For Marco Sanchez, the Cal State D.C. Scholars Program was something that he had wanted to participate in ever since his freshman year. However, since the program is only open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students, he focused his earlier efforts on volunteer work for the United Nations Association in the Orange County Area, as well as on helping to establish a Model United Nations club here on campus. “Everybody figures it out as they go,” Marco says, “but it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about these kinds of opportunities early on.”
Marco is the son of two Mexican-American immigrants, both have lived and worked in the United States for over 30 years. Realizing that his parents have never been as politically engaged as he is, Marco saw an opportunity to educate his family about why he is so motivated to work towards global progress. “I have dedicated a lot of time to learning and understanding the challenges that people face in my community” Marco says, “Challenges such as poverty, gender inequality and food insecurity are just a few of the several issues that face many around the world today, including some of my own family and friends.”
Marco realizes that working to end these issues is an ambitious undertaking, however he also believes that his generation is more motivated and passionate than ever when it comes to making a difference. “My parents have always taught me to work hard and believe in my dreams” he says, and this is something that Marco has reminded himself of daily since arriving in DC to intern, and while transitioning into his new career where he has the opportunity to work with and inspire other American youth to take action for global progress in their own local communities.
“Often there is a stereotype of interns running around getting coffee, or making copies…but that wasn’t my experience at all,” Marco says about his time interning for the United Nations Foundation in D.C. While there, he had the chance to play key roles in several projects, including taking charge of a project in which he created an advocacy roadmap for areas across the United States where there isn’t an established U.N. presence. Additionally, he has had the opportunity to meet with Senators from various states, and even spoke at a meeting for the House Senate Relations Committee.
Upon completing the D.C. Scholars Program in spring 2018, and a two-month consulting contract for the World Bank Group, Marco was offered a full time position as a Youth Engagement Coordinator with the United Nations Foundation this past July. For Marco, working at the United Nations Foundation is a continuation of the work that he is already so passionate about. "Our mission as an organization is to mobilize other Americans to support the vital work of the United Nations" Marco explains, “As the Youth Engagement Coordinator, I will be supporting a network of campus chapters (including CSUF) that engage other students to take action for the United Nations in their own communities.” In addition, Marco will be working to establish additional United Nations chapters where none are currently present. As Marco continues in his early career, he is looking forward to engaging youth on a grassroots level so that a new generation of Americans can lead our world to a better future.
Since 2006, the Cal State DC program has offered students opportunities to study and intern in our nation's capital. Through our program, students earn academic credit while interning in Washington. Internships can be with nonprofits, advocacy groups, congressional offices, executive agencies, museums, security firms, business groups, political parties, artistic organizations, news and media companies, and a variety of other offices in and around Washington, D.C.
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