View the 2017 Hobby Fellows scrapbook.
Troy Allen is a junior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in economics.
Troy first gained experience in politics while working on Sylvester Turner's mayoral campaign before working in State Representative Trent Ashby's Capitol office. Troy returned to the city level through the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP), working in Council Member Jerry Davis's office.
After returning from the Hobby Fellows program, Troy plans to establish a non-profit to further assist and promote literacy in inner-city Houston. Troy has a strong interest in helping expose others to career paths and options that are usually not seen in their community. His long term goal is to pursue a law degree.
Troy is working in the office of Representative Jim Murphy.
Jennifer Edwards is a post-baccalaureate student at the University of Houston. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science in December 2016.
Jennifer was awarded a bachelor’s degree in German from the University of New Mexico, and she has been on the Dean's List since beginning her education at the University of Houston. She is active in organizations such as Pi Sigma Alpha the Student Government Association, and Government Internship Alumni Network-Texas (GIANT).
Jennifer interned in the Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Development, where she facilitated and led communication efforts for the International Trade Councils. She also interned with the Ed Gonzalez for Harris County Sheriff campaign through the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP). Her volunteer experience includes working for the Houston Food Bank and the Mayor’s Back to School Fest.
Jennifer is interested in several policy issues including education, criminal justice reform, and women’s issues.
After graduation, Jennifer hopes to continue her volunteer efforts to end hunger and reduce homelessness in Houston. She seeks to obtain a master’s degree in public affairs. In the long-term, she hopes to work in the non-profit sector, and eventually, for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Jennifer is working in the office of Representative Garnet Coleman.
J Ehlinger is a post-baccalaureate student at the University of Houston. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in law, values, and policy in December 2016.
J has been a board member of the University of Houston Democrats and completed the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. He was also awarded the spring 2016 Civic Houston Internship Program Award for his work in Gene Wu’s district office.
J’s policy interests include voting rights, criminal justice, environmental protection, and poverty. J is looking forward to better understanding the legislative process and the forces that affect legislators’ behavior.
J is currently applying to Ph.D programs in political science around the country, including Berkeley, A&M, and UNC-Chapel Hill. His professional goal is to be a tenure-track professor at a research institution.
J is working in the office of Representative Gene Wu.
Jon García is a senior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in psychology.
Jon has gained public service experience as a Hobby School of Public Affairs Civic Houston Intern working with State Representative Jessica Farrar and filling the role of field lead with the Sylvester Turner for Mayor Campaign. Jon also worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in the office of Congressman Rubén Hinojosa as a Leland Fellow through the Hobby School. Outside of his academic endeavors, Jon has been involved on campus through the Metropolitan Volunteer Program, the Spirit of Houston Marching Band, Pi Sigma Alpha, and the Government Internship Alumni Network – Texas (GIANT).
While in Washington, Jon worked on a wide range of policy areas, such as veterans affairs, telecommunications, infrastructure policy, and higher education policy, and followed Supreme Court cases salient to minorities and the LGBT community. Much of his time was devoted to immigration policy, where he served as the office’s “point man” on all things immigration-related.
Jon hopes that working at the state level will provide him with additional tools to affect change in areas he is passionate about, such as voting rights and education policy, as well as learn about new but important issues affecting the state of Texas. After Hobby Fellows, he intends to work in the non-profit sector.
Jon is working in the office of Representative Jessica Farrar.
Maycie George is a senior in the Honors College at the University of Houston pursuing a bachelor of business administration in finance. She is involved in several organizations on campus, including the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Hispanic Business Student Association. She has also consecutively been on the Dean’s List since fall 2012.
Maycie worked as an intern through the Bauer College of Business' Bauer in D.C. Internship Program in The White House's Office of Scheduling and Advance. She assisted in the coordination of over thirteen presidential domestic and international trips and worked with a team directly planning and executing President Obama’s meeting to combat ISIS at the State Department.
Maycie is passionate about giving back and started an organization in her neighborhood to help people with disabilities. After Hobby Fellows, her future aspiration is to attend law school with a focus in business law. Maycie plans to intertwine her love for finance and passion for policy into one endeavor.
Maycie is working in the office of Governor Greg Abbott.
Mariah Grayson is a post-baccalaureate student at the University of Houston. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in computer application technology in December 2016.
