Hometown: Spring, Texas
School: Saint Edward’s University
Major: Environmental Science & Public Policy
Placement: The Office of Rep. Raul Grijalva
Andrea Veronica Calderón is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and grew up watching her parents take irregular jobs to make ends meet. Seeing their continuous sacrifices instilled in her perseverance and unfettered determination to take advantage of the opportunities at her disposal.
Before starting college, Andrea was selected as a Rotary Club Ambassador, which took her to Lecco, Italy for a year and cultivated her passion for cross-cultural experiences. Upon returning from Italy, she started her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy with a specialization in Political Science at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. Andrea has continued exploring her passion for engaging with different cultures by studying abroad in Australia, Costa Rica, and South Africa.
Andrea is passionate about environmental issues because of their impact in exacerbating economic, social and political issues in already-vulnerable communities. As a McNair Scholar, her research looked at ethical sourcing awareness and its impact on consumer behavior. Her study results indicated that consumers aware of social and environmental implications (e.g. resource, extraction, pollution, worker exploitation, etc.) of mass production and consumption purchase ethically-sourced products more often. Her research project convinced her that awareness is central to alleviating issues which are innate to mass production; and, she’s convinced that companies have an obligation to consumers to be more transparent of their business operations and commit to higher levels of corporate social responsibility.
In the future, Andrea hopes to become a Fulbright scholar in Spain as an English teacher, while simultaneously working on environmental projects. Upon her return, she intends to attain a Master’s in Public Policy and eventually hopes to attend law school. As a CHCI intern, Andrea plans to strengthen her knowledge on creating public policy. She hopes that strengthening these skills will help her better serve communities.