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Alumni Association

Inspiring the Next Generation

The CHCI Alumni Association (CHCI-AA) is one of the fastest growing networks of Latino professionals in the country. More than 3,600 highly accomplished alumni have successfully continued their journey beyond CHCI into the workforce as powerful leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

The mission of the CHCI-AA is to promote active and visible leadership in the community, while providing members with increased opportunities for professional development, networking and, most importantly, opportunities to mentor our Latino youth. By generously giving of their time, talent, and passion, CHCI Alumni remain connected to each other and to CHCI well after their programs end.

Connected, Engaged, Involved

Connect with CHCI-AA’s vast network of Latino leaders across sectors and industries. Engage in valuable networking and lifelong learning opportunities. Get involved with CHCI by sharing your story during CHCI’s Friday programming, reviewing applications for CHCI programs, or mentoring our participants.

You can connect virtually via FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram. Or, connect with a local CHCI-AA chapter located in the following regions:

Interested in connecting with the CHCI Bay Area Chapter? Email for more information.

Follow the CHCI Bay Area Chapter on Facebook.

Meet the Bay Area Chapter Alumni Board Members

Aa Andres


Andres Quintero
Congressional Internship Program Summer 2003

Andres is an East San Jose native and lifelong resident. Andres began his educational career at San Antonio Elementary. Upon graduation from Mount Pleasant High School, he enrolled at Evergreen Valley College and subsequently transferred to San Jose State where he earned a BA in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration. Andres’ wide breadth of public policy knowledge is derived from his experience at the City, County, State and Federal level. Andres has interned in our nation’s capital and has worked as staff to a San Jose City Council member, members of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and most recently served as District Director in the California State Assembly. Andres teaches Political Science at Evergreen Valley College. Andres’ dedication to his community is evidenced in his commitment to public service. Andres’ demonstrated leadership has led his peers to elect him to lead various organizations. Andres has served as President of the Alum Rock School Board and as Chair of the San Jose International Airport Commission. He also serves on an oversight committee for the East Side Union High School District and serves on the board of various nonprofit and civic organizations. Andres’ most important job is that of husband and father. When they were looking to purchase their home, Andres and his family decided to stay and invest in his native East San Jose. Given that his children’s educational future will be affected by the decisions he and his colleagues make today, Andres has a vested interest in ensuring that our schools succeed.

Interested in connecting with the CHCI Boston Chapter? Email for more information.

Board Meet the Boston Chapter Alumni Members



Luisa Peña Lyons
Congressional Internship Program 2006
Luisa completed the CHCI Summer Internship program in the 2006 cohort, when she was attending Northeastern University. She currently lends her efforts to educational equity and works on shifting the systems of elected leadership, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. She is on the steering committee for Amplify Latinx, an effort that seeks to grow Latinx political power in Massachusetts, and is a Hispanics in Philanthropy Fellow. She is a native of Lawrence and Methuen, MA.

2014 2015 Public Policy Fellows Sarah Diaz

Vice President

Sarah Diaz
Public Policy Fellowship 2014-2015
Sarah completed the CHCI Public Policy Fellowship in the 2014-2015 cohort. She then stayed in DC for a position as Legislative Affairs Associate at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In 2016 Sarah came back to Boston to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work and Public Health at Boston University. As a Somerville native, she is very excited to connect with CHCI alumni at home!

Interested in connecting with the CHCI Central Texas Chapter (Austin / San Antonio). Email for more information.

Follow the CHCI Central Texas chapter on Facebook!

Meet the Central Texas Chapter Alumni Board Members

Marisela Salayandia Sm


Marisela Salayandia-Darmanin
Public Policy Fellow 2004-2005
Marisela Salayandia lives in Austin, Texas and works as a Senior Manager in Strategic Partnerships, Legislative and Community Affairs for the PFM Group. Prior to joining the private sector, Marisela led a successful career as a congressional staffer in Washington, DC. She has extensive experience leading corporate engagement strategies that impact government officials, non-profit organizations, and international stakeholders. Marisela is a graduate of The University of Texas Austin.

Anthony Alcoser Sm

Vice President:

Anthony Alcoser
Summer Congressional Internship Program 2003
Anthony Alcoser lives in San Antonio, Texas and is Vice President of Development for St. Mary’s School of Law. Anthony served as a local school board member for nine years and spent the last ten years a development officer in the higher education and non-profit sector. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio and received a Master’s degree from Texas A&M University of San Antonio.

