Hinckley Institute

October 2023 | Juan Guerrero

Alumni Spotlight

In his various roles working for state governments and non-profit organizations, Juan Carlos Guerrero has had to navigate diverse political climates and work with people from various backgrounds and of differing political beliefs. His ability to do this stems from his undergraduate experiences with the Hinckley Institute. 

Guerrero was introduced to the Hinckley through the forums and free pizza, and went on to complete two internships: a state legislative internship working with Representatives Keith Grover and Mike Kennedy and a D.C. internship working with Senator Mike Lee. 

As a California native, Guerrero found it challenging to navigate the political landscape of Utah during the Legislative Session in 2016. He also faced the challenge of working with politicians that shared different views and opinions than himself. However, he ultimately found this aspect of his internship to be very rewarding.

 I had to navigate my own biases and upbringings and really push myself to not fall into the typical traps of judgment and/or rejection of other schools of thought. Being able to disconnect from yourself and envision realities that others feel/think has and will be a skill I value both in myself and in others because it really is emotionally tiring--especially as a minority in America.

His experience at the Utah State Legislature prompted him to apply for an internship with Senator Mike Lee in Washington, D.C. He found this internship incredibly meaningful as it allowed him the opportunity to understand various points of view and understand why people carry certain beliefs and ideologies. 

It truly pushed me to remove my biases from a thought process and objectively rationalize conclusions that the Senator, constituents, Thomas Sowell, etc. would state. Not so much to believe in it but rather to understand where people come from and how one's own experience shouldn't dictate the reality and feelings of others without considering all backgrounds.

Guerrero graduated from the U in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science and has built an impressive career in the following years. He returned to California after graduation and worked with state leadership in Los Angeles and his ability to isolate his beliefs made him a better advocate for his community.

He continued with his studies and obtained a master’s degree in Public Policy from American University. Following his graduate studies, he started at his current job, working as a statewide organizer in California with Caring Across Generations, an organization that advocates for caregivers and those who need care. He continues to use the skills he gained during his Hinckley internships to help him navigate the diverse political climate in his state.