Jazmin Garcia serves as the Manager of Fellowship Programs at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) where she oversees participant leadership development and program operations for the Public Policy and Graduate Fellowship Programs. She was born and raised by Mexican immigrants in San Diego, California with a strong connection to her community across borders. An alumnus of the CHCI Public Policy Program, she completed her CHCI Fellowship with the Office of U.S. Representative Juan Vargas and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Prior to joining CHCI, Jazmin aided the Policy, Research and Advocacy Department at the National Association for Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. During this time Jazmin played a key role in the foundation and advancement for NALEO’s Staff Up Congress, a program which serves to provide educational training to promote the hiring of Latino candidates to top congressional positions. In this capacity, Jazmin also served as the primary researcher for one of NALEO’s electoral reports titled, Races To Watch, where she collected and synthesized all data of Latino Candidates in school board, city, state, and federal races across the 50 United States.
Jazmin previously dedicated her time to international program management through one specific program, a Leadership Workshop for youth in the rural village of Makuleke, South Africa. It is here where Jazmin worked towards collaboration and catalyzing global change as she facilitated the development of leadership and aiding in ‘The Equalizers’ efforts to promote equal education in South Africa.
Jazmin also serves as the Vice President of Membership for Toastmasters International, Diplomatically Speaking Chapter and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of San Diego.
Q & A with Jazmin
If I weren’t a [current profession], I’d be a____________.
If I weren’t a program manager, I’d be a culinary chef.
What drives you to work in your field?
The lack of Latino leadership and representation in all industries. You can’t be what you can’t see, and I am motivated to expose my community, uplift them, and be the mentor they need to be able to fulfill their life’s purpose.
Who is a leader that inspires you every day?
My Mother. I am grateful my mother raised me to be as hardworking and confident as I am because it’s a daily reminder that I can be whatever I want to be. My mother lives this day in and day out. Thankfully, she’s never had to worry about work a day in her life because she’s always worked so hard that people come looking for her.
What is one attribute you admire about your mentor?
Her ability to engage and exist in many different worlds with many different points of view. When coalition building – she can curate an experience amongst individuals that will challenge them and question everything they’ve ever known.
What three words best describe your CHCI experience?
Transformative – Humbling – Empowering
What three leadership skills did CHCI help you develop?
Relationship building – Storytelling – Embracing different cultural perspectives
What do you think are the three qualities that got you where you are today?
Perseverance – Curiosity – Gratitude
What was the first job you ever had?
I started working at a drycleaner at 13 with my mother managing customer service.
What was the last thing you binge-watched?
What cuisine or plate do you most enjoy?
Mexican food – green enchiladas are my favorite.
What are two things that are on your bucket list?
Visit all 50 United States before I am 50 years old.
Visit all 7 wonders of the world.
What is your favorite hobby?
Reading to learn more about life, others, and myself.
What is your favorite quote?
Italian Translation: Se siete tanto fortunati da trovare il tipo di vita che vi piace, dovreste anche trovare il corraggio di viverla.
English Translation: If you are so fortunate [blessed] to have a life you like, you must also find the courage to live it.
What book inspires you?
All About Love – Bell Hooks
What is one thing you are especially good at?
Public speaking and workshop facilitation. I enjoy working with small and large groups.
What is one thing you are exceptionally bad at?
Numbers! I was never really good at math – something to improve on.
How do you relax after a stressful day?
I journal – it is the most therapeutic thing out there – outside of my therapist!
Outside CHCI, Jazmin is an influential leader for our community. Please visit the below links to learn more about Jazmin, her passions, and impact.