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CHCI- UPS Intern

Hometown: Weslaco, Texas

School: University of Houston

Major: Biotechnology

Placement: The Office of Rep. Filemon Vela

Marissa Gorena was born and raised in the small city of Weslaco, Texas. She believes adversity and difficulty is what helped shape her character and mold her into the person she is today. Overcoming family struggles has been her motivation in continuing to improve the lives of Latinos, especially in the Rio Grande Valley.

Marissa is currently a junior at the University of Houston, majoring in biotechnology and minoring in health communications. On campus, Marissa is a leader and mentor for organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and also serves as a student ambassador for the college of technology. In addition, Marissa founded URGE (Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity) chapter on campus that promotes positive sexuality in culture, policy, and practice.

As a CHCI Intern, Marissa hopes to further her knowledge on policies related to health care while strengthening her leadership skills and enhancing her professional abilities. She hopes to use this experience as a way to make a difference in the lives of others as she pursues a career in government.