Washington Fellows

Heidi Mendiola

2022 Matsui Washington Fellow

Phoebe Pham

2021 Matsui Washington Fellow
Placement: Political Violence Lab Placement Location: Washington, D.C.

Phoebe Pham is an Indo-Chinese-Vietnamese-Japanese American studying Political Science and Legal Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Growing up overseas on a military base, Phoebe was constantly surrounded by a community that always emphasized a higher calling to public service. She is dedicated to serving the communities she has been fortunate to be a part of, ranging from her time as a transfer student at Ohlone College, where she worked extensively in public policy and...

Jennifer Ramirez

Class of 2024
2024 Percy Undergraduate Grant
2023 Ken Burt Fellow
2023 Cal-in-Sacramento
2022 Washington Fellowship
2022 Democracy Camp in DC Student Co-Director
2022 Democracy Camp in DC
2022 Democracy Camp in Berkeley

Jennifer Ramirez is a first-generation Latina studying Economics and Public Policy at UC Berkeley from the Bay Area. Growing up in a mixed-status household, she experienced first-hand the hardships Latinx immigrant families faced, such as the struggle to assimilate, obtain basic needs, and become financially stable. The systematic barriers that limit the upward mobility of historically marginalized communities propelled her to become an advocate in her local community, and pursue a career in public service. After being selected to attend Harvard Kennedy...

Roberto Ramos

Class of 2024
2023 Washington Fellowship - Fall
Placement: TBD Placement Location: Washington, D.C.

Growing up in a family restaurant, I witnessed firsthand the power of capitalism, which was often hailed as a symbol of equality. From a young age, I took on responsibilities, standing on an upside-down milk crate to take orders. It became a norm for me, shaping my understanding of the world through the lens of immigrant labor and capitalism. However, as I grew older, I began to question the inherent injustices within this system, ones that had previously gone unnoticed. Seeking a path...

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...

Judy Saafein

Class of 2024
2023 Washington Fellowship - Fall
Placement: TBD Placement Location: Washington, D.C.

Judy Saafein is a rising third-year political science and media studies student at UC Berkeley. As an immigrant who knew no English, Judy grew up watching how US government policies affected her family in the United States and her extended family abroad. Activism and advocacy became part of her daily routines, working at CAIR in middle school and engaging in local politics during high school. She is interested in helping her American Muslim and Arab communities by educating them about US civil...

Celia Serrato

Class of 2024
2023 Washington Fellowship - Fall
Placement: TBD Placement Location: Washington, D.C.

Celia is a bright light for her community and brings a refreshing voice and vision for the future. Her passion for Gender and Women's Studies as it relates to liberatory education, women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights, undocumented rights, and environmental justice offer a critical perspective for any movement or organization that seeks to address systemic issues and support and uplift marginalized communities. Rooted in her values and beliefs, Celia strives to further educate herself and others on...

Lakhvir Singh

2021 Matsui Washington Fellow
Placement: Georgetown Law Criminal Justice Clinic Placement Location: Washington, D.C.

Lakhvir Singh is a student at University of California, Berkeley majoring in Political Science. I am currently in the US Army and a first-generation college student. I was born in Punjab, India, and immigrated to the United States of America at age of 18. I want to pursue a career in Law and work in the Department of Justice.

Maggie Tsao

2022 Matsui Washington Fellow

Arely Valencia

Class of 2024
2023 Washington Fellowship - Fall
Placement: Office of Senator Alex Padilla, U.S. Senate Placement Location: Washington, D.C.

Being raised in an immigrant household in Los Angeles, Arely witnessed her parents and community struggle to obtain basic needs, financial stability, and be misrepresented in many aspects of the law. Through these experiences, she grew a great passion for law and advocacy. As a first-generation college student at UC Berkeley, Arely is studying Legal Studies, with a minor in Public Policy. Academically, she is interested in social justice, minority...