By Sarrah Peters
Former Gadsden native Fernanda Herrera was awarded a summer
Congressional internship offered by The Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Institute. She will be working at the office of Representative Raul
Grijalva for eight weeks during her stay on Capitol Hill.
Herrera attended Saint James Catholic School before attending Gadsden
City High School. Ferrera is now a senior at Samford University, where
she majors in international relations with a minor in Latin American
studies. She hopes to attend law school after graduation.
One of Herrera’s professors mentioned The Congressional Hispanic
Caucus Institute’s scholarship programs. When Herrera looked into the
institute, she discovered the internship and thought it would be a
really valuable opportunity.
To receive the competitive position, Herrera filled out the
application and went through two interviews. Herrera was one of 38
chosen for the position out of hundreds who applied.
“A small-town girl like me doesn’t get to live on the hill very
often,” said Herrera.
The internship has given her the opportunity to share her story with
others. Born in Mexico, Herrera moved to the United States when she
was two and a half years old, where she is an undocumented citizen.
She has received advice on how to proceed in her life and career,
given her citizenship status. She has also been learning about policy
that directly effects people in her situation.
“What happens here on the hill really affects what happens to me,” said Herrera.
Herrera feels like the opportunity has already been immensely valuable
to her future.
“Being around other young Latinos who are passionate about not only
education and their own progress, but who also have a deep sense of
responsibility for others like them, their communities and future
generations has been an emotional and truly awakening experience,”