Hometown: Bridgeview, Illinois
School: University of Michigan
Major: Psychology and Sociology
Placement: The Office of Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García
Leilani Fonseca is the first-born child of a Mexican immigrant father and a Mexican-American mother and calls Bridgeview, Illinois home. At a young age, she and her brother were raised understanding the importance of discipline, education, and giving back to the community.
Leilani is a first-generation student at the University of Michigan majoring in sociology and psychology with a minor in law, justice, and social change. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, Leilani aspires to enroll in a dual degree (MPP and JD) program. She is committed to pursuing a career that will focus on advancing women’s rights. On campus, she is a lead researcher for a lab that analyzes university responses to sexual assault and is a director for University Students Against Rape. This past summer, she interned for National Women’s Political Caucus where she assisted in endorsing female pro-choice women, formatted press releases, and lobbied for the “my body, my data act.” Holding her Latina identity close to her heart, Leilani also spends time advocating for Latinx students on campus through multiple U of M organizations. She is a three-time HSF scholar and was recently named a Latinx44 Scholar.
As a CHCI Intern, Leilani hopes to expand her understanding of legislative processes, become more comfortable with navigating professional political spaces, and most importantly, embody the saying, “know the way, go the way, show the way.” She is extremely grateful for this life-changing opportunity CHCI has given her and is forever grateful for the never-ending support she receives from her parents.