August 27, 2018

Gilman Experience Leads to Congressional Internship and Passion for Public Service

When Marjorie studied abroad in the United Kingdom as a Gilman Scholar in summer 2017, she often found herself challenged by questions of inclusion. As a first-generation college student and daughter of a single immigrant mother, she often wondered whether other students were as fortunate as she was to engage in educational opportunities abroad. “I was lucky to have a small group while abroad to confide in with my struggles as a low-income first-generation student,” Marjorie said. “The discussions we had about inequity resonated with me and I believe they were pivotal to shaping my current academic and career interests.”

Marjorie returned from her time abroad determined to serve her community. She applied for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) Congressional Internship Program, which connects underrepresented undergraduate students with Congressional offices in Washington, D.C. The program’s goal is to advance the Latinx community through civic engagement, social responsibility, self-empowerment, and promotion of community and Hispanic culture. Marjorie was selected as one of the 30 participants for a summer 2018 internship and interned with Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s team from Texas District 35.

Marjorie said the internship was life changing and presented another opportunity for her to reflect on her privilege and how she can use her education to help others in her community. “Because I have had access to a college education, I have had the chance to study abroad, and now I have been able to work for Congress. I recognize the privilege I carry. It is up to me to use it to help advance others.”

Marjorie is now completing her degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a focus on Speech and Language Pathology at the University of Texas at Austin. In the meantime, she is helping to register voters and has set her eyes on a larger goal – one day representing Texas District 26 in Congress.

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