Hometown: Elmhurst, New York
School: Columbia University
Major: Political Science
Placement: The Office of Sen. Chuck Schumer
Kristen Gonzalez was born and raised in Elmhurst, Queens, one of the most diverse counties in the country. Growing up in a largely immigrant and working class community helped her understand the realities of poverty and institutional racism, which sparked her passion for public service and social justice. This passion guided her work and her efforts to expand opportunities for young women of color.
Kristen is currently a senior at Columbia University studying political science and race and ethnicity studies. In the fall of 2015, she worked for New York City Council by serving on the Young Women’s Advisory Council (YWAC) as a part of the Young Women’s Initiative. As a member of YWAC, she met with representatives from city council offices, city agencies, and community organizations to craft policy recommendations that would improve the city’s programs to give young women, economic opportunities.
Kristen also participated in the White House Internship Program, where she worked with the White House’s primary liaison to the Latino community in the Office of Public Engagement. Kristen worked on engaging immigrant communities through the New York Immigration Coalition, and encouraged youth involvement in politics by serving as the first Latina President of Columbia University Democrats.
As a CHCI Intern, Kristen hopes to continue to serve and empower her community while gaining legislative experience.