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HOBBY FELLOWS 2015

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View the 2015 Hobby Fellows Scrapbook.


roelRoel Benavides, Jr. is a senior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in history.

Roel gained firsthand experience in government through the University of Houston’s Student Government Association. He was appointed to the Student Traffic Court, the Undergraduate Admissions Review Committee, and the University Hearing Board.

Roel obtained his first internship with State Senator Sylvia R. Garcia through the Texas Legislative Internship Program (TLIP) sponsored by State Senator Rodney Ellis. He was able to participate in community events, attend the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library, and work in both the district and Capitol offices. It was this experience that led Roel to discover his passion for public service.

Currently, Roel is working as a Civic Houston intern for Congressman Pete Olson in Sugar Land and Pearland while also working as an Assistant Service Manager for H-E-B. Roel will graduate magna cum laude in fall of 2014 with a bachelor of science degree. He hopes to obtain a position in the Texas Capitol or Washington D.C. and believes law school could also be a possibility.

Roel is interning in the office of Representative Jim Murphy.

mariah

Mariah Berry is a senior in the Honors College at the University of Houston pursuing a bachelor of arts in political science with a minor in Phronesis, a program in politics and ethics. She is involved in several organizations on campus, including The Student Government Association, Pi Sigma Alpha, Phi Alpha Delta, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and The Golden Key International Honour Society.  She has also consecutively been on the Dean’s List since fall 2012.

Mariah’s policy interests include environmental protection, child advocacy, and education.  She has spent the last year volunteering her time to lead environmental restoration and conservation initiatives in the Houston neighborhood of Sunnyside.  She was also nominated to serve on the University of Houston’s Diversity Dimensions Committee with faculty to develop curriculum requirements that will focus on creating global citizens and improve student’s first year experience.

Mariah gained government experience working on the reelection campaign of Justice Jim Sharp, 1st Court of Appeals through the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP).  Additionally, she volunteered with the League of Women Voters informing students of the importance of civic engagement as well as registering to vote. Through Hobby Fellows, Mariah hopes to gain a new understanding of the legislative process from first hand experience.

Being in the first class of Howard Cosgrove Scholarship Recipients as well as receiving the University of Houston Academic Excellence Scholarship has allowed Mariah to graduate ahead of schedule in the fall of 2014.  After Hobby Fellows, she plans to attend law school with a focus in family law and eventually become a judge.

Mariah is interning in the office of Representative Gene Wu.

candace

Candace Caruthers is a senior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in sociology.

Candace has previously interned in the office of Council Member Larry Green. During the 2014 election, Candace worked on the Rita Lucido for State Senate Campaign. Candace has served and represented the University of Houston as an Orientation Team Leader and as the Senior Resident Advisor of Moody Towers, North.

Candace is interested in several policy issues including education and criminal justice reform.

After graduation in August 2015, Candace hopes to work in the Houston community improving the lives of low-income students. Candace hopes to continue on to graduate school to study public policy. In the long-term, Candace hopes to work in the non-profit sector influencing policy and impacting change.

Candace is interning in the office of Representative Ana Hernandez.

Yvette

Yvette Hernandez is a senior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in Spanish studies.

Yvette has gained experience interning in the office of Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzalez through the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP).  She has also managed a campaign for Harris County judge, volunteered for local campaigns, and is very active in her community and local neighborhood civic club.

In December 2015, Yvette will become a first generation American college graduate. After graduation, she seeks to obtain a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in order to pursue a career in government. Her policy interests include women's issues, education, and human trafficking.

Yvette is interning in the office of Representative Carol Alvarado.

williamWilliam Janowski is a junior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in law, values, and policy.

While stationed with the Army in Korea, William volunteered as the unit representative for the Better Opportunity for Single Soldier (B.O.S.S.) program, which allowed him the opportunity to incorporate single soldiers in his battalion together to foster new friendships and give soldiers a chance to relax from the grind of barracks life. William continued to work for the B.O.S.S program at Ft. Hood. During his transition, William became the legal representative for his unit which sparked his interest in politics and law. After serving 4 years in the Army, William entered the political world looking for a new way to serve the public.  

William gained experience working as an intern in State Representative Jessica Farrar’s district office through the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP).

William is interested in several policies issues including animal protection, water conservation, and preserving the Texas coast and environment.

William will graduate in the spring of 2016. His short term goals are to work as a staff member at the Texas Capitol or at the district level in Houston. His long term goals are to get a law degree and specialize in either environmental or real estate law.

William is interning in the office of Representative Jessica Farrar.

Emily

Emily Kusnerik is a senior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in laws, values, and policy.

Emily started her political career in the spring of 2014 with an internship through the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP) in the office of Controller Ronald Green. Currently, she is working in the office of Council Member Brenda Stardig and has a desire to continue her involvement with constituent services.

Emily has also volunteered for projects with the League of Women Voters in efforts to ensure citizens are educated about the importance of voting. She has participated in registering new citizens to vote at naturalization ceremonies, spoke to secondary schools on the importance of voting, and also phone banked on election day at KPRC Houston studios to give citizens information about how, when, and where to vote.

Emily plans to continue her dedication to constituent services in Houston after she graduates in summer 2015 and hopes to eventually work in public policy at the state level. She is also planning to attend law school in the fall of 2015 with a focus on criminal law and eventually become a judge.

Emily is interning in the office of the Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee.

Emma

Emma Oliver is a senior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in national security studies.

Emma worked as a legislative intern with State Representative Carol Alvarado’s office in the spring of 2014 through the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP). Emma is interested in many policy issues including education, energy, and fiscal policy.

Emma has spent the last 3 years working with Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization which seeks to close the opportunity gap in education by providing middle school students in low-income communities learning experiences from professionals in the greater Houston area. Emma also worked as an Americorps member at the United Way of Greater Houston during the summer of 2014. Her dedication to public service stems from the belief that every citizen should have an equal opportunity to succeed.

Emma will graduate in the fall of 2014 with a bachelor of arts degree. She plans to work in the energy or international development sector before pursuing a master’s degree.

Emma is interning in the office of Representative Sylvester Turner.

Eric

Eric Schroeder is a senior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in quantitative social science.

Through the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP), Eric worked in the office of State Representative Garnet Coleman. He also served the University of Houston's students as the policy and research coordinator for the Student Government Association. Before moving to Houston, he worked in constituent services for the Governor of Louisiana in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Eric's devotion to mental health policy began when he lost a brother to suicide after a decade-long battle with paranoid schizophrenia. He is deeply committed to fixing the inadequate mental healthcare system and ensuring that the needs of the most vulnerable are not ignored. In addition to mental health, Eric's policy interests include education, health care, poverty, and income inequality.

Eric will graduate in the fall of 2014 with a bachelor of science degree, after which he plans to begin a career in public policy analysis. After working in the legislature for a year, he hopes to return to the University of Houston to pursue a Master of Public Policy.

Eric is interning in the office of Representative Garnet Coleman.