Where I lead: As a Latino Community advocate


Yanet Valezquez
Junior majoring in international affairs
Participated in a 12-week Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s internship program in the U.S. Capitol, where she was assigned to the office of U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Conyers.

Q: How did you become an intern on Capitol Hill??

A: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute candidates are selected based on demonstrated leadership experience, commitment to advancing the Latino community, quality of writing, letter of recommendation and resume.

At UNG, I am president of the Latino Student Association and I am active with the International Student Association. Going back to my high school days, I helped start a chapter of HoPe, (Hispanic Organization for Promoting Education). I’ve always wanted to be able to advance the Latin community in a more positive and meaningful way.

Q: What led you to pursue the internship?

A: I started college my freshman year as a criminal justice major and that began to change when I realized I really liked politics and government and the whole international relations thing. I found the relationship between how the United States and other countries in the world work together to be very interesting. I learned about the CHCI internship program online and decided that it would be a great opportunity for me.

Q: What did this opportunity mean to you personally?

A: I am so blessed to have been selected to receive this opportunity that gave me a chance to get more involved in the Latin community, as well as helping Latin community leaders make a difference. Being the daughter of Mexican-born parents here in Georgia, I have always wanted to represent and make a difference for the Latino people.

Q: How has being an intern on Capitol Hill affected you and where do you see yourself in the future?

A: Taking part in the internship has definitely been eye-opening. You see the small details that go into planning for the district and helping people back home. I worked in the office Monday through Thursday doing research for staffers, taking calls and providing help for constituents. I spent Fridays in seminars focusing on CHCI’s four pillars of leadership, which are civic engagement, social esponsibility, selfempowerment, and promoting community and Hispanic culture.

As far as the future goes, I definitely want to work in the public sector, and perhaps even a congressional office someday.