Program Alumni

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      Annamarie Sofranek

      Placement: Office of the County Executive - Privacy Office

      Educational Institution: Stanford University

      “One of the biggest highlights for me was the exposure to County operations and getting to hear from professionals/experts. I really enjoyed getting to sit in on Privacy Ops meetings and understand how the office functions and what projects they are working on… It was a wonderful learning opportunity, and I was able to get a lot of insight about privacy/tech policy within both the private sector and public sector.”

      Ashley Dargert

      Ashley Dargert

      Placement: Procurement Department/Office of the County Executive - Office of Countywide Contracting Management

      Educational Institution: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

      “[My] projects are extremely useful for my career development because I learn a lot overseeing a project from start to finish and trying to persuasively communicate my thoughts to others... It is very satisfying to get outside of your comfort zone when you are working on something you are passionate about.”

      Jennifer John

      Jennifer John

      Placement: Valley Medical Center

      Educational Institution: Stanford University

      “Because [my] projects were embedded in preexisting programs and workflows, I know that my work will have sustaining impact even after the summer concludes – a unique and gratifying feeling to have as an intern. This structure also meant that my experiences fully immersed me in the realities and complexities of making change in a County setting. I encountered barriers to pursuing my projects and interests that I had not experienced in previous internships in the private sector and academia… With support from my mentors, I learned how to navigate these factors. At the end of the Fellowship, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the structures that are put in place to ensure the County runs smoothly, and for the dedicated public servants who provide vital support to them.”

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      Jordan Betancourt

      Placement: Office of the County Executive - Office of LGBTQ Affairs

      Educational Institution: San Jose State University

      “I can confidently say that I have achieved much more than I could have ever hoped for in the duration of this 10-week Fellowship… I always told myself that someday I would work to make changes in Gilroy that would support individuals to live their authentic lives in Gilroy. Working with the OLGBTQ, I can continue to advocate for changes and stir up important LGBTQ+ related conversations in a smaller/rural city where they may not have easy access to LGBT resources.”

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      Maria Gonzalez

      Placement: Valley Medical Center

      Educational Institution: Santa Clara University

      “The projects I worked on throughout my ten weeks [at VMC] exposed me to different aspects of the health and hospital system that I had not seen before, while also expanding my analytical and excel skill set... This experience has inspired me to work in the County because I see the vast array of jobs and opportunities the County has to offer... There is also a lot of important work for the surrounding community that occurs in the county, that would be very fulfilling to be a part of.”

      Neelofar Husin

      Neelofar Husin

      Placement: Office of the District Attorney - Victim Services Unit

      Educational Institution: Gavilan College

      “The Government Fellowship Program has actually, fundamentally changed the trajectory of my career. Being in the program has opened my eyes to restorative justice and its corresponding careers, the dire need for dedicated advocates, and also research opportunities that I’ve never even considered or even knew about before I came into the Fellowship... This experience has greatly inspired me to work for the County. The amount of care and support that I received from the staff of the DA’s office, and the amount of dedication and passionate work that I witnessed in the Child Advocacy Center has emboldened me to go out there and ensure that I, too, must do everything I can to help others and give back to the community.”

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      Robert D. Westover Jr.

      Placement: Office of the County Executive - Privacy Office

      Educational Institution: Stanford University

      “I am very proud of the work that I was able to complete for the three main projects that I worked on for the Privacy Office… Having my recommendations and suggestions actually implemented was definitely one of my highlights this summer. I felt that I was able to have legitimate impact as a Government Fellow.”

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      Saliha Nasir

      Placement: Consumer and Environmental Protection Agency - Vector Control District

      Educational Institution: San Jose State University

      "It was amazing to see how much work the County does behind the scenes to ensure the well-being and safety of all county residents. Prior to the fellowship, I did not know how much work a single County office does to make a positive impact on the lives of county residents. I hope to become a County employee so that I can contribute to the essential work done by the County of Santa Clara."