Clarissa Ramon Sm


Clarissa Roman
Public Policy Fellow 2010-2011
Clarissa Ramon lives in San Antonio, Texas where she was born and raised and currently works as Community Impact Manager at Google Fiber San Antonio. After completing her CHCI Fellowship, Clarissa spent several years in the non-profit sector where she advocated for accessible, reliable, and affordable telecommunication networks. Clarissa is a graduate of St. Mary’s University.

Adriana Kohler Sm

Programs/Outreach Coordinator

Adriana Kohler 
Congressional Internship Program 2005
Adriana Kohler lives in Austin, Texas and is Senior Health Policy Associate for Texans Care for Children. Adriana has extensive experience in the private and nonprofit sector where she has led successful policy and advocacy campaigns at the state and federal level to advance access to affordable health care. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received her law degree from University of Pennsylvania School of Law, where she served as President of the Latin American Law Students Association.

Interested in connecting with the CHCI Chicago Chapter? Email for more information.

Follow the CHCI Chicago Chapter on Facebook.

Meet the Chicago Chapter Alumni Board Members

Claudia Valencia Headshot


Claudia Valencia
Congressional Internship Program Summer 2010
Claudia Valencia is an International Services Coordinator, at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where her work focuses on assisting the F-1 international student population on campus. Claudia is passionate about immigration work and found that that was her calling during her time spent serving the community at Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez’s district office in Chicago. She will pursue a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois in the fall. Throughout the school year, Claudia teaches a dance class and character education class to 4th through 6th grade girls, at Metro Achievement Center, a Chicago-based non-profit that strives to guide inner city youth along pathways of success. A native Chicagoan, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Ariadna Ginez

Vice President

Ariadna Ginez 
Congressional Internship Program Spring 2011
Ariadna Ginez is a political fundraising professional. She completed the Spring 2011 CHCI Congressional Internship Program in Senator Levin’s (D-MI) office. Ariadna started her career in the education field and has always been passionate about public service and politics. She earned her B.A. in International Relations & Social Relations and Policy from Michigan State University and her M.A. in Education Studies with a concentration in Urban Pedagogy from the University of Michigan.

Yesenia Lopez


Yesenia Lopez 
Public Policy Fellow 2013-2014
Yesenia Lopez was born and raised in Chicago’s southwest community, where she developed an interest in social justice, immigration, and civil rights policy. This encouraged her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in women & gender studies from DePaul University. Her passion for social justice has led her to work in Chicago’s Latino communities and participate in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Public Policy Fellowship in Washington, D.C. Currently, Yesenia works with SGA Youth & Family Services as the Operations Coordinator. She is also involved with numerous of organizations in the Chicago area working towards social justice.

Maria Velazquez

Director of Marketing & Member Outreach

Maria Velazquez 
Congressional Internship Program Summer 2014
María Velázquez is the program coordinator for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE). Prior to joining HACE, María was a community organizing fellow at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights(ICIRR). She led naturalization efforts in partnership with local organizations including the Mexican Consulate. She also co-led ICIRR’s New Americans Democracy Project campaign, aimed to mobilize the immigrant vote during the 2016 elections. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Iowa. She is also a member of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc., and an active member of her community, dedicated to serving the Chicago Latinx community.

Tomas U.  Headshot

Director of Community Partnerships

Tomas Uriostegui 
Congressional Internship Program Summer 2014
Tomas G. Uriostegui currently works with first-generation/low-income students from Little Village High School through the Upward Bound Program as the College and Program Coordinator. Prior to his experience with the Upward Bound Program, he served one year as the AmeriCorps LENS Citizenship Tutor/ Economic Opportunity Specialist. Tomas received his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University in Latino and Latin American Studies and Sociology.

Interested in connecting with the CHCI Dallas Chapter? Email for more information.

Follow the CHCI Dallas Chapter on Facebook.

Meet the Dallas Chapter Alumni Board Members

3 Sasha


Sasha Moreno
Congressional Internship Program 2007
Sasha Monik Moreno is an associate attorney with Lira Bravo Law and focuses on family-based immigration and removal defense. Sasha is committed to serving her community and is actively involved in various organizations and professional associations.  Along with serving as the CHCI Alumni Association Dallas Chapter President, she is also a 2016-2017 fellow of the Latino Center for Leadership Development Academy and a member of the 2016-2017 Dallas Mayor’s Star Council. She is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Dallas Bar Association, and Dallas Hispanic Bar Association.


Vice President:

Joe Carreón
Congressional Internship Program 2008
Joe Carreón is a staffer in the Office of the Provost at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas and is pursuing a law degree at SMU’s Dedman School of Law. Joe has replenished his study of law with experiences in various levels of government including the Dallas Mayor’s Office, the Office of the Colorado Governor, and the White House. A native Dallasite, Joe received his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Spanish from SMU and a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.



