Seminole State College of Florida honors student Sebastian Sanchez is one of only 35 students nationwide to be selected for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's Summer 2011 Congressional Internship Program (CIP).
From June 4-July 30, the Colombia native is working in a congressional office in Washington, D.C., where he's learned about the legislative process, engaging in policy discussions and completing professional development activities. He is also participatinig in a community service project aimed at broadening participants' interest in civic engagement.
"A big part of the internship focuses on leadership," explains Sanchez, 21, a graduate of Seminole High School in Sanford. "The idea isn't necessarily to go work for the White House, but to take what you learn and use it to become a Latino leader in your own community."
Sanchez says he became interested in the program after completing political campaign internships for the Orange County mayor and Florida's 7th congressional district. The internships, he says, taught him about the political process and sparked a desire to "get involved and make a difference."
Sanchez, an international affairs major, credits Seminole State's Career Development Center with connecting him with the internships and equipping him with the tools and experience needed to qualify for the CIP.
"The Career Development Center helped me define my goals, enhance my resume, and improve my job and networking skills," he says. "I probably wouldn't have been given this opportunity if it weren't for their help."
Sanchez will receive three honors credits and a $2,500 scholarship for completing the congressional internship. He will graduate from Seminole State this summer and continue his studies at Rollins College.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute was established in 1978 to increase opportunities for Hispanics to contribute to the policy making process in the United States. The nonprofit organization offers a wide range of programs and activities aimed at supporting the educational and professional goals of Latino students.
Seminole State's Career Development Center provides students and community members with valuable career resources and services. For more information, please call 407.708.2033 or visit the CDC online.