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      Valeria Gonzalez

      Placement: Office of the District Attorney - Victim Services Unit

      Educational Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz

      “The Government Fellowship Program has helped me prepare for my future career. I have been able to continue building my research skills and I have gained more experience working independently… Working on an immigrant-based project to improve victims’ services for the immigrant community is useful to my career development because one of the career paths I am interested in is becoming an immigration attorney.”

        Alex Weiskopf

        Alex Weiskopf
         

        Placement: Office of the County Executive – Privacy Office

        Educational Institution: Santa Clara University

        “This Government Fellowship Program has helped prepare me for my future career immensely... Researching and writing about the [California Consumer Privacy Act], Exposure Notification Privacy Act and many other ordinances or proposed bills has given me a reference for how Privacy legislation might be crafted in the future, and I can use that knowledge later in my career.”
         

        Arielle Dorch

        Arielle Dorch

        Placement: Valley Medical Center

        Educational Institution: San Jose State University

        “Throughout my experience as a 2020 Government Fellow at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, I’ve grown tremendously as an individual and professional… As someone fresh out of college, the various opportunities to learn and serve through the County have always been attractive to me. And because of the culture that VMC and Santa Clara County maintains, I am definitely inspired to serve the public and represent the County.”
         

        Randall Clopton

        Randall Clopton

        Placement: Office of the County Executive – Privacy Office

        Educational Institution: University of California, Berkeley

        “…One of the major career benefits I gained from this fellowship was the integration into the network of local government privacy professionals. The people I have met and spoken with over the course of the fellowship are some of the leaders in this field, and I feel that I have set myself up well to continue working in the broader information and tech policy space.”
         

        Vianna Vo

        Vianna Vo

        Placement: Valley Medical Center

        Educational Institution: Stanford University

        Without the experience that GFP provided me, I would still be in the dark, trying to figure out the path that I am supposed to walk. Above all, it is the people at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) that made this experience special. Though I learned much about the U.S.’ health care system, and how to use pivot tables in Excel, that is not the part of the program that made it different... Instead, it was the opportunity to interface with employees at the County and to learn more about their stories and what motivates them to stay at SCVMC.”​

        2019 Summer Cohort
          Annjelika Slate

          Annjelika Slate

          Placement: Office of the County Executive - Privacy Office

          Educational Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara

          "The Fellowship has had a tremendous impact on my career aspirations and academic interests. Working for the Privacy Office gave me a glimpse into a brand new and interesting field, one that I hope to incorporate into my studies and research at UCSB. I would recommend this Fellowship to anyone that is interested in expanding their professional outlooks and relationships, as well as those that are passionate about local government. It was such a great opportunity and I am truly thankful."
           

          Christopher Song

          Christopher Song

          Placement: Office of the County Executive - Office of Supportive Housing - Housing and Community Development Division

          Educational Institution: University of California, Berkeley

          "If I was given the opportunity to work for the County of Santa Clara, I would gladly take it as I believe that working in the public sector really emphasizes your role in helping others, rather than private companies that really emphasize profit and maximizing their revenue. The public sector really addresses the needs of the public by using public funds and using those ideas to help people in need or just helping the entire county in general. As a result, I want to be involved and a part of something that could really help influence my own community."
           

          Darius Johnson

          Darius K. Johnson

          Placement: Valley Medical Center

          Educational Institution: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

          "While working on some of the projects within my placement at VMC, I truly feel as though I have made an impact on the system which has ultimately impacted the residents of the County... and I feel as though I have helped the County achieve its safety net mission to ensure that patients, regardless of socioeconomic status, have the ability to receive high-quality healthcare..."
           

          Emily Rosas

          Emily Rosas

          Placement: Office of the County Executive - Office of Supportive Housing - Rapid Rehousing

          Educational Institution: University of California, Merced

          "This experience has definitely inspired me to work for the County of Santa Clara in the future. Through my experience, I've learned about the critical leadership position Santa Clara County has in working towards solutions for both homelessness and the regional housing crisis. I've also been motivated by the professional atmosphere within County offices and the high level of commitment that SCC employees have for the work they do."
           

