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Political science major climbs Capitol Hill

March 17, 2011
Hugo Jacobo

Hugo Jacobo

NIU senior political science major and honors student Hugo Jacobo is interning this spring in Washington, D.C., with Congressman Luis Gutierrez, for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

According to the institute’s website, the purpose of the internship is to “expose young Latinos to the legislative process and to strengthen their professional and leadership skills, ultimately promoting the presence of Latinos on Capitol Hill.” The nature of the work is very similar to the program the political science department offers NIU students in the summer.

Jacobo, 22, graduated from Lane Tech High School in Chicago in 2007 and initially came to NIU for its great jazz program.

Shortly after changing majors, he become heavily involved on campus through several organizations including Omega Delta, Supporting Opportunities for Latinos, Model Illinois Government, the Student Association and others.

He also played a key role as co-founder of a student-led social justice organization on campus called Dream Action NIU. An organization focused on bringing awareness of the challenges undocumented students face in the U.S.

“This is an amazing opportunity for Hugo,” said Emily Prieto, director of the Latino Resource Center. “Only 16 students across the nation are chosen every semester for the CHCI internship, and we are very proud to have him representing NIU.”

Apart from his campus involvement, Jacobo also excels academically. He made it on the dean’s list several times, receiving research grants and working on research team across different apartments on campus. He also was one of the first of two students to take part in the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) for NIU at the University of Illinois at Chicago this past summer.

Despite his hard work on campus and in class, Jacobo found time to work two jobs last semester as an honors peer adviser for the Honors Program and as the marketing intern at the Latino Resource Center.

“I am very excited and look forward to work on Capitol Hill,” Jacobo said. “I hope to gain a greater understanding of the legislative process and work alongside other
future Latino leaders.”