Mariah is a brother of the Tau Psi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity, Inc., where she serves as vice president of risk management. She is also a founding member of the Government Internship Alumni Network - Texas (GIANT), which is an organization geared to help students connect with alumni of the Hobby School and to become more civically engaged.
Mariah has gained public service experience interning through the Hobby School of Public Affairs' Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP) in Houston City Controller Ron Green’s office. Through that opportunity, she gained an internship on the Chris Brown for City Controller campaign, working as a volunteer coordinator as well as participating in various campaign events. Mariah was also chosen to serve as a Leland Fellow, where she worked for Congressman Marc Veasey in Washington, D.C.
Mariah is interested in several policy areas including women’s issues, civil rights, and higher education.
Mariah plans to attend law school with a focus on corporate law and eventually serve as a judge.
Mariah is working in the office of Senator Borris Miles.
Emily Joslin is a senior at the University of Houston pursuing a bachelor of science in political science with minors in biology, mathematics, and Spanish.
Emily is involved with numerous organizations including Pi Sigma Alpha, Phi Beta Kappa, the Metropolitan Volunteer Program, Government Internship Alumni Network - Texas (GIANT), and UH College Democrats. She has also served as a resident advisor on campus for two years.
Emily’s policy interests include immigration, reproductive rights, human trafficking, and healthcare. She obtained her first governmental internship through the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP) where she worked with State Representative Jessica Farrar. She also has experience in the non-profit sector, working specifically with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals cases.
Emily is committed to expressing her passion for social policy through service. She has volunteered with numerous non-profits in the Houston area and has also spent time volunteering for local political causes ranging from election campaigns to educating Harris County residents on voter ID laws.
Emily will graduate in spring 2017. After graduating, she plans on continuing her education at UH by working towards earning a Masters of Social Work with a specialization in political social work and a Masters of Public Policy. She hopes to work as a policy analyst or researcher and has the eventual goal of becoming a professor at her alma mater.
Emily is working in the office of Representative Carol Alvarado.
Jason LaBarbera is a senior at the University of Houston and is majoring in political science with a minor in national security.
Jason worked for Representative Jim Murphy through the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP). He has served as the chief of staff of the National Security Organization, as a member of the Council of Ethnic Organizations, and as a member of the College Republicans at the University of Houston. He also worked for the Fort Bend Country Republicans.
Jason will graduate in the summer of 2017 with a bachelor of science degree. After graduating, he plans on pursuing a career in the U.S. Air Force in hopes of becoming the first commissioned officer in his family.
Jason is working in the office of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
Rish Oberoi is a senior at the University of Houston with a major in history and a minor in political science.
Rish’s experience in politics began as a canvasser in the 2016 Democratic campaign for Texas Congressional District 22. Over the course of the year, Rish’s responsibilities grew to being in charge of research for speeches, minority outreach, and fundraising.
Rish formerly worked as an associate teacher for understaffed schools in HISD. It was during this position that Rish decided to seek legislative experience in order to be better equipped to combat inequality in Texas schools as well as the widespread poverty that affects large segments of the Texas population.
Rish’s policy interests include education, electoral reform, judicial reform, and wealth inequality.
Upon the completion of his internship, Rish plans to pursue a career that keeps him involved in state politics.
Rish is working in the office of Speaker Joe Straus.
Giovanni Perez is a junior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in national security.
Giovanni is active in Tau Kappa Epsilon and has held the position of philanthropy chair.
Giovanni earned his first internship out of high school in 2014 as a summer intern with Hogan Lovells LLP. Giovanni was able to attain this opportunity as a result of a joint venture between the Houston Bar Association and Communities in School in Houston, a program in which Giovanni served as a peer mediator.
Giovanni’s first encounter with the public sector came from his experience in interning in the office of U.S. Congressman Gene Green, an internship acquired through the Hobby School of Public Affairs Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP). He was able to interact with constituents to gain a sense of what is demanded of an elected official. Giovanni also attended naturalization ceremonies and college fairs on behalf of the office. His experience with Congressman Green and his staff reassured Giovanni that the life of public service is what he truly desired to pursue.
Giovanni will graduate in fall 2018 and plans to pursue law school shortly after with the intention of becoming a prosecuting attorney.
Giovanni is working in the office of Representative Armando Walle.