Alejandra Aguirre
Congressional Internship Program 2012
Alejandra Aguirre serves as a Government Affairs Consultant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She began her career in Washington, DC, where she served in a variety of critical capacities with both the Competitive Carriers Association, a wireless trade association, and CIT Group, a financial institution for middle market companies. She attended Southern Methodist University where she majored in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs and Human Rights.

1 Ramon

Programs Coordinator

Ramon Hernandez
Congressional Internship Program 2015
Ramon Hernandez was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of 15. After experiencing the struggles many immigrants face, he embarked on a mission to help others. Ramon is a senior at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he studies political science and criminal justice. He is currently a legal assistant at a law firm in DFW which lends its services to mostly immigrant communities.

Interested in connecting with the CHCI Denver Chapter? Email for more information.

Follow the CHCI Denver Chapter on Facebook.

Meet the Denver Chapter Alumni Board Members

Vanessa Q.


Vanessa Quintana 
Public Policy Fellow 2013-2014
Vanessa Quintana is a Chicana born and raised in East Denver. Despite her high school closing during her freshmen year, Vanessa’s determination led her to become the first in her family to graduate high school and attend college. Vanessa graduated from Hastings College May 2013 with a B.A. in Peace, Justice, and Social Change and a minor in Communication Studies. It is her goal to become a leader in public policy advocating for social and economic justice. It is her grand ambition to break the cycle of poverty and increase the accessibility of politics for low-incomes communities of color to create a truly representative democracy and diverse voice in policy.


Karolina Villagrana 
Congressional Internship Program Summer 2008
Karolina joined Rocky Mountain Prep in 2017 as Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to Rocky Mountain Prep, Karolina served as an Assistant Principal in San Jose, California at Rocketship Education-Alma Academy and was their founding 2nd and 3rd grade math teacher. She began her career as a Teach for America Corp Member in Kansas City. Karolina graduated with honors from the University of Colorado, she received her Master’s of Education from the University of Missouri and recently completed her second Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership from Columbia University. She is currently completing her fellowship: National Institute for Latino School Leader with National Council of La Raze, where she is working towards expanding the knowledge and parent advocacy with the Every Student Succeeds.

Interested in connecting with the CHCI Southern California Chapter? Email for more information.

Follow the Southern California Chapter on Facebook!

Meet the Southern California Chapter Alumni Board Members

Annette Rodriguez 250


Annette Rodriguez
Public Policy Fellow 2007-2008
Annette Rodriguez is a Senior User Experience Strategist at a technology company (Surfline/Wavetrak, Inc.) in Huntington Beach, California, where she works to excel in the technology world as a double minority, to influence and motivate others like her to do the same. She is an ambassador of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard for the Southern California region. A strong proponent of the value of education, she also volunteers for local organizations and universities in Orange County to support and motivate first generation college students like herself. A native of East LA, she attained Bachelor of Art degrees in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California at Riverside and a Master’s in Education with a concentration in Human Development and Psychology from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard.

Brian Lucero 250

Vice President:

Brian Lucero
Congressional Internship Program 2012
Brian Lucero is a Public Relations and Public Affairs Professional based in Downtown Los Angeles. He currently serves as a Senior Account Executive at Vectis Strategies where he provides support for a variety of clients and campaigns from a range of different industries including Finance, Healthcare, Real Estate, Manufacturing, Aerospace, and Education. A native of South East LA, Brian attended California State University, Los Angeles where he majored in Organizational Communication and Public Relations.

Thomas Rivera 250

Secretary & Jr. Alumni Liaison

Thomas Rivera
Congressional Internship Program 2015
R2L NextGen Program 2012
Thomas Rivera is a senior at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He will graduate with a double major in Politics and Economics in May 2017. During his time at Pomona College, Thomas has had the honor of being a Gates Millennium Scholar, a QuestBridge Scholar, a Milken Scholar, and a Management Leadership for Tomorrow Career Prep Fellow. After graduating, Thomas hopes to transition into a role that would allow him to serve and help empower other members of the Latino community.

Erika Flores 250


Erika Flores
CHCI Scholar 2009
Erika Flores is a Constituent Services Representative for U.S. Representative Pete Aguilar. She coordinates community outreach events and provides constituents in California’s 31st Congressional District with access to federal casework assistance. As a first-generation college student, she attended California State University, San Bernardino where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies.

