2023 Fall Congressional Interns
Congressional Intern, Presented By: Coca-Cola Foundation
Hometown: New York, New York
School: Georgetown University
Placement: The Office of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
Sebastian Cardena grew up in New York City, moving between the South Bronx and Harlem before eventually staying in the Upper East Side during high school. Growing up with an undocumented mother and a father who worked two jobs, they quickly understood the harsh realities of structural racism, classism, and xenophobia in all aspects of the legal system. Thus, they cultivated a steadfast belief in community-building, hoping to push for better housing access and other investments that aid marginalized Latine barrios.
As a sophomore at Georgetown University, Sebastian studies philosophy with a concentration on Latine, indigenous, and colonial theory. They were elected to their College Academic Council, promoting and achieving a more inclusive curriculum oriented toward social justice. Furthermore, they joined in solidarity with students and campus workers throughout the year and served on the board of Georgetown’s M.E.Ch.A. and Queer People of Color clubs.
Sebastian is currently the Field Director for the DC College Democrats and an organizer with ONE DC, alongside being a passionate advocate in their publications and social media. In NYC and DC, they have also organized with tenant empowerment groups like the Latino Economic Development Center, Stomp Out Slumlords, and more. Moreover, they have served as an aide, communications director, and deputy campaign manager for local, state, and federal races, including with former Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
As a CHCI Intern, Sebastian hopes to continue offering support to their community while gaining legislative experience they can utilize in future activism and service.