Friday, August 3, 2012

Statesville native walks halls of Congress

Jannidy Gonzalez of Statesville, a student at Western Carolina University, is working alongside 38 other university students from across the U.S. this summer during a Congressional Internship Program. 

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the nation’s Hispanic youth leadership development and educational organization, is hosting Jannidy during the experience.

The CHCI interns have been assigned to congressional offices on Capitol Hill for eight weeks to learn about the nation’s legislative process and issues pending before the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Jannidy is currently placed with the Office of Representative Henry Cuellar.

“My major is business administration and law and working on Capitol Hill will allow me to apply what I learn to enhance my studies, further develop myself and improve the lives of those around me," Gonzalez said. "Being part of the nation’s largest minority, civic engagement is critical for the Latino population."

The 2012 class of CHCI Summer Interns represents 10 different Hispanic ethnic backgrounds, pursuing 20 different fields of study for their bachelor’s degrees. Interns are responsible for conducting legislative research, monitoring day-to-day hearings, managing constituent communications and assisting with general policy matters.

They participate in weekly CHCI leadership development sessions, engage in policy discussions and meet with corporate representatives, national elected officials and foreign dignitaries.

They are also responsible for completing a community service project to benefit the Washington, D.C. community.

For more information about the program, visit

Photo courtesy of Melisa Diaz.