Student Directors

Socorro Galindo-Hernandez

Placement: EEOC under Chief Judge Emily MacMillian Placement Location: Washington, D.C.

Socorro Galindo-Hernandez is a first-generation college student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Legal Studies. Before coming to UC Berkeley, I was interested in public service because I understood the need of helping communities flourish and develop. Growing up in Los Angeles, specifically, the Westlake/MacArthur Park area I was able to experience many impactful encounters because of the spread in homelessness and poverty. Currently I intern at the San Francisco Superior Court’s...

Natalie Gonzalez

Class of 2022
2022 Democracy Camp in Berkeley Student Director
2022 Democracy Camp in Berkeley
2021 Democracy Camp

Natalie Gonzalez is a first-generation undergraduate senior at UC Berkeley. Natalie is majoring in Legal Studies and minoring in Human Rights. She is currently working on her senior thesis through the Legal Studies Honors Program and working as a research assistant for a Postdoc at Brown University. She is passionate about public service and issues regarding child welfare. She also believes deeply in the importance of using data to discover the truth behind systemic and structural problems within our institutions to more effectively advocate for change and develop sustainable solutions.

Courtney Kirkland

Placement: USAID's Bureau for Africa

Courtney is a graduating senior originally from Colfax, CA double majoring in Sociology and Society and Environment with a concentration in Global Policy. While studying abroad at the University of Ghana, she was inspired by the country’s resilience and passion for liberation and has become fascinated with how foreign policy has the power to both preserve geopolitical oppression and institutionalize peace and prosperity. Wanting to learn how policies are made and who makes them, Courtney has conducted research at Berkeley’s Center for...

Chan Venh (John) Lam

Class of 2024
2024 John Gardner Fellowship
2023 Democracy Camp in DC Student Director
2022 Democracy Camp in DC

Chan Venh (John) Lam, a first-generation Chinese-America from Sacramento, California, has embarked on a remarkable journey of resilience and advocacy. After spending 16 years incarcerated, Chan's path took a transformative turn when his sentence was commuted by Governor Brown in 2018, igniting a passion for social justice that continues to drive his advocacy efforts today.

Throughout his time behind bars, he played a pivotal role in shaping legislative change, collaborating with Human Rights Watch and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition to advocate...

Queenie Lam

Placement: Congressional Intern with Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA-7) at the U.S. House of Representatives Placement Location: Washington, D.C. Major: Political Science and Media Studies

Queenie Lam is a first-generation college student at UC Berkeley, double-majoring in Political Science and Media Studies. Her main interests lie between the intersection of politics, public policy, and marketing in how it affects the legislative process and campaign cycle. Her previous experience includes working the Secretary of State to advocate for voter education and...

Cheyenne Laux

Placement: National Collections, Smithsonian Institution

Cheyenne Laux is a graduating senior at UC Berkeley majoring in Anthropology. As a junior, she transferred to Berkeley from Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. Cheyenne's main interests within anthropology are archaeology and museum studies, with a focus in collections management and the stewardship aspect of museum collections. In the future, she plans to pursue a Master's in Museum Studies, and advocate the importance of public engagement with anthropology.

Nouhamin Leoulekal

Class of 2025
2024 Democracy Camp in DC Student Director
2024 Democracy Camp in DC
2023 Democracy Camp in DC
Nouhamin Leoulekal is a first-generation college student, a child of immigrant parents, raised in the East Bay Area, California. She is a rising junior double majoring in Legal Studies and African-American Studies. Nouhamin’s research interests range from prison surveillance, data usage, femtorship, financial literacy, and much more. Her time at UC Berkeley has been invaluable, as she’s had the opportunity to research a few of her interests. She hopes to continue her journey with education upon graduation, to pursue her Juris Doctorate Degree, eventually working to serve...

Bailey Maher

Placement: Keith Watters and Associates Major: Public Policy I am currently a third-year majoring in Sociology, with a minor in Public Policy. I am extremely excited to announce that I have been hired as a legal intern at Keith Watters and Associates, a small law firm in Washington DC for the Spring Semester. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to attend trials and develop my legal skills. I plan on applying to law school next fall, and aspire to be an attorney working in the public interest sector, specifically with foster youth and underprivileged communities.

Heidi Mendiola

2022 Matsui Washington Fellow

Daniela Rodas

2021 Matsui Washington Fellow
Placement: International Law Institute Placement Location: Washington, D.C.

As a 23-year-old UC Berkeley senior, Daniela Rodas sees herself as a person who strives to be her best in every area of life. Be it as a former student government representative at the Santa Rosa Junior College, as an AmeriCorps health and wellness ambassador, or most recently as a newly certified E.M.T. working with the American Red Cross and other nonprofit volunteer-based organizations where she helps provide care and support for individuals in need.

When faced with life...