DCA Graduates Class of 2010 Hispanic Interns In Community Service Program and Latino Leaders Fellowship Institute

HACKENSACK - The Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development (CHPRD) held its graduation ceremony today for the Class of 2010 Hispanic Interns in Community Service Program and the Latino Leaders Fellowship Institute at the Metropolitan Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. At the ceremony, the Center for Hispanic Policy also recognized the corporate, foundation, and non-profit contributors that donated $80,000 to keep the summer program running.

"The Hispanic Interns program is a benefit not only to the state's Hispanic community, but to all of New Jersey. By exposing our Latino college students to opportunities in corporate America, non-profit organizations and government, we strengthen our entire society," said DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa. "Governor Christie, Lt. Governor Guadagno and I congratulate the Class of 2010 on a job well done and wish them continued success on their various journeys."

The Hispanic Interns program was preserved this difficult budget year because of the generous contributions of 11 private sponsors. The list includes Wachovia, PSE&G, PNC Bank, Academy for Urban Leadership, American Heart Association, Cablevision, U.S. Department of Labor, FOCUS Hispanic Community Center, New Brunswick Tomorrow, Puerto Rican Action Board, and Verizon. Graduating interns personally thanked the sponsors for their funding support.

"Without the donations of these sponsors, the Hispanic Interns program would not have been possible this summer," said Commissioner Grifa. "Because of their support, 19 college students had the opportunity to broaden their skills and gain experience in the working world. They also learned valuable lessons in teamwork, leadership and work performance."

Two of the graduating interns, Joanna Rodriguez of West New York and Johan Zafra of Secaucus, spoke on behalf of the graduating class.

The Hispanic Interns in Community Service Program and Latino Leaders Fellowship Institute is a ten-week summer program geared toward leadership and professional development. The program offers Hispanic college students the opportunity to work in a government, corporate or non-profit setting and participate in leadership training conducted by Rutgers University's Center for Strategic Urban Community Leadership. Interns learn to assess their own leadership styles and communication skills. They are required to complete an individual course project throughout the ten-week program.

This year, the 19 graduates bring the total alumni to over 600 since the program's inception in 1988.

"The Center for Hispanic Policy runs the internship program each summer because we understand that the Latino leaders of tomorrow are being developed today," said CHPRD Director Angie Armand. "We want to inspire Hispanic youth to do great things with their lives and demonstrate to them that the high goals they set for themselves are attainable."

For more information on the Hispanic Interns in Community Service Program and Latino Leaders Fellowship Institute, please call (609) 984-3223 or log on to http://www.state.nj.us/dca/chprd/internship.shtml.

Hispanic Interns in Community Service Program and Latino Leaders Fellowship Institute

Graduating Class of 2010

Name of Graduate


Mildred Arroyo

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Carlos Bidondo

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Lorenzo Budet

Rutgers, The State University

Genesis Deris

Rutgers, The State University

Francisco Figueroa

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Marlise Hendricks

Kean University

Yailen Hernandez

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Ana Maria Martinez

Seton Hall University

Wilson Martinez

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Natalia Olarte

College of Saint Elizabeth

Carlos Paniagua

Hudson County Community College

Jose Paulino

Rutgers, The State University

Ana Maria Rexach

Rutgers, The State University

Deenis Rios

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Joanna Rodriguez

Saint Peter's College

Maybeline Saharig

Seton Hall University

Bruno Sime

St. Peter’s College

Lucrisleyda Taveras

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Johan Zafra Lopez

Hudson County Community College