#UAlbanySummer: UAlbany Undergrad Named Victory Congressional Intern in Nation's Capital

UAlbany junior Yanelis Martinez was one of eight individuals chosen from a pool of 100 national applicants  to join the 2015 Class of Victory Congressional Interns. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 28, 2015) – University at Albany junior Yanelis Martinez is one of eight individuals chosen by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute to join the 2015 Class of Victory Congressional Interns.

A summer intern in the Washington, D.C., office of Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Martinez was chosen from a pool of more than 100 national applicants. The program places LGBT college students in a summer internship with an LGBT or LGBT-friendly member of Congress in their Washington, D.C. office.

“I have always had an interest in politics and have recently begun to consider myself an activist, so the opportunity to travel to our nation’s capital and see the inner workings of policy definitely caught my eye,” said Martinez, who was in D.C. when the Supreme Court ruled to save the Affordable Care Act and to legalize same-sex marriage.

Martinez, whose long term goal is law school, is a double major in political science and Latin American studies. At UAlbany, she also serves as director of the Gender and Sexuality Concerns Department for UAlbany’s Student Association, Vice President of the Educational Opportunity Program Student Administrative Council, and Special Events Coordinator for Fuerza Latina.

While in Washington, she has attended briefings on LGBT equality in education, on religious freedom and exemption laws, and on LGBT issues abroad. She also had the opportunity to be on a conference call with the U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic, James “Wally” Brewster, to discuss the current situation on “ethnic cleansing” that is taking place on the island.

During this experience, she has also volunteered for United We Dream and witnessed the group’s peaceful protest in front of the White House asking the president to close down detention centers.

Martinez is inspired to succeed by her immigrant mother, who brought her to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic at age 10, and also by her father. She has two older siblings in the U.S. on her mom’s side and three other siblings on her father’s side in the Dominican Republic. She wants to inspire her younger siblings to seek out their dreams and achieve their full potential.

“I chose to attend UAlbany because UAlbany is diverse in every sense of the word,” said Martinez, a staff assistant in the University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “I have the opportunity to interact with people who are different from me, be it because of their economic background, gender, racial or sexual identity. UAlbany offers us a diverse environment where we can all thrive.”

Each semester, the Victory Congressional Internship brings outstanding LGBT college students to the nation’s capital to participate in an intensive program which includes working for a member of Congress, educational and leadership skills training, and a mentorship program.

*Yanelis Martinez’s summer internship in Washington is just one of the exciting opportunities available to UAlbany students this summer. Share your experience by posting your internship, research, study abroad or volunteer work photo to Twitter or Instagram using #UAlbanySummer by Aug. 3, 2015, for a chance to win a gift card. Be sure to include your name, class year, position and company/location.*

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