USC undergrad awarded prestigious Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute fellowship

Pamela Ascon, a senior majoring in health promotion and disease prevention studies, left for Washington, D.C., on Jan. 9 to begin the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute Global Leaders Internship & Fellowship. (Photo/Sara Reeve)

By Sara Reeve

USC senior Pamela Ascon has been awarded the highly coveted Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) Global Leaders Internship & Fellowship for the spring 2013 Semester.

As one of only four fellowship recipients from across the country, Ascon, who is majoring in health promotion and disease prevention studies at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, will work on project-based programs that provide hands-on experience and also strengthen her understanding of public policy.

 “Being selected to be part of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute program has provided me with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Ascon said. “I look forward to expanding my knowledge through the real life experiences this program affords—not only living in the nation’s capital, but working in corporate and congressional offices. I look forward to gaining more leadership skills in order to be an asset to society. I am interested in acquiring first-hand understanding of the business, health care and nonprofit worlds.

"I am excited about the doors this program will open and for the experiences I will gain that at this time I can only imagine!” she said.

Through the 12-to 15-week program, Ascon will work closely with congressional offices and private corporations in Washington, D.C., and will earn academic credit hours. The CHLI scholarship includes round trip airfare to and from Los Angeles, a monthly transportation stipend, a $2,000 living stipend, and enrollment and housing at George Washington University for the semester.

Ascon, who serves as co-chair of the USC Institute for Genetic Medicine Art Gallery Internship Program, was brought to the United States by her parents at age 10 and is the first member of her family to go to college.

The spring program runs from Jan. 10 to May 5.

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