CHCI, Wal-Mart Partnership Creates Pathway to Leadership, Diversity on Capitol Hill

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the nation’s premier Latino youth leadership development and educational organization, graduated its first spring class of CHCI Walmart Congressional Interns thanks to the support of Walmart.

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Walmart's support of the expansion of the CHCI Congressional Internship Program reflects this commitment by increasing diversity on Capitol Hill where Latinos are severely underrepresented.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the nation’s premier Latino youth leadership development and educational organization, graduated its first spring class of CHCI Walmart Congressional Interns thanks to the support of Walmart. CHCI received a $1 million donation from Walmart in 2009 to add spring and fall sessions to its award-winning Congressional Internship Program for the next three years. CHCI recently received the second installment of the three year commitment from Walmart, its first ever Legacy Partner.

"Walmart is committed to expanding opportunities for young Latinos across all sectors of society. Walmart's support of the expansion of the CHCI Congressional Internship Program reflects this commitment by increasing diversity on Capitol Hill where Latinos are severely underrepresented. This program opens the door for young talented Latinos to experience the public policy arena," said E. Ivan Zapien, Senior Director, Federal Government Relations, Walmart.

Eight Latino students from around the country completed their twelve week session working in congressional offices last week. CHCI also provides intensive weekly leadership development curriculum that promotes giving back to the community.

During their time in Washington, D.C., CHCI Walmart Congressional Interns blossomed into civically engaged leaders as they wereinvolved with projects educating the community on the importance of 2010 census participation, rallying on Capitol Hill for immigration reform, and volunteering to serve food at a local soup kitchen.

"This is truly a unique class of individuals, coming from six different states, and all committed to giving back to the community," said Esther Aguilera, CHCI President & CEO. "Thanks to Walmart's support as a CHCI Legacy Partner, we can eventually triple the number of students we bring to Washington, D.C., to work on Capitol Hill."

The CHCI Walmart Interns were provided a unique experience as they met with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, toured the State Department, witnessed the passage of health care reform from the House Gallery, and participated in a Walmart Mentor day, where interns shadowed Walmart's federal relations team in Washington, D.C., gained hands on experience, and expanded their networks.

CHCI’s Congressional Internship Program was formerly a summer-only program, providing hands-on work experience in Congress for 30 Latino college undergraduates. Walmart’s support has allowed CHCI to add spring and fall semesters for the first time and CHCI will welcome the first new class of fall CHCI Walmart Congressional Interns in August 2010.

About Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization, provides leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging leaders. The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic Members of Congress, nonprofit, union and corporate leaders. For more information call CHCI at (202) 543-1771 or visit http://www.chci.org.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Walmart Stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at http://www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $296 million to local communities in the United States. More information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com.

Media Contacts:
Scott Gunderson Rosa, (202) 548-5876

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