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CHCI-AA 2020 National Board Elections

Candidates for CHCI-AA National Board
2021-2022 Term

President

JOSE L. PLAZA
2012-2013 Higher Education Graduate Fellow

Jose Luis, a native of Guanajuato, MX and proud son of migrant parents was the CHCI Bill & Melinda Gates Higher Education Graduate Fellow in 2012-2013. During his fellowship, he served in the House of Representatives and the education think tank The Education Trust. Post fellowship, he was the National Latino Engagement Director for Enroll America and under his leadership more than 4.4 million Latinos gained health coverage. He was then tapped to lead the Latino Vote for the Hillary Clinton campaign in Florida, and most recently managed a multi-million-dollar portfolio at The California Endowment. He was active in the Biden for President campaign supporting advisory policy committees and the national voter protection hotline. Jose served as the National Vice President for the CHCI AA, and has years of expertise in community organizing, social justice and equity issues, leadership, fundraising, and organizational development.

Candidate Statement

CHCI is to me what it is to countless alumni, life changing. CHCI was the catalyst for my professional career and as such, I have a sense of indebtedness to the organization, and its current and future alumni. Having recently served as the National Vice President for the Alumni Association I also came to recognize the countless disenfranchised alumni and urgent need to revamp programs that engage alumni in mid-level and senior roles. The CHCI AA has had a successful trajectory and as its ranks are growing, it needs a leader with the ability to unite its base, strengthen chapters, and take the Association to the next level. CHCI AA needs a leader with an understanding of its diverse membership, who is responsive to regional needs, and has a strong organizing and fundraising background- I am that candidate and humbly seek your support in my candidacy for President.

Candidate Video

Vice President

JAZMIN Y. GARCIA
2015-2016 Public Policy Fellow

Jazmin Garcia is a queer, first-generation, Mexican-American dedicated to expand leadership opportunities for LGBTQI and Latinx professionals. Her experience growing up across borders in San Diego, California and Tijuana, Baja California inspired a curious leader and prompted her passion for public service and social impact. She currently serves as a small business advisor with the City of Chicago’s Economic Development Agency and EVP, Business Strategy for a Chicago tech startup. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of San Diego and is a PPF alumnus where she had placements in the House of Representatives CA-51 and SEIU’s Government Relations office. Professionally, she took on the role of Program Manager for the Leadership Programs at CHCI and under her tenure revamped recruitment strategies and leadership curriculum across the organization. She has also remained active serving on the CHCI AA, DC Metro and Chicago chapters, aside from her extensive community engagement with various organizations.


Candidate Statement:

CHCI exposed me to the adjacent possible, “a sort of map of ways that the present can reinvent itself.” I accepted my Fellowship with my heart set on serving my community by working in government and it was through the vast exposure to public and private industries that I learned I could serve my Latinx community in a variety of sectors. I learned my career didn’t have just one trajectory and that it could evolve and change as I did. I want all alumni to benefit from CHCI the way I did, past their program experiences and well through their seasoned careers. If elected as your VP I am committed and eager to lead in the same manner as when managing the leadership programs, surpassing expectations and truly developing the next generation. We always say, we want a seat at the table, this is the table and position that would allow me to grow how I serve our alumni body after 4 years of non-stop engagement through managing programs and mentorship.  

Civic Engagement Chair

STEPHANIE MEDINA
Spring 2017 Congressional Intern

Stephanie Medina is a voting rights advocate who has focused their professional career on empowering voters to take action in their communities through electoral politics. Stephanie began their career as a rural organizer in the 2017 Illinois Gubernatorial Primary, continuing on as a regional field director for the Arizona Democratic Party, field director for Justus for Kansas City and regional political director for Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 Presidential run. In 2019, they were selected as a 2019 Victory Empowerment Fellow by the LGBTQ+ Victory Institute. Most recently, Stephanie worked as a
spokesperson and nationwide coordinator establishing language accessible, culturally competent Latinx organizing programs in 17 battleground states for the Progressive Turnout Project. They  participated in CHCI as a 2017 Congressional Intern and graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Human Development & Family Studies, with a certificate in Latinx Mental Health Resilience from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Candidate Statement

I am running for CHCI-AA National Board Civic Engagement Chair because I believe we have a unique opportunity to engage our alumni so they can help further CHCI’s mission of developing the next generation of Latino leaders. I am qualified to run because I have experience building events, recruiting participants and managing programming on a city, state, and national level. I have organized and managed over 100 staffers, and have the enthusiasm to create interactive programming for all folks. I am organized, goal-oriented, and communicative. I am committed to inclusivity and accountability because I want to create an environment that is welcoming to all, feedback-driven and considerate of the vast geographic and industry diversity of our 4000 CHCI alum. I have stayed engaged in the CHCI community by volunteering during application review, recruiting Latinx talent to apply to CHCI programs, and participating in alum programming.

Communications Chair

DANIEL M. LIND
2012-2013 Graduate STEM Fellow

Daniel Lind is a mechanical and automotive engineer currently working as a Safety Compliance Engineer at the Department of Transportation. Daniel earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Miami and Clemson University. He was a 2012-2013 Graduate STEM Fellow and has remained actively involved with CHCI in various capacities. Throughout the years Daniel has served as a mentor, volunteer, reviewer, panelist, recruiter, and most recently as a member of the National Board for the CHCI Alumni Association. Daniel is an ardent supporter of youth and professional development volunteering with organizations like SHPE and a multitude of civically minded organizations.

 

Candidate Statement:

 I am interested in serving on the National Board specifically to continue increasing the number of opportunities and resources for alumni to: 1. Connect with each other, 2. Gain skills needed to reach their personal and professional goals, and 3. Give back to our community by volunteering and mentoring Latino youth. Over the past year I have served on the national board, I have worked to update our bylaws, start a national newsletter, make it easier/faster to start a regional chapter, and streamline our processes. I would like to continue working to increase alumni engagement opportunities by creating more Alumni Task Forces where alumni can volunteer, highlighting our 4,300+ alumni through different communication platforms, and continuing to refine the structure/management of the Association to place us on a path of sustainable long-term growth. We have a lot of work we can be doing, and I look forward to working with other alumni to continue improving our Alumni Association. Adelante!

Professional Development Chair

ERIC HERNANDEZ
2013-2014 Public Policy Fellow

Eric grew up in Detroit, Michigan in a union household and moved to Washington, DC in 2013 for CHCI’s Public Policy Fellowship. Eric is passionate about empowering those around him to advance in their own careers and maintain strong financial wellness. Since the CHCI Fellowship, Eric has gained much experience working in the public interest, having supported various data-driven solutions as a consultant and as a volunteer. Most recently, he volunteered with President-elect Joe Biden’s National Voter Protection Hotline during the 2020 General Election.Eric is currently a program manager at BlueLabs Analytics, where he helps problem-solve data and technology challenges for a federal client. He is based in Washington, DC with his partner, David, and their lovely pup Tori.

Candidate Statement: 

I’m no rookie when it comes to leadership by and for CHCI Alumni. Having worked on staff at CHCI and most recently serving as the DC Chapter President, I have consistently worked in service of the greater alumni body. I believe that CHCI Alumni are truly a force to be reckoned with – and in many ways, we’re already there. As Professional Development Chair, I want to push the boundaries of how the CHCI Alumni Association has historically served its newest and most experienced members. My vision for the CHCI-AA is to provide our alumni with the tools they want in order to help them put their best foot forward at work, in their next career move, and ideally on their first or next board position.

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