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Cynthia Milian, Mandy Gordillo, Aide Meza and Victoria Ellington




Victoria Ellington was a senior at the University of Houston majoring in political science with a minor in philosophy. Victoria first gained government experience as an intern in Congressman John Culberson’s district office through the Hobby Center for Public Policy’s Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP).

As a Leland Fellow, Victoria worked for Congressman Pete Olson. ​Her primary responsibilities included drafting media releases and constituent communications and policy research. In particular, her research for Congressman Olson's work on the Energy and Commerce Committee broadened her perspective of Houston’s leadership as the nation’s energy capital and its impact in the global economy. She got to share the history of our nation’s capital with visiting Houstonians by leading dozens of Capitol tours. In addition, Victoria participated in the Partnership for a Secure America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Scholars program, which promotes bipartisanship with foreign policy negotiations.



Mandy Gordillo was a senior in the University of Houston Honors College majoring in political science with a minor in business administration. Mandy gained social awareness and experience as an intern for the Alliance for Multicultural Community Services through the Civic Houston Internship Program. Through this opportunity, she learned the importance of education in low-income communities in the Houston area and the impact it has on society. She has also volunteered for the Harris County Democratic Party, the Sylvia Garcia for Senate campaign, and at various immigration events and forums.

Working as a Leland Fellow, Mandy was exposed to many different policy areas in the office of Congressman Gene Green. She researched issues of great importance to his district including healthcare, energy, foreign relations, immigration and the environment. Mandy also wrote constituent letters and attended numerous briefings, hearings and events. She was especially happy to see firsthand the work being done on immigration reform and meet legislators such as Congressman Luis Gutierrez.



Aidé Meza was a post-baccalaureate Terry Foundation Scholar at the University of Houston who completed a bachelor of arts in political science with minors in Mexican American studies and global & international studies in December 2013. She was involved in several campus organizations including Pi Sigma Alpha, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, and the Golden Key International Honour Society. Aidé gained government experience in the office of State Representative Carol Alvarado through the Civic Houston Internship Program.

Aidé worked in the office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee during her tenure as a Leland Fellow in the nation’s capital. She prepared the introduction of several bills, including House Resolution 4108, the Breath of Fresh Air Act. She also assisted with “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds”, a leadership summit held in Houston and hosted by Congresswoman Lee and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. 



Cynthia Milian was a University of Houston senior with a double major in political science and Spanish.  She gained public service experience working in the Humble office of Congressman Ted Poe as a Civic Houston intern.  

As a Leland Fellow in the office of Congressman Ted Poe, Cynthia researched issues such as the EPA’s renewable fuel standards and human trafficking, with much of the information being used in speeches given by Congressman Poe on the House Floor. She compiled research for committee hearings including the Judicial and Foreign Affairs Committee, drafted press releases and correspondence, conducted Capitol Hill tours, and attended briefings on the role of INTERPOL and healthcare. Cynthia also provided Spanish translations for the Congressman’s website and constituent letters and participated in the Partnership for a Secure America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Scholars program.