Through Washington Semester, a First-Hand Look at Congress

November 25th, 2013 by 


Michelle Moreno-Silva '15 with Rep. David Cicilline

Michelle Moreno-Silva ’15, a political science major from Pawtucket, R.I., recently completed a twelve-week internship through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s nationally recognized Congressional Internship Program. She specifically worked in the office of Rep. David Cicilline of her home state. Moreno-Silva is one of 16 students working and studying in the nation’s capital as part of the College of the Holy Cross’ Washington, D.C. Semester Program for the Fall 2013 semester.

At her internship, Moreno-Silva gained first-hand exposure to the nation’s legislative process and issues pending before Congress. Her daily tasks ranged from writing letters to organizing the Congressman’s calendar and helping staffers draft legislation. She also had the opportunity to attend several Congressional hearings, which was an “exceptional experience” for her.

“I went to a hearing where the former Colombian President, Alvaro Uribe, was testifying and because it was such an intimate setting I was able to speak with him,” said Moreno-Silva. “We briefly discussed how the Colombian government needs to address and improve the refugee epidemic that it is experiencing. When President Uribe was later interviewed by the news, he mentioned the importance of tackling this matter. This moment made me realize that although I was only an intern, I was still able to influence policy at a minimal level.”

As an additional aspect of her internship, Moreno-Silva was asked to take on a community service project. She chose to work with high school students from the Latino Student Fund, a D.C. non-profit that runs programs which strive to improve high school graduation rates in the Hispanic community.

As part of Holy Cross’ Washington, D.C. semester program, participants compose a forty-page research thesis and take a public policy seminar in addition to their internship responsibilities. Moreno-Silva’s thesis topic assesses the extent to which the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has or has not been effective in protecting battered Latina immigrants in the United States, an issue of particular passion for Rep. Cicilline amongst other congressional leaders.

Moreno-Silva said that her experience in the nation’s capital has opened her eyes to a new perspective of the world, along with a potential future career path. “Attending Congressional hearings allowed me to fully grasp how interconnected our world is, and how decisions made in our government can trigger benefits or consequences for nations abroad,” she said. “Since the decisions made by U.S. leaders are so pivotal, I want to explore our state’s foreign affairs. Particularly, I want to work with marginalized communities in developing nations while representing the United States.”

| More

Comments are closed.

Sort By:
or
04/20/15 Gonzalo Grau & the Plural Combo to Open the 2015 Academic Conference
04/20/15 Students Organize 18th Annual Holy Cross Cares Day
04/20/15 Shirish Korde Excites at Boston Musica Viva Finale
04/17/15 Holy Cross Academic Conference to Showcase Student Work
See All
See All

Featured Videos

See video
Video: Students Celebrate Purple Pride Day

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Alumni Couples Share Their Tales of Love

Watch Video >
See video
Holy Cross Launches Groundbreaking Web Resource for Exploring Catholic Practice Around the World

Watch Video >
More

What’s Happening on Campus

04/22/2015

Gonzalo Grau & the Plural Combo: 2015 Academic Conference Opening Concert & Reception

See More >
04/23/2015

Working Writer Series: William Wenthe and Philip Metres

See More >
More

Holy Cross in the News

04/15/15

Holy Cross Community Members Prepare for the Boston Marathon

As participants finish their final week of training and Boston readies itself for thousands of spectators, College of the Holy Cross community members are preparing...

03/19/15

‘The 50 Best Private Colleges for Earning Your Degree On Time’

Money

According to Money, a subsidiary of TIME.com, the College of the Holy Cross ranks No. 12 in the top 50 best private colleges for earning your degree on time and No. 101 for...

03/04/15

‘At Notre Dame, a door closes, but many more are opening across Catholic higher ed’

Wall Street Journal | The Conversation

Joanne Pierce, professor of religious studies at College of the Holy Cross and a University of Notre Dame alumna, reflects on the legacy of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, president...