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Jacqueline B. Odum – February 2013 Scholar of the Month

CHCI-United Health Foundation Scholar Intern

Hometown: Edinburg, TX

Degree: B.A., Political Science

School: University of Texas, Pan American

My name is Jacqueline Odum, and I am currently senior at the University of Texas – Pan American. I am pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies. I am honored to have been selected as a recipient of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Scholarship. This scholarship has not only provided me with financial assistance. The CHCI scholarship has provided to me the confidence and ability to achieve academic goals throughout my higher education.

In the spring semester of 2013, I will be participating in the Bill Archer Fellowship Program, an academic internship program consisting of a full-time internship and full-time coursework in Washington, D.C. As an Archer Fellow, I am responsible to pay for my program fee (tuition included), housing and living expenses. Along with my expenses for the duration of the program, I have incurred expenses in preparing for the program, such as purchases on winter clothing, business attire, lap top, plane tickets, etc. CHCI has helped me relieve some of the financial stress in preparing for the program. Furthermore, this scholarship has allowed me to accept my number one internship choice for the program. Prior to receiving the CHCI scholarship, DC living expenses were of great concern in my internship hunt. As a native of the most impoverished metropolitan area in the nation, the cost of living in Edinburg, Texas is drastically lower than it is in the DC area. I was worried that financial hardship would limit my search to paid internships. In relieving me of financial stress, this scholarship has given to me the opportunity to have a choice in my search for an internship. I am proud to have accepted an internship with the Center for American Progress in their department of Legal Progress. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the help I have received through CHCI and its donors. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for this opportunity. I look forward to my continuing participation with CHCI and other opportunities the institute has to offer.