Christopher Chavez, a former ASI (Associated Students Inc.) president at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), was recently selected a 2011-12 Capital Fellow and, as such, is working in the state’s capitol with State Senator Alex Padilla, a Democrat who represents most of the San Fernando Valley in Sacramento.
The Capital Fellows Programs consists of four individual programs: the California Senate Fellows (18 Fellows), Executive Fellowship Program (18 Fellows), Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program (18 Fellows) and the Judicial Administration Fellowship Program (10 Fellows). Chavez is among this year’s California Senate Fellows.
The programs are 11-month, nationally recognized public-policy fellowships offering college graduates from across the country unique experiences in policy-making and development with California state government. Chavez will work with Senator Padilla through Sept. 7, 2012.
“Since I have been assigned to Senator Alex Padilla’s capitol office, I’ve been working on a number of different policy issues, including education, health and public safety,” said Chavez, a 2005 graduate of St. Anthony High School in Long Beach who completed his bachelor’s degree in political science at CSULB in May. “My responsibilities have included so far conducting research, helping with communications outreach and attending meetings for the senator.”
Voted in 2010 and 2011 as among the Top 10 internships in the nation in the Vault.com Guide to Internships, the Capital Fellows Programs were ranked highly for their combination of meaningful work experience and career opportunities.
Each year, Vault’s editors evaluate the internship programs profiled in their annual guide and select from those the top 10 internships programs they feel represent the best all-around opportunities. Of the 812 internship programs profiled, the Capital Fellows Programs made the Top 10 list alongside a number of high-profile internship programs, including those with Google, Inc.; J.P. Morgan’s Investment Bank; NASA; Nickelodeon Animation Studios and the Smithsonian Institution.
“I applied to the Capital Fellows Programs because it’s a great opportunity to truly understand the challenges facing our state and our local communities,” Chavez explained. “I hope to be able to gain an understanding of how policy and politics intertwine so I can have both a strong educational foundation and a practical, where the rubber meets the road, understanding of politics.
After serving as ASI president at CSULB, Chavez was elected president of the California State Student Association (CSSA) for 2010-11. CSSA represents the 412,000 students of the 23-campus California State University system in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
Chavez said he hopes to pursue a master’s degree in public policy and work in public service.