Hometown: Plainfield, New Jersey
School: Rutgers University-Newark
Major: Public and Nonprofit Administration
Placement: The Office of Sen. Bob Menendez
Johan was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, and immigrated to the United States at three. His hardworking parents taught him the value of education and public service. Their dream of providing a better opportunity for him and his three siblings became a foundation for Johan’s pursuit to become the first of his siblings to attend college.
After attaining Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Johan studied and graduated from Union County College (UCC) in Cranford, New Jersey, with his associate’s degree in Communications. At UCC, he applied to Rutgers University – Newark in Newark, New Jersey.
He is now an incoming senior as a Public and Nonprofit Administration major with a Social Justice concentration as part of a selective program, the Honors Living Learning Community (HLLC). Outside of his academics, he works as the Youth Coordinator at the SPAN Parent Advocacy Network. He teaches self-advocacy, equips youth and young adults with the necessary life skills to build independence as a disability-rights activist, and works to empower immigrants through policy. In the following year, he is starting his Master’s in Public Administration and finishing his bachelor’s degree in a dual degree program.
As a CHCI Intern, Johan will seek to gain experience from Congressional leadership and strengthen the necessary skills to become an effective advocate for immigrants, youth and young adults, and individuals with disabilities.