Enrique Soto 250

Director of Outreach Programs & Services

Enrique Soto 
Higher Education Graduate Fellowship
Enrique Soto is a Director of Regional Strategic Partnerships on Leadership for Educational Equity’s Policy and Advocacy team.  As a CHCI Fellow, he worked at the U.S. Department of Education and the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Through his work in Washington D.C., Enrique became interested in national education advocacy work where he worked on Teach For America’s Latino Engagement and Partnerships team. Through his work at Teach For America, Enrique partnered with several advocacy organizations to further engage young leaders in the field of education. Enrique holds a Master’s in Education from the University of Utah and Bachelor’s in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego.

More info coming soon!

Interested in connecting with the CHCI New York Chapter? Email for more information.

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Meet the New York Chapter Alumni Board Members



Jonathan Castañeda 
Public Policy Fellow 2012-2013
Jonathan Castaneda is a first-generation American of Cuban and Colombian descent and currently serves as Chief of Staff to Mayor Felix E. Roque, MD in the Town of West New York, New Jersey. He also serves as an elected Trustee of the West New York Board of Education and the Chairman of the West New York Housing Corporation. He earned a B.S. in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University and a Masters in City and Regional Planning with concentrations in Transportation Planning and International/Regional Development from The State University of New Jersey.

Rose Aviles

Vice President

Rose Aviles 
CHCI Scholar 2011
Rose serves as a Career Services representative, assisting students and alumni with their career endeavors. She is also an active member of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women. Rose received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami and Masters of Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management in New York.  As a political and social advocate, Rose has worked with various political figures, such as within the finance department of former President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. Rose continues to serve the community by contributing her studies and efforts for people’s overall well-being.

2012 Fall Interns Cerna Edward


Edward Cerna
Congressional Internship Program 2012
Edward is currently a tenant support specialist for the Public Engagement Unit of the City of New York. In previous capacities, he has served two members of the New York State Assembly as the community liaison. As an active member of the community, he now sits on Brooklyn Community Board 7 as chair of the immigration committee. Edward attended the City University of New York at Brooklyn College, where he majored in political science and philosophy of law.

Cabral Ramon

Outreach/Program Coordinator

Ramon Cabral
Congressional Internship Program 2013
Ramon Cabral serves as Deputy District Director for Congressman Jose E. Serrano in the Bronx. Ramon began as an intern for a local assemblywoman in the Bronx, then he had the opportunity to intern for Congressman Jose E. Serrano both in D.C. and the Bronx. Soon after he was offered the opportunity to work as the Congressman’s Community Liaison. Ramon took a leave of absence to work on the 2016 Presidential Campaign out in Iowa as a field organizer. After returning back from the campaign, he was promoted to Deputy District Director. Ramon received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Fordham University.

2013 Spring Interns Agustina Perez


Agustina Perez
Congressional Internship Program 2013
Agustina Perez is a first generation Mexican-American and the first woman in her family to attain higher education in Marymount Manhattan College as a political science and international studies major. Agustina was born and raised in New York City’s “Spanish Harlem.” Growing up in a very diverse community, Agustina pictured herself from a young age being the voice of those who could not be heard, whether it be due to their gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, or any reason.

Interested in connecting with the CHCI Phoenix Chapter? Email for more information.

Follow the CHCI Phoenix Chapter on Facebook.

Meet the Phoenix Chapter Alumni Board Members



Judith Davila
Public Policy Fellowship 2009-2010

Judy Dávila is an attorney at the National Labor Relations Board in Phoenix where she practices labor law. Along with serving as the CHCI Alumni Association Phoenix Chapter President, she serves on the board of directors for Los Abogados, Arizona’s Hispanic Bar Association. A native of Nogales, Arizona, she graduated from the University of San Diego and the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law.

Juan Rocha

Vice President

Juan Rocha
Congressional Internship Program 1998

Juan Rocha is a graduate of the 1998 CHCI Summer Internship Program. He was the Phoenix Chapter President for three years. Juan is a published author and an attorney in private practice. He has appeared on several television and radio programs where he shares his knowledge of the criminal-immigration law with a Spanish-speaking audience.



Daniel Arellano
Congressional Internship Program 2010
Scholar 2011
Daniel Arellano is an attorney in the Phoenix office of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s litigation practice group. He represents clients in complex commercial disputes, with a focus on appeals and critical motions practice.Before joining the firm, Daniel served as a law clerk to Judge Mary H. Murguia of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to Chief Justice Scott Bales of the Arizona Supreme Court.He graduated from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law with high honors and served as the editor-in-chief of the Arizona Law Review.

