Claudia Flores and Emily Noriega
Fellows of the Month
Claudia Flores - February 2015 Fellow of the Month
Altria Public Policy Fellow
Hometown: San Jose, California
School: Santa Clara University
Degree: B.A. Political Science
Placement: Office of Sen. Robert Menendez
Claudia Flores was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. As a teenager, she left Honduras with her family for the United States. They settled in Silicon Valley, where Claudia attended public school and eventually received a full-ride merit scholarship to attend college. In 2012, she completed a bachelor’s degree in political science from Santa Clara University
Claudia’s first exposure to politics came under the influence of a local councilmember, in the midst of a heated debate over local immigration enforcement. Concerned over the observed lack of political representation, yet curious about the political process, she interned at San Jose City Hall and later served as the city’s youth commissioner- promoting policies aimed towards creating protective factors to improve the lives of youth in San Jose, California.
Claudia feels passionate about improving the living conditions for immigrant families, particularly women and children. She recognizes, however, that there are many issues which make the Latino community vulnerable, including health care access, political and legal representation, and financial education.
Claudia feels excitement in joining the CHCI familia, and hopes that through the Public Policy Fellowship Program she can gain valuable insight into the intersection of politics and the public policy-making process.
Emily Noriega - February 2015 Fellow of the Month
Coca Cola Foundation Public Policy Fellow
Hometown: Coral Springs, FL
School: Florida Gulf Coast University
Degree: B.A. Political Science
Placement: Democratic Leadership Office, Rep. Xavier Becerra
Emily Noriega is a first generation Peruvian-American born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Growing up in South Florida, she quickly developed a strong interest in immigration and social justice. These interests drove her to pursue a B.A. in political science from Florida Gulf Coast University, graduating in 2012.
As an undergraduate student, Emily participated in The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars in Washington, D.C. During her time in the capital, she took part in the Political Leadership Program. She also served as the public policy and advocacy intern at Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a non-profit community development financial institution that supports community development corporations throughout the United States. She also volunteered at CASA de Maryland, helping to ameliorate undocumented, shadowed youths by applying to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Emily has also dedicated her time to serving her hometown in South Florida, by working for Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, where her primary responsibilities included constituent casework in immigration and the IRS.
As a CHCI Public Policy Fellow, Emily hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the legislative process while primarily focusing on immigration. She aspires to be a voice for the Latino community and ascertain how to empower future Latino leaders. As a millennial Latino-American, Emily feels that it is her responsibility to promote education, participate in our community and work to make a difference.