Meet the 2009 Mickey Leland Congressional Interns
Standing, left to right: Riah Greathouse, Shiv Srivastava, Jamie Hart & Andrew Leba Seated: Rachael Parker, Natali Blevins & Melissa White
Read the Houston Chronicle article about the 2009 Leland interns: Student Interns on Brink of History in Washington, DC
Natali Blevins is a senior at the University of Houston double majoring in psychology and political science. Natali has been involved heavily in grassroots politics and has become passionate about environmental and child advocacy issues.
Natali worked as a Hobby Center for Public Policy intern for Council Member Melissa Noriega. She attended council meetings on issues ranging from constituents’ concerns to Houston’s pension status, and assisted in drafting letters and executive summaries. Natali became actively involved in helping Hurricane Ike victims and also worked with Rebuilding Together Houston.
Natali will graduate upon her return from Washington D.C., and seeks to pursue a law degree.
Natali is working in the office of Congressman Gene Green (TX).
Riah Greathouse was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Riah earned a bachelor of arts in political science, with a minor in leadership studies from Hampton University in 2007. He is currently attending Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and will receive his juris doctorate degree in May 2010.
Riah has interned in the Fulton County Office of the District Attorney (Atlanta), and has clerked for State Court of Georgia Judge Myra H. Dixon and Judge Clarence Cooper of the United States District Court in the Northern District of Georgia.
Riah plans to pursue a graduate degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His future goals include serving his community as an elected official in the future.
Riah is working in the office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX).
Jamie Hart is a senior majoring in business management and finance at Texas Southern University. Born and raised in Picayune, Mississippi, Jamie moved to Houston in 2002 to achieve his dream of going to college—the first in his family to do so. He has since maintained a 3.50 GPA, and often works with the student government and the University to ensure high levels of student satisfaction.
While attending TSU, Jamie developed a non-profit organization called “Hope of Tomorrow”. The organization’s primary objective is to enrich the lives of the indigent, impoverished, uneducated and overlooked in society.
Jamie's goal upon graduation is to work within a promising company and work his way to the top to become the chief executive officer. His ultimate goal is to become a philanthropist and to travel the world giving lectures of hope and encouragement.
Jamie is working in the office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX).
Andrew Leba is a senior at the University of Houston double majoring in biology and political science. He is also a member of the UH Honors College, the National Scholars Honor Society, and the National Dean's List.
Outside of UH, Andrew enjoys working as a math tutor for secondary and college students as well as being actively involved in the community. While Andrew was born and raised in Houston, his family came to the United States as refugees following the collapse of the South Vietnamese government. Using his bilingual skills, he works as an election clerk and Vietnamese translator for the city of Houston in local and national elections.
Andrew is interested in numerous policy issues including education, space exploration, science, foreign affairs, energy, and civil rights. Andrew plans to attend law school and eventually enter into public service.
Andrew is working in the office of Congressman Michael Honda (CA).
Rachael Parker is a senior at the University of Houston-Downtown, majoring in political science. She gained experience working in government as a Hobby Center for Public Policy intern in the office of Houston City Council Member Pam Holm.
Rachael's volunteer experience includes working on the Randy Weber for State Representative campaign. She assisted in fundraisers and daily activities to help her candidate achieve his first victory as state representative for Texas House District 29.
Rachael's future plans include attending law school and becoming involved in governmental relations and lobbying.
Rachael is working in the office of Congressman Ted Poe (TX).
Shiv Srivastava is a junior at the University of Houston majoring in political science. He previously worked as a Hobby Center for Public Policy intern with Outreach Strategists, a political consultancy and public affairs firm.
Shiv has also volunteered with various non-governmental organizations to gain experience in international aid work.
Shiv's primary academic interests are in public policy and international affairs. He plans to attend law school to pursue a career in international law.
Shiv is working in the office of Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX).
Melissa White is a senior at the University of Houston, double majoring in political science and psychology with a minor in philosophy.
Interested in public service and policy, Melissa completed two Hobby Center for Public Policy internships before going to Washington. Her first internship placed her in Mayor Bill White's Office on Neighborhoods & Housing with former Council Member Ada Edwards. She learned about Houston Hope's neighborhood revitalization and affordable housing efforts, and worked on a pilot program for the Mayor's Summer Youth Conservation Corps. During her second internship, Melissa worked in governmental relations for Legacy Community Health Center, learning about issues concerning health and human services such as healthcare, basic needs, behavioral health, and public education. Melissa also volunteered for the Harris County Democratic Party during the 2008 campaign season.
Melissa plans on obtaining a law degree and a master degree in political science with a focus on public affairs, and is interested in pursuing a career in politics.
Melissa is working in the office of Congressman Al Green (TX) and has been designated as the Thompson & Knight Fellow. The Hobby Center for Public Policy greatly appreciates Thompson & Knight's involvement in the 2009 Leland internship program.