“Why not me?” Victor Garcia said to himself as he turned in his application to be an intern for the U.S. Representative of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, Cheri Bustos.
A graduate of Belvidere North High School, Victor found himself chatting with some members of his high school debate team about their experiences as interns for Bustos and encouraged him to look into an internship. He also credits inspiration from RVC professor, Dr. Ruckman for his American Government class really exposing him to to learn more about the political arena. Victor decided to apply to the local office first and found the entire process relatively painless. “The cover letter took me 15 minutes and the interviewer said it was one of the best cover letters he’s ever read.“
November 7 was election day in the US and Victor decided he wanted to make a difference now more than ever and submitted an application to Cheri Bustos’ Washington DC office — a move the interviewer praised him as a bold one. His boldness paid off, as he was selected right on the spot at the interview. Before leaving for his internship, he was fighting nerves, but anxious to get started and meet Bustos for the first time. “I think it will be a welcoming challenge with the current state of the political system and I look forward to being exposed to it.”
We checked in with Victor who has had a chance to get his feet wet in DC and he describes his time there so far as “truly life changing.” He’s impressed with how much hands-on experience he’s getting — talking to constituents about their concerns, assisting in research for a member of Bustos’ staff, responding to mail as well as giving tours.
“It’s such an amazing feeling being here and being able to actually witness how our legislative process operates.” Victor is keeping up with his online classes at RVC in the evenings while he works days in Bustos’ office until April 8. “People are currently afraid of the climate in politics, but don’t let that stop you from holding strong to your views and the ability to make a difference. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, you can achieve anything you want.”