[URBANTH-L]Funding: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellowship Program

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Sun Jan 15 19:30:46 EST 2006

 CHCI Public Policy Fellowship Program
Deadline: March 1, 2006

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) was established in 1978
by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as a non-profit,
non-partisan educational organization dedicated to developing the next
generation of Latino leaders. CHCI's educational services are designed to
provide Latino students with the tools and resources they need to succeed in
attaining a higher education. Its leadership development programs seek to
help participants search for and understand their identity as professionals,
Latinos, and leaders. By bringing together individuals who share a
commitment to serve their communities, CHCI endeavors to make its vision of
an educated and civic-minded Latino community a reality.

Public Policy Fellowship Program
Every year, the nine-month Fellowship Program (late August to late May)
offers up to 20 talented Latinos from across the country the opportunity to
gain hands-on experience at the national level in the public policy area of
their choice with the General Public Policy Fellowship. Fellows have the
opportunity to work in such areas as international affairs, economic
development, education policy, housing, or local government. CHCI also aims
to develop leaders in areas of health and corporate America with the
Sodexho, Inc. Public Health Fellowship and the Corporate Fellowship
(placement must be in a public affairs office of a corporation). In
addition, specialized fellowships open only to individuals with a graduate
degree include the Edward Roybal Public Health Fellowship for public health
administration; the Telecommunications Fellowship; and the Law Fellowship
open to recent law school graduates (placement must be in a public interest
law organization or in the office of a U.S. federal judge).

Program Mission
The mission of the Public Policy Fellowship is to offer Latino youth the
support, training, and resources needed to ultimately become the effective
leaders of tomorrow. CHCI seeks to accomplish this mission by offering
educational and leadership development programs, services, and activities
that promote the growth of its participants as effective professionals and
strong leaders. Furthermore, CHCI's vision is an educated and civic-minded
Latino community who participates at the local, state, and federal policy
decision-making levels. Our programs were all created with the same mission
and vision in mind. Every year, the Fellowship Program brings together a
pool of educated and civic-minded young individuals in an effort to shape
them into the next generation of Latino leaders.

Public Policy Fellowship Objectives:

To bring together a group of talented, recent college graduates, currently
enrolled graduate students, and graduate-level professionals who reflect the
diversity of the Latino community.

To place each fellow in an office where he or she will learn and gather work
experience in their public policy area of choice.

To enhance participants' leadership skills.

To create a network of young Latinos who support each other's professional
development and act as catalysts for community change.

To increase the presence of Latinos in public policy positions.

As a CHCI Public Policy Fellow you will be able to:
Have the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals how the
government operates and policies are formulated

Learn how the issues affecting their local communities are dealt with at the
national level
Explore different career fields and define professional goals

Identify strengths and areas for improvement and shape your professional

Program Requirements
Work a minimum of 35 hours a week at placement site
Attend one-week orientation and weekly leadership development sessions
Participate in all CHCI-sponsored activities
Participate in community service
Organize and lead policy roundtables and/or write a policy brief
Complete a mid year and final written evaluation of the program
Comply with CHCI policies regarding work performance and personal conduct

Upon their arrival to Washington, DC, fellows participate in a week-long
intensive orientation designed to develop the professional and leadership
skills needed for their fellowship experience. For the first couple of days,
fellows participate in team building exercises in an effort to build group
cohesiveness. They then engage in a series of workshops that assist them in
developing strong placement research and job interviewing skills and an
introduction to advanced public policy writing. In addition, they are
presented with an overview of Washington, DC's work culture and
expectations. Furthermore, fellows end the week by participating in a series
of exercises on leadership development including analyzing leadership
principles, developing individual goals and objectives, and writing a
personal and group mission statement to be carried out during their
fellowship experience.

Work Experience
After a week-long orientation, and with CHCI's guidance, fellows research
and interview with possible placements, and select the office that best
matches their interests. The range of placements includes congressional
offices, federal agencies, Washington-based media, corporate federal affairs
offices, national advocacy organizations, and government-related
institutions. Participants have the option of changing placements mid-point
through the program.
Placement/Host Site Responsibilities

All placement/host site supervisors are charged with the responsibility to
provide our Fellows with a hands-on experience in the public policy-making
process. Fellows work full-time at their selected placement site (i.e. 9:00
am to 6:00 pm), devoting at least 75% to substantive duties and no more than
25% to administrative tasks. As a leadership development organization, CHCI
offers a mandatory weekly seminar on Fridays from 9:30 am to 12:00 noon,
which all Fellows must attend in order to complete the program successfully.
Occasionally, these meetings must be rescheduled or an additional meeting
must be held to accommodate a speaker's need. Fellows must notify their
supervisors of these changes in advance. The placement site bears no
financial responsibility for hosting a CHCI Fellow. With the exception of
transportation vouchers (metro passes), the placement host can offer no
other form of monetary or compensatory benefit to a fellow.

