Public Policy Fellowship Program
Experience: College Graduate
Program Dates: August 23, 2023 – May 24, 2024
Application Launch: August 15, 2023
Application Deadline: December 15, 2023
Begin your path toward becoming one of our nation’s future Latino changemakers. Recent college graduates can take advantage of this paid fellowship, which opens doors for talented young Latinos who are interested in gaining public policy experience and advancing their careers. You will spend nine months working in Washington, D.C., with exposure to leaders in congressional offices, federal agencies, national nonprofit advocacy organizations, and the private sector—growing both personally and professionally during your fellowship experience.
This nine-month paid program helps talented Latinos gain public policy experience and accelerate their careers as emerging leaders. Applicants to the Public Policy Fellowship Program must have earned a bachelor’s degree in any field within three years of the program start date.
As a CHCI Public Policy Fellow, you will immerse yourself in the legislative process, spending four days each week learning all facets of public policy. Once a week, you will join other fellows for a full day of leadership development centered on CHCI’s four Pillars of Leadership—Self Discovery, Transformation through Collective Power, Rooted in my Strength, and Planting Seeds for Tomorrow. The CHCI pillars provide the support needed to strategize and produce organized, culturally relevant programming with timely content to create opportunities, transform, influence, and connect the next generation of Latino leaders.
Your weekly programming will also prepare you to fully understand policy issues facing the Latino community and how to propose effective solutions by critically examining all sides and implications of these issues.
- Work a minimum of 32 hours a week at placement site
- Attend a one-week orientation and weekly leadership development sessions
- Participate in all CHCI-sponsored activities
- Complete an Issue Brief on a topic that impacts the Latino community
- Comply with CHCI policies regarding work performance and personal conduct
- Work experience in Washington, D.C.
- Over the course of nine months, Public Policy Fellows will receive a gross stipend amount of $29,574.
- Stipend or voucher to subsidize domestic round-trip transportation to Washington, D.C.
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance for the fellow during the program (all premiums paid by CHCI)
- $100 per month Metro stipend
- $200 Professional Development stipend
- Through a generous partnership with Airbnb, CHCI will offer the 2024-25 Fellowship participants housing vouchers that can be used to cover housing upon arrival to D.C., for a period of up to four weeks before the start of the program.
- Weekly leadership training, networking and more
- Applicants must have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in any field within three years of the program start date
- High academic achievement (preference of 3.0 GPA or higher)
- Evidence of leadership skills and potential for leadership growth
- Demonstrated commitment to public service-oriented activities
- Superior analytical skills, outstanding oral and written communication skills
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, asylees, or individuals who are lawfully authorized to work full-time without restriction for any U.S. employer and who, at the time of application, possess lawful evidence of employment authorization. International students on F-1 or M-1 visas are not eligible for CHCI programs.
- NOTE: Individuals who are seeking consideration under the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival” (DACA) policy must be eligible to work and possess valid employment authorization at the time of acceptance, and must maintain continuous lawful employment authorization for the duration of the program for which the person is applying.
The selection process is competitive. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee composed of program alumni, members of the CHCI Board of Directors and Advisory Council, and CHCI staff. Only top candidates receive an invitation to interview for a select number of fellowship opportunities, based on the quality of their application and demonstrated interest in public policy.
For the last 40 years, CHCI has forged a critical pathway to Educate, Empower, and Connect our nation’s future Latino leaders, creating a transformative and lasting Impact on Latino youth and our nation. Learn more about CHCI’s history.
CHCI hosts a platform of leadership development programs, which equip young Latino leaders with the tools they need to be successful in the public and private sectors. Through our educational and leadership development programs, CHCI is committed to our mission of Developing the Next Generation of Latino Leaders®.
The 2024-2025 Public Policy Fellowship Program application is due at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on December 15, 2023.
Please keep your responses to a maximum of 600 words each.
The CHCI Public Policy Fellowship Program requires that your degree be conferred within three years of the prospective start of the program. For the 2024-2025 application cycle, you should have completed your degree between May 2021 and August 2023. You are also only eligible if you do not plan to enroll in an academic program at the same time of the fellowship.
