Pitzer Alumnus Gabriel Villarreal ’14 Heads to Sacramento for Capital Fellows Program

Gabriel Villarreal '14Claremont, Calif. (July 24, 2015)—Pitzer College alumnus Gabriel Villarreal ’14 has been awarded an Assembly Fellowship, one of four fellowships administered by the Capital Fellows Programs of the Center for California Studies. These programs give outstanding college graduates the opportunity to experience all aspects of government in the California State capital.

Through both classes at Pitzer and his experiences growing up in Chula Vista, Calif., Villarreal says he has seen how state policies, especially around higher education and immigration, affect different communities inequitably.

“I’m drawn to public policy because I believe it’s a process through which social justice can be found, and it’s a chance to address these issues head on,” Villarreal said.

A political studies major with a minor in sociology, Villarreal worked in Pitzer’s Office of Admission where he advocated for underrepresented and low-income applicants. He also volunteered with Jumpstart and served as a research assistant in political studies and Asian-American studies. Villarreal is currently a Residency in Social Enterprise (RISE) Fellow with the Oakland Public Education Fund.

Through the Assembly Fellowship, Villarreal hopes to gain a better understanding of California’s political and democratic process.

“I want to learn how to create policy that is inclusive and beneficial to every individual, regardless of their socioeconomic standing,” Villarreal said. “This is an opportunity to learn how to better serve our poor communities and communities of color.”

Each year, the Capital Fellows Programs provides 18 Assembly Fellows, 18 Senate Fellows, 18 Executive Fellows and 10 Judicial Administration Fellows the opportunity to engage in public service and prepare for future careers, while actively contributing to the development and implementation of public policy in California. Last year, Vault.com voted the Capital Fellows Programs one of the 10 best internship opportunities in the country.

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