Fall 2013| Posse Miami Quarterly

  

Mount Holyoke Scholar Interns on Capitol Hill

Scarlett Montenegro, a senior at Mount Holyoke College, is preparing for a career in public interest law. This summer she interned for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, working full-time for Congressman Joe Garcia, the representative from the 26th District of Florida.

“I had the most amazing and life-changing experience,” says Scarlett. “Working with my congressman allowed me to learn how the legislative and policy-making process works. I've had the privilege to work closely on issues that affect my community.”

A politics major with a minor in law and public policy, Scarlett aspires to become a voice for marginalized communities. During the school year she assists at the Massachusetts Justice Project, which provides free legal advice, referrals, direct representation and hotline services for people in low-income communities of central and western Massachusetts.

“During my first week I worked alongside one of the attorneys in a case where a woman and her sick baby were denied shelter by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development,” says Scarlett. “Knowing that because of us this mother and her baby didn’t have to sleep on the cold floor anymore had to be one of the most fulfilling feelings in the world.”

Scarlett’s achievements both in and out of the classroom have earned her the respect of the Mount Holyoke administration. She was nominated for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which recognizes college juniors who show leadership potential and have an interest in government or public sector service. Impressed by her commitment to the college, Mount Holyoke President Lynn Pasquerella and Patricia VandenBerg, the executive director of communications and marketing, invited Scarlett and two other students to be involved in the college’s re-branding committee.

This fall, Scarlett returned to Washington D.C., to attend American University’s Washington Semester Program. She is taking classes in the public law program and continuing her work in Congressman Garcia’s office.

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