EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – More than a handful of students from UTEP are being given an opportunity of a lifetime. The Archer Fellowship Program is giving students the opportunity to intern full time with a government agency of their choice. 

“It’s a huge honor, honestly I still can’t believe it, I still feel like I am dreaming but it is very rewarding, I will say, to have worked so long on the application for it to pay off, totally unexpected,” Cataldi said.

The nine UTEP undergraduate students were encouraged to apply for their exceptional hard work in their studies and be chosen to be part of the Archer Fellowship program.  The following students get to intern and study in Washington D.C. for one whole semester to learn about government and politics. 

Students will be competing with other brilliant students around the country, many who have a keen interest in the legislative policymaking process.

Saul Fontes, a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in Chicano Studies with a minor in Political Science is looking forward to representing his community in D.C. this upcoming fall.

Fontes will major in Urban Planning for his master’s and knows that in order to excel, he will need to learn the ropes of how the city and community operate, in an effort to further his career opportunities.

“Part of this fellowship is a great stepping stone in that direction. Not only that but also understand how for example, that is the federal level, in being able to have those kinds of responsibilities and understanding what skills and experiences you need,” Fontes said. 

Multimedia Journalism Major Margaret Cataldi has many goals in life, including interning with NBC National News at the U.S. Capitol, where we see a lot of the top news stories.

Knowing that Washington D.C. brings lots of news, she’s looking forward to all the opportunities that come along with.  

“A lot of important stuff happens on Capitol Hill, whether it’s you know working directly for the government. Government agency, executive branch, you can also work in the judicial branch, you can work in legislation. You can intern directly with senators and policy makers,” Cataldi said.    

The Archer Center records show that many bright students have come out of this fellowship and have achieved so much.

“Don’t get discouraged if you get denied. At the end of the day, this is something I really wanted to do, you know and I just went for it,” Fontes said.

Both seniors say since El Paso is not a major city, this fellowship program will allow them to get their foot in the door, make connections and lift up other people here in El Paso. 

As UTEP students are already set to go to Washington D.C. for the fall and spring semester, if you or anyone you know is a UTEP student and wants to further their success with the Archer Fellowship Program click here to apply.

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