did have a positive benefit to my community. I will truly take pride in my small contribution. This is a place where minimal actions have global consequences so there has to be responsibility every second of the day to do a great job for public service. Actually being in DC has taught me that I need to come back. I don’t even consider it a desire, I consider coming back as a necessity to get a masters degree and attend law school. Before coming I knew I wanted to just go to law school but I want to spend my young adult life making changes in our nation’s capital as much as possible. And after this I will hopefully have built experience to dedicate myself to public service through the law.