Please note that Fellows have the option of changing placements mid-point in
the program (mid- January). The program requires that fellows be afforded
every opportunity to enhance his or her professional skills and that the
placement host cooperates with the fellow's fulfillment of program

Fellows' intensive work experience is enhanced by weekly sessions that allow
them to meet with national leaders and engage in substantive policy
discussions. In addition, fellows produce a public policy brief and if they
are graduate fellows they also must organize a policy roundtable. Through
Washington DC's wealth of information, contacts, and possibilities, the
Fellowship Program serves as an excellent opportunity for participants to
identify or confirm their career goals. Furthermore, participants also
receive support and guidance from the CHCI's Alumni Association.

Friday Weekly Meetings
Fellows' work experience is enhanced through weekly leadership development
sessions. They meet with various local and national leaders including
Cabinet Secretaries, Members of Congress, local activists, representatives
from the private sector, and leaders of non-profit organizations to discuss
policy issues of common concern. CHCI also uses these sessions to help
fellows further explore leadership principles, and presentation and debate
styles, and reflect on their learning experience as individuals and members
of a group. In addition, fellows participate in workshops designed to
develop their coalition-building, public speaking, and media/message
development skills.

Policy Briefs and Roundtables
The purpose of producing a policy brief is to give fellows the experience
and exposure of working with national experts on policy issues of importance
to Latinos. It is also an opportunity to author a policy-related product
that will give the fellow a national platform to showcase their research,
analytical and writing skills.
Fellows are assigned to a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Task Force topic and
produce a policy brief on an issue within that topic. Completed policy
briefs will be distributed to the CHCI Board, members of Congress, CHCI
sister organizations, and posted on the CHCI website.

Fellows with a graduate degree with guidance from CHCI are also responsible
for designing, planning and moderating a roundtable dialogue on a policy
issue of their choice. The roundtable dialogue is open to the public.

Community Service
CHCI's curriculum incorporates the latest developments in leadership
training strategies based on service learning and cooperative leadership
models. While CHCI does not impose a particular definition of leadership, we
do associate it with service, and you as fellows are required to serve the
local Washington, DC community during the program - through participation in
Community Service.

Throughout the program, fellows are required to fulfill monthly community
service hours with member organizations of the Council of Latino Agencies
www.consejo.org (name change in 2006 - The Latino Federation of Greater
Washington). These community-based organizations provide services ranging
from free health care, to workforce development to legal counsel.

CHCI wishes to promote the importance and value of service in the leadership
development. As such fellows will be required to donate 10 hours a month of
their time to a community-based organization (member of CLA/LFGW).

Sample service donated may include, but is not limited to:
Resource development
Intake services
Legal counsel
Medical care

The total minimum, hours of service per fellow is 80 hours. Service is to be
performed beginning in September 2005 and concluding in May 2006. Fellows
may choose to do a joint service project. A proposal must be submitted
before it can be approved.

Selection Process
Selection as a CHCI Public Policy Fellow is based on a combination of the
following criteria:
High academic achievement (preference will be given to applicants with 3.0
GPA or higher)
Remarkable participation in public service-oriented activities
Evidence of leadership skills and potential for growth
Superior analytical and communication skills (oral and written)
The selection process is competitive. CHCI processes applications to
identify the most qualified candidates. Applications are then reviewed by a
selection committee composed by Alumni, Board of Directors, and CHCI staff.
Based on the applications scores, the top candidates are interviewed. CHCI
selects 20 candidates based on the results of their application and
interviews' scores.

U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency
Applicants should have graduated from a college or university (with a BA/BS
or graduate degree) within one year of application deadline, or be currently
enrolled as graduate students
The application is available online and must be postmarked by March 1, 2006.
Interviews are conducted in late April. Finalist will be notified in early
May. CHCI awards Fellowships on a non-partisan basis, and encourages balance
and diversity in all aspects of the program.