Baltazar Hernandez  Headshot


Baltazar Hernandez
Congressional Internship Program 2014

Baltazar or “Balta” recently graduated from the ASU School of Public Affairs with a degree in Public Policy and a concentration in Business. He has a knack for social justice as a diversity and inclusion trainer. As an impassioned public servant, he currently serves as an AmeriCorps Public Ally with Opportunities for Youth, a collective impact organization that seeks to reduce the rate of youth disconnection in Phoenix through education and career empowerment. Previously, he worked in the D.C. office of Arizona Congressman Ed Pastor. He has studied abroad in France, Germany, and Cuba and has studied foreign policy, statistics, and economics at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He hopes to combine his training in business and public policy in order to contribute to global social change. He is bilingual in Spanish/English and will be receiving training in third-year Russian through the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship program in Russia this summer.

Adriana Garcia M.  Headshot


Adriana Garcia Maximiliano 
Congressional Internship Program 2013
Adriana is Legal Partnerships and Volunteer Director at Arizona Legal Women and Youth Services, a community legal center committed to opening the doors to justice to vulnerable children and survivors of trafficking. Adriana is also Arizona State Alumni Coordinator for the New American Leaders Project, a nonprofit focused on identifying and training first and second generation Americans to use their power and influence to run for office. A community organizer by craft, Adriana has worked in Arizona for various political and issue based campaigns since 2011. She is an alumna of Grand Canyon University, the Hispanic Leadership Institute, the New American LeadersProject, and the Leadership Institute at Center for American Progress.

Interested in connecting with the CHCI DC-Metro Chapter? Email for more information.

Follow the DC Metro Chapter on Facebook!

Meet the DC Metro Chapter Alumni Board Members

Cristela Solorio Ruiz


Cristela Solorio-Ruiz 
Public Policy Fellow 2012-2013
Born and raised in Los Angeles California, Cristela Solorio Ruiz most recently served in the Obama administration at the Department of Agriculture as a Legislative Analyst in the Office of Congressional Relations. Prior to that she worked on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the State of Connecticut with Access HealthCT. In 2012, Cristela moved to Washington D.C. to participate in the Public Policy Fellowship.

With over 6 years of experience working at the local, state, federal and executive level of government Cristela is committed to serving her community and is active in multiple boards such as the Latino GLBT History Project and LULAC Lambda. Cristela earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and a minor in Legal Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

Rafael Hurtad Headshot

Vice President

Rafael Hurtado 
Public Policy Fellowship 2015-2016
Rafael Hurtado Jr. was born and raised in the Little Village neighborhood on the South side of Chicago. Throughout high school and college years, he worked on local environmental justice issues in his community. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014, Rafael moved to Washington DC to participate in the CHCI Public Policy Fellowship. Today, Rafael works as a Legislative Assistant for Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) covering a variety of issues.

Rosita Lopez


Rosita Lopez 
Public Policy Fellow 2014-2015
Rosita López is a proud New Mexican who grew up on her family’s ranch in the village of Puerto de Luna, NM. She attended the University of New Mexico where she received a B.A. in Mass Communications and Spanish in 2012. After graduation, she worked mainly in marketing for a local hotels and resorts company and for an Albuquerque start-up. During that time she realized her skills could be put to better use serving her community and so she set her sights on Washington, D.C. In 2014, Rosita was accepted to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Public Policy Fellowship. After a rewarding year as a fellow in the office Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM-03) and Chairman Tom Wheeler’s office at the Federal Communications Commission, she accepted a position at the Communications Workers of America (CWA) labor union. Rosita currently serves as the Digital Media Manager for the National CWA Political Department where she helps build political power for working families.

Cheye Ann Corona

Programs Coordinator

Cheye-Ann Corona 
Housing Graduate Fellow 2014-2015
Cheye-Ann Corona has over nine years of experience advocating for viable public policy reforms that provide economic, political, and social mobility for marginalized communities of color. Currently, she resides in Washington, D.C. where she works on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Al Green of Houston, Texas.  She is a proud Chicana from California’s San Gabriel Valley and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a Bachelors’ in International Development Studies and a dual Masters’ in Urban Planning and Latin American Studies.

Through CHCI-AA, you can grow your network, advance your career, and elevate the visibility of CHCI.

To learn more, contact Chauntay Mickens, Manager of Alumni Relations, at

CHCI’s Strongest Asset

In 2015, CHCI Alumni directly donated nearly $7,500 for CHCI programs and helped facilitate and raise more than $147,000 in donations and sponsorships. Moreover, CHCI Alumni have reinvested in CHCI by providing nearly 2,200 volunteer hours, an increase of 92 percent above the 1,094 service hours given in 2014. We are so proud of their tremendous accomplishments!

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