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Candidates for CHCI-AA South Florida Chapter Board
2021-2022 Term


Robert Locke headshotROBERT LOCKE
Summer 2014 Congressional Intern

Robert participated in the CHCI Congressional Internship program in Summer 2014 as an intern in the office of US Senator Elizabeth Warren. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Public Health Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Robert currently lives in Miami and is the Regional Manager for Latin America at the law firm Kobre & Kim LLP. In his spare time, Robert enjoys reading, spending time outside, traveling, and rooting for Los Cafeteros. Robert looks forward to working with the members of the South Florida chapter to increase the group’s involvement in the community and to help recruit future CHCI students from South Florida.

Candidate Statement

I have attended a number of CHCI-AA events since my participation in the Congressional Internship in Summer 2014 and have grown increasingly interested in committing more of my time and energy to the South Florida chapter (where I currently serve as the Secretary/Treasurer) and CHCI and the Alumni Association as a whole. Now is as important of a time as ever to effectively utilize our collective skills and experience to help one another as alums (present and future). To that end, I am running for President of the South Florida chapter to help drive increased engagement within our existing group as well as with potential, future CHCI participants. I am a dedicated and diligent team player who is eager to help grow our chapter and the reach of CHCI and I look forward to working with our South Florida leadership and members and other regional chapters if elected. Thank you.

Vice President

Summer 2013 Congressional Intern

Ana joined CHCI in 2013 as a congressional intern and has since dedicated herself to serving her Miami community through various organizations. While attending the University of Miami, Ana was heavily involved in non-profit work benefiting vulnerable and overlooked populations as the director for the local chapter of Camp Kesem. Upon earning her bachelor’s degree in 2014, Ana became an AmeriCorps member with City Year Miami and committed herself to social justice by mentoring and co-teaching at-risk youth at a high-need school in Homestead. After completing her year of service, Ana remained focused on educating underserved students. She taught kindergarten at an under-resourced school in North Miami for two years before returning to higher education to earn a master’s degree. Currently, Ana is a full-time graduate student earning her M.A. in Communication Sciences & Disorders from the University of Florida. She has continued her involvement in civic engagement and leadership through the Johns Hopkins AICGS Transatlantic Exchange Program and looks forward to her new role with the CHCI-AA South Florida Chapter.

Candidate Statement:

I would like to continue working with the chapter in my VP role.


2019 R2L Next Gen Participant

Oscar Eduardo Serra is a volunteer, advocate, and dual-enrollment student who resides in Miami-Dade County and has dedicated his time to giving back to his community. After immigrating from Cuba, he has weathered the struggles faced by immigrants and minorities in the United States, and has resolved to use those experiences to help others in similar circumstances.

As a Junior Alumnus for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Oscar has been able to reach many people like him and create connections to further his goal of bettering his community through volunteer work and legislative action. Oscar also seeks to empower individuals who share his struggles and has done so by delivering an official TEDx speech about how he overcome his adversities along with ways on how anyone could advocate for change in their own communities. He currently spends most of his time as an intern for a state political campaign and has plans to begin mentoring elementary and middle school students who suffer from speech impediments.

Candidate Statement:

Growing up in low-income communities in South Florida gave me first-hand experience with adversity and showed me the importance of seeking change in minority communities. Tutoring at elementary schools and volunteering across my county showed me the power behind community engagement, and its ability to impact lives. The R2L NextGen program solidified this desire for communal engagement by demonstrating that anyone could make a rippling impact in their community that can inspire others to do the same. I now seek to continue empowering underrepresented Latinx voices in my community and across the country as the Secretary for the South Florida chapter to further my pursuit of causing lasting change both on micro and macro scales.


Spring 2013 Congressional Intern

Abel J. Ramos Taype was born and raised in Lima, Peru, and migrated to the United States at 17. He participated in the Congressional Internship Program back in the Spring of 2013. He began serving the South Florida Chapter Board in 2019 as President, after four years of chapter dormancy. With the support of previous mentees, he began rebuilding CHCI’s presence in Miami.

Abel is currently a public servant at the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office. He also has experience in grassroots organizing during the last four election cycles. Before becoming a community organizer, Abel worked at Florida International University for five years in many capacities.

Abel graduated from Florida International University with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Relations and Sociology/Anthropology and completed a Master in Business Administration. As a Treasurer, Abel plans to continue supporting the Alumni Chapter in South Florida, empower new Alumni, connect with old folks, and engage the chapter with the local community.

Candidate Statement

After serving CHCI South Florida for 2 years, I seek to continue supporting the chapter while empowering new generations. CHCI has played an important role in my life, and I want to give back in this new role as Treasurer. I hold experience as President. I have a first-hand understanding of the role of a Treasurer to support the work of the Chapter. It will be my pleasure to step down in my role but continue making sure our chapter continues to function well.

Programs Coordinator

Spring 2014 Congressional Intern

Carla Santamaria is results-oriented civic engagement professional passionate about promoting multiculturalism and diversity, civic involvement, and engaged citizenship. Born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Carla was raised in Miami, Florida, where she completed degrees at Miami Dade College, Florida International University, and the University of Miami. She is a two-time AmeriCorps alumna, serving with both the VISTA and state programs. Her passion for civic engagement has taken Carla on internships, fellowships, volunteer opportunities, and countless events engaging local, state, and national elected officials.

Carla is the recipient of the Florida International University School of International and Public Affairs Service Excellence Award and the Florida Campus Compact VISTA Member Recognition award. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Florida International University. She earned a Master of Science degree focused on community and social change from the University of Miami, where her research focused on non-traditional students’ conceptualization and implementation of civic engagement activities.

Currently, Carla is the Wolfson Campus Director for the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy at Miami Dade College. She is an alumna of the 2014 College Internship Program and has remained involved with CHCI ever since.

Candidate Statement

CHCI opened a world of new opportunities for me. I learned what civic leadership looks like, became in touch with my Latinx identity, and made lifelong friends. I hope to continue my involvement with the alumni association so I can continue to give back to an organization I deeply value.