Stipend and Benefits
CHCI provides participants with:
Domestic round-trip transportation to Washington, DC
Health insurance
Gross monthly stipend of $2,200 to help cover housing and local expenses;
Fellows with a graduate degree receive a $2,600 monthly stipend
Alumni Association

Interaction between fellows is an invaluable element of the program which
often results in long-lasting friendships. The Alumni Association provides a
support network for current and future CHCI programs' participants. In
addition, the Association has made a strong commitment coordinating events
that connect current CHCI fellows with alumni who reside within the DC area.
These events have provided a great opportunity for alumni to mentor and
share their valuable experiences with current participants of CHCI's
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mission of the CHCI Fellowship Program?
The mission of the program is to provide 20 promising Latinos the
opportunity to gain hands-on experience at the national level in the public
policy area of their choice. Fellows have the opportunity to work in such
areas as international affairs, economic development, education policy,
housing, or local government.
What type of individual is the program looking for?
CHCI seeks candidates with demonstrated leadership potential a history of
active participation in projects for the common good, high academic
standards, and superior communication skills. Successful candidates should
benefit significantly from the exposure to the issues, people, and work
environment that a structured program in the nation's capital can offer.

Selection as a CHCI Public Policy Fellow is based on a combination of the
following criteria:
High academic achievement (preference will be given to applicants with 3.0
GPA or higher)
Remarkable participation in public service-oriented activities
Evidence of leadership skills and potential for growth.
Superior analytical and communication skills (oral and written)

What is expected of a Public Policy Fellow during the program?
The CHCI Public Policy Fellowship Program offers recent Latino college
graduates, currently enrolled graduate students, and graduate level
professionals interested in public policy the opportunity to gain hands-on
work experience in Washington, DC. Participants select their own placements
from such diverse environments as congressional offices, federal agencies,
nonprofit organizations, and Washington based media.

A leadership development curriculum enhances fellows' training through
weekly sessions in which they meet with national leaders, participate in
professional workshops, and engage in substantive discussions about current
policy issues. In addition, fellows produce and present policy
briefs/roundtables and participate in community service.

What is the selection timeline?

Application deadline: March 1, 2006. The application is available on our
website (http://www.chci.org/chciyouth/fellowship/fellowshipprogram.htm) and
must be postmarked on or before March 1st to be accepted. It is the
responsibility of the applicant to ensure that his/her application has been

Semi-finalists contacted: mid April
Phone interviews conducted: late April
Final notification of finalists: mid May
Program begins: Late August
Program ends: Late May
Are there age restrictions?
There are no age restrictions. However, the fellowship program was created
to provide college graduates and graduate students with valuable
professional experience in a variety of fields.
Can I apply to the program while in my last semester of my undergraduate?
Yes, you can apply during your last semester in college. You must graduate
before the fellowship starts.
How long after graduation can I apply for the fellowship?
You can apply for the program within one year of your graduation date.

What criteria do you look for in a letter of recommendation?
Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation. We
encourage you to have recommendations from individuals who know you well and
can fully answer the questions that are posed in the application. A
recommendation letter is not helpful if that individual cannot speak about
your background, achievements and character.
CHCI recommends for you to have letters from individuals who know you from
different perspectives (professor, community leader, employer or volunteer
project supervisor). The recommenders must respond to the specific questions
listed in the application. Letters should be submitted on their official
letterhead, seal and sign the envelope across the flap

What is the best approach to prepare for interviews?
Semi-finalists should carefully prepare as they would for any other type of
interview. It is recommended that you:
Be current on key issues and current events.
Develop a clear statement about why you want to be selected and what can you
Develop a clear mission statement
How is the placement determined?
Once selected, we encourage fellows to start looking for a placement of
their choice. The placement ranges from Hill offices, government agencies,
non-profit organizations and corporate. The fellow should take into
consideration his/her interests. CHCI Programs Staff provides guidance with
the placement search. Fellows have the opportunity to change placement mid

Does the Fellowship provide housing during the Fellowship year?
No. Fellows are responsible for their housing arrangements. We recommend
that Fellows start their housing search early. Current Fellows, Alumni and
the program staff can provide advice on housing arrangements.

How CHCI handles special needs - such as disabilities - for Fellows?
CHCI staff is available to work with individuals to properly handle any
special needs.

Where can I direct additional questions?
The program staff is available to provide assistance and answer questions.
The staff can be reached Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM ET - 6:00 PM ET
at 1-800-Excel DC or (202) 543-1771.

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