A complete application consists of:
- A one-page PDF version of your resume or your curriculum vitae
- Your most recent unofficial transcript
- One professional recommendation
- At least four essays (300-600 words each)
CHCI’s Public Policy Fellowship Program requires one professional recommender to complete a recommendation questionnaire. Be mindful of who you identify as a potential recommender – be sure the provider indicates having a positive working relationship with you and speaks well to your interests in public policy.
We encourage all applicants to apply as early as possible to allow for us to facilitate the review process more easily and to avoid any technical issues. We also only send application reminders and updates to those individuals who have started an application in the system. Please note, the application system shuts down at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on December 15, 2023 and will no longer be accessible after that time.
CHCI utilizes two rounds of interviews in the selection process.
- Semi-finalists will be invited to record an asynchronous interview using CHCI’s online interview portal, hosted by VidCruiter.
- Finalists will complete an additional live interview with program staff.
Interview questions ask about a candidate’s leadership experience, work style, specific interests in public policy, and prospects for the Latino community. There are no trick questions; we use the interviews to get to know candidates on a deeper level, get a feel for how they will handle the unique work environment of Capitol Hill, and help us to create a cohort with diverse interests, approaches, and experiences.
A candidate is selected based on their demonstrated leadership experience, commitment to advancing the Latino community, quality of writing, recommendation, and resume. Candidates are reviewed after the closing of each application stage by program alumni, members of the CHCI Board of Directors and Advisory Council, and CHCI staff. While we strive to provide a timely decision to all candidates, this time period can vary between applications.
While we are always interested in individuals with a public policy background, we are also very interested in candidates who have subject matter expertise. Most years, fellowship slots are reserved for individuals with expertise and/or experience in:
- Business and related fields, including finance, economics, and accounting
- Communications and journalism
- Engineering and hard sciences
- Technology, computer science, cybersecurity, and/or data systems
We encourage anyone interested in better understanding how public policy impacts their area of expertise to apply, regardless of their major!
Your essays are the best opportunity to tell us about you and we understand that each applicant’s story is unique. Take advantage of this space to indicate how you have exercised leadership in your family or community and how that has contributed to your interests in public policy. Please also ask a friend, professor, or mentor to review your essays in advance or to help you brainstorm what to talk about.
Applicants interested in making an investment in the Latino community and/or working on policies that affect the Latino population are welcome to apply to any and all CHCI programs.
Yes. Applicants are not required to disclose their citizenship status during the application process. Once admitted, CHCI would ask for that disclosure for onboarding purposes. Any DACA applicant accepted must have their permit at the start of the program and must maintain valid employment authorization for the duration of the program. The 2024-20245program will end on May 23, 2025.
Public Policy Fellowship experiences vary from placement to placement. Fellowship placements are intended to align closely with the fellow’s background and interests in public policy. Fellows are expected to put forth their best efforts in any placement and proactively search for opportunities to demonstrate their work capabilities, in addition to learning from and working with the legislative staff in the office.
Public Policy Fellows are placed based on their professional and academic backgrounds, along with their interests in public policy, with at least one half of the full term being on Capitol Hill. Admitted fellows enter the placement process soon after accepting their fellowship offer and work closely with CHCI staff to determine a placement option. Fellows also have the option to pursue a placement off Capitol Hill during the program at a federal agency, think tank, non profit, or corporate office.
Public Policy Fellows are placed based on their professional and academic backgrounds, along with their interests in public policy, with at least one half of the full term being on Capitol Hill. Admitted fellows enter the placement process soon after accepting their fellowship offer and work closely with CHCI staff to determine a placement option. Fellows also have the option to pursue a placement off Capitol Hill during the program, which – in odd-numbered years – would occur during the second half of the program.
Through a generous partnership with Airbnb, CHCI will offer the 2024-25 Fellowship participants housing vouchers that can be used to cover housing upon arrival to DC, for a period of up to four weeks before the start of the program.
Aside from the Airbnb benefit, CHCI does not provide permanent housing for fellows during the nine months of the program.
This experience was one of the most insightful, rewarding, and impactful programs that I have been a part of.
2022-2023 Public Policy Fellow, Flor Canales Morones
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