Hometown: Morristown, Tennessee
School: Carson-Newman University
Major: Political Science and Psychology
Placement: The Office of Rep. Jamaal Bowman
Born in Mexico City, Rita and her family immigrated to the US, when she was six years old. When she was ten her family moved to Morristown, Tennessee where she grew up. As a first-generation student, Rita understands the importance of education and opening doors for others. One of Rita’s greatest accomplishments was to help establish Recruiting Hispanics to Achieve (RHiTA) at Walters State Community College which was inspired by Rita’s journey to access higher education in Tennessee. The RHiTA program seeks to increase Hispanic students in higher education throughout East Tennessee.
Rita is currently a senior at Carson-Newman University majoring in Psychology and Political Science with a minor in Law and Policy. She is co-founder of Pursuing Our Dreams Embracing Our Roots (PODER) that seeks to empower first-generation Latinx students, do outreach to Hispanic high school youth, and create an East Tennessee network. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, Rita hopes to pursue a law degree or acquire a Master’s in Counseling. Her ultimate career goal is to work for the immigrant community while empowering youth to partake in civic engagement and spread awareness of mental health within the community.
As a CHCI Intern, Rita hopes to gain an insight into the legislative process and policy impact on communities of color while seeking to learn how to bridge the gap between rural and urban areas. She hopes that this experience helps her make a difference in the rural communities of East Tennessee and inspire others to do the same.