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CHCI-Coca Cola Intern
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
School: Saint Edward’s University
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Rep. Luis Gutierrez

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Jovahana Avila is currently a senior at St. Edward’s University. As a first-generation Mexican-American, her experiences reflect the challenges that the Latinx community faces. She was raised off her entire family’s hard work and willpower, which helped her to develop a deeply rooted sense of identity and drive. It is because of her experiences that she grew up keenly aware of the need to improve and strengthen her community and city.

Jovahana’s interest in writing elevated her curiosity in political science, which led her to pursue a bachelor’s in political science and English writing and rhetoric. On campus, Jovahana has served as the President of Latino Student Leaders Organization, and as the Honors Living and Learning Community Resident Assistant. She has consistently worked to facilitate student engagement and cultivating leadership amongst students.

She describes her commitment to public service and government as a “fire-in-your-chest” spirit. She hopes to be a change agent, improving the ways that government agencies, public policy, and institutions serve communities. She got her start working at the Texas House of Representatives with State Representative Eddie Rodriguez. This experience catalyzed her curiosity, which led to internships with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., League of Women Voters of Texas, Annie’s List, Mayor Steve Adler, and at the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

As a CHCI intern, she hopes to gain a deeper understanding on how the legislative process works and how the federal government can affect tangible, meaningful change in communities. In the future, Jovahana plans to pursue a combined JD/MPP degree and continue to champion for good public policies that work to ensure an equitable nation for current and future generations.