UCDC fellows above the washington mall
05/07/2018
My time in DC absolutely flew by! Having been back in California for a little over two weeks, I already miss the DC Spring weather, my UCDC friends, and my internship. The remainder of my semester was jam-packed with events, ranging from touring the Capitol Building to attending the Cherry Blossom...
Photo by flickr user ActionAid India is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
04/17/2018
In July of 2017, a month and a half before I started the John Gardner Fellowship with a placement at Human Rights Watch, I went to a teach-in held by Dalit rights activist Thenmozhi Soundararajan. I attended as part of the group Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA), a community group I...
statues of black power salute olympians
03/22/2018
I’ve been amazed at how fast the semester has flown by. With just over a month left, I’m feeling the pressure to take advantage of my time left in DC. But looking back, the last two months have been packed with work and class, and I’m impressed that I have managed to do as much as I have outside of...
Rozette De Castro and friend at Brooklyn bridge
03/05/2018
I feel like being in this program is a life changer. In just 2 months, I've already adapted to this so-called DC lifestyle. I wake up at exactly 8 in the morning now even during my days off (without setting an alarm), sipping black coffee while I walk to work and checking twitter and news sources...
Nickole with mom at Jefferson memorial
02/08/2018
Every city has a word, and Washington DC’s is policy. No matter what you’re passionate about, there is someone here doing something related to it, and usually in policy. People here know they are making history. Washington is a very different place than Berkeley. There are things about the Bay Area...
protesters at Lincoln memorial in Washington DC
01/31/2018
As I boarded the plane at San Francisco International Airport, my mind was racing with pending uncertainties. Would I like my internship? Would I enjoy living in such a politically charged city? Would I freeze to death? Fortunately, my transition to the DC weather and the city itself was smoother...
Getting Out of My Comfort Zone
01/31/2018
The move to D.C was not as smooth as I expected it to be. I’m used to driving 2 hours from the Bay if I’d want to see snow not like here, where I don’t even have to step outside the Washington Center to see a bed of snow. Every time I go grocery shopping, I immediately start to think about...
photo of excited Young Legislators after being recognized with certificates by  Assemblymember Caballero
08/04/2017
I was raised on a ranch near a small rural town called San Ardo in the South Salinas Valley by immigrant parents who came to the United States in 1985. This town is often unknown, even by Salinas Valley residents.The south end of the Salinas Valley’s lack of exposure to the world and opportunities...
My amazing supervisors, Briana Mullen and Irene Garcia. Not only were they both Cal Alum but also previous fellows of the Cal-In-Sac program!
08/02/2017
Accepting an internship position with the California Department of Education earlier this year, I anxiously looked forward to the summer state date, despite remaining not fully aware what my duties would consist of. Education remains a vital means to success in my life, it is something I prioritize...

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