Valeria Jimenez graduated from the University of Utah in 2018 with an Honors BA in political science. During her time at the U, Jimenez completed two internships with the Hinckley Institute.
Her first Hinckley experience was as a local intern with CHOICE Humanitarian. Her experience with CHOICE and her honors student status helped her land a competitive internship with the Ibarra Strategy Group in Washington, DC, in 2016. While in DC, she had the opportunity to meet and shake hands with former President Barack Obama during the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. About the experience, Jimenez says, “I was so grateful to be there. I never thought a young Latina from Heber City, UT like myself would be in the same room as President Obama and among incredible Latino leaders, such as Congressman Joaquin Castro!”.
Jimenez was also able to further her involvement with the Hinckley Institute as a Forum Host and present to high school students about the important of youth civic engagement.
Reflecting on her time with the Hinckley Institute, Jimenez says, “If it was not for the Hinckley, I do not think I would be prepared for life after graduation. The Hinckley helped me develop the skills I use on a daily basis at my job and to connect with other people. My Hinckley experiences helped me become more confident and aware of the issues concerning our nation.”
After returning from her Internship with Ibarra Strategy Group, Jimenez felt motivated to help others and especially passionate about getting young people civically engaged.
Today she is happy to work as the Program Manager for Keys to Success, a state-wide nonprofit motivational program for Utah high school students. Here she is able to use the skills of public speaking, the life-experience she gained from the Hinckley Institute, and her talent in communications to help young people reach for higher education.