Hometown: Arlington, Texas
School: University of Texas-Austin
Major: Computer Science
Placement: The Office of Rep. Sylvia Garcia
Born and raised in Arlington, Texas, Jose Aguilar is the proud son of Mexican immigrant parents who sacrificed their dreams to come to the U.S. Jose witnessed from a young age the struggles his parents endured as they tried to establish their own small businesses and the discrimination they faced. Due to his parents’ hard work ethic, Jose learned the importance of being a civil servant for his community and treating everyone with respect.
Jose is currently a student at The University of Texas at Austin, triple-majoring in computer science, government, and Mexican-American studies. As a first-generation student, Jose experienced the stark divide within public education. To fight this systemic issue, Jose joined Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success). As a mentor, his initiative is to combat the disproportionate numbers of Latinos not graduating high school through critical mentoring techniques in East Austin schools. On campus, he serves his community as a leader and mentor to increase the advancement of Hispanics in STEM through the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Last summer, Jose spent his time inspiring the next generation of engineers through coding summer camps as an instructor for the MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Program. As an education and technology civil rights activist, Jose spent this summer interning at Microsoft to gain a better understanding of the effect technology has on society. Finally, as a participant of the Bill Archer Fellowship program with The University of Texas Systems, Jose worked for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to empower the next generation of activists.
Through his experience as a CHCI Intern Jose wishes to strengthen his comprehension of the legislative process through an advocacy lens and gain insight into the way federal education policy gets implemented. Jose hopes to use this experience in the nation’s capital to make a difference in the education system and inspire others to be civically engaged. Jose plans to one day be a change agent in education reform and help fix the education pipeline. In the future, Jose will pursue a Master’s in Education and a J.D. after teaching for a few years.