          Javeria Idris

          Javeria Idris

          Placement: Public Health Department

          Educational Institution: Mission College

          "This experience has definitely inspired me to want to work for the County because it opened my eyes to the effort the Public Health Department puts into keeping our County healthy and safe at all times. The positive impacts that the Department has brought to the County as a whole and will continue to bring is quite inspiring. Working for the County for these past 8 weeks has given me the opportunity to engage in professional teamwork, communication, research, etc., and I would be happy to work in Public Health or another County Department in the future, in order to improve the lives of Santa Clara County residents, regardless of age, ethnicity, or economic status."
           

          Kristopher Olarte

          Kristopher Olarte

          Placement: Registrar of Voters

          Educational Institution: DeVry University

          "...I initially thought that this [fellowship] would only have me doing basic tasks using Microsoft Word or Excel while participating in some duties revolving outreach, but it exceeded my expectations. I immediately started working in my career field and creating several different graphic design projects to explain and clarify the new voting system... (Voter's Choice Act)."
           

          Michaela Fogarty

          Michaela Fogarty

          Placement: Office of the County Executive - Office of Supportive Housing - Crisis Response

          Educational Institution: Pitzer College

          "I'm still not totally sure what I want to do after college, but I think that this fellowship has definitely strengthened my drive to want to work with other vulnerable communities and work with people to better their situations. No matter what I do post-college, I do know that the Fellowship will have prepared me for future work in different communities and being able to work professionally with other people and being able to respond to their issues."
           

          Nora Ramirez

          Nora S. Ramírez

          Placement: Office of Supervisor Dave Cortese, Board of Supervisors - District 3

          Educational Institution: San Jose State University

          ​"My fellowship has taught me to push myself in an unfamiliar work environment, to believe in myself. I would definitely recommend the Government Fellowship Program to family and friends as this is a great way to become involved with the government to better understand how everything works and to appreciate what is done for the community every single day."

          2018-fellows
            aryan-taheri

            Aryan Taheri

            Placement: Office of the County Executive - Office of Sustainability

            Educational Institution: De Anza College

            "This experience has made me adopt a newfound appreciation for the work the county does. Additionally, there are many kind and inspiring people that I met that work at the county, which made me open up to the possibility of eventually working for the county."

            ashley-estrada

            Ashley Estrada

            Placement: Roads and Airports Department

            Educational Institution: San Jose State University

            "My time at the Roads and Airports Department has been life-changing. Coming into this program, I was unsure of what career I wanted to pursue in life. Leaving this program, I know that I would like to work for the County... Overall, I recommend this program to all students as not only do you grow professionally, but you grow as a person."

            caroline-le

            Caroline T. Le

            Placement: Valley Medical Center

            Educational Institution: De Anza College

            "The entire experience opened my eyes to how much of an impact SCVMC has on our county. Working here has shown me that this is a place where people can provide for anyone despite their socio-economic status. I believe in helping every single person as much as possible and if I was given the opportunity to work here or in the County, I would gladly accept the offer."

            nolan-golden

            Nolan Golden

            Placement: Department of Planning and Development/Office of Ken Yeager, Board of Supervisors - District 4

            Educational Institution: Gavilan College

            "I received most, if not all, of my inspiration to work for the County when I began my second fellowship with D4. Being able to actively participate in the D4 community was like being able to see all of your hard work come to fruition."

            quynh-ivy-vo

            Quynh Vo

            Placement: Employee Services Agency

            Educational Institution: San Jose City College

            "I would consider to work for the County later on when I am finished with college. The job that I was doing would help me on communication skills, teamwork, researching, and analyzing which I would find a job for Human Resource Department or my Economics major related in the future. I also love working in a professional field like the Santa Clara County."

            ryan-tieu

            Ryan Tieu

            Placement: Technology Services and Solutions

            Educational Institution: San Jose State University

            "The Government Fellowship Program was a great way to allow students, like me, to have a taste of the professional work environment and how it is to work for the government. After working for [TSS], I have placed the Santa Clara County, especially the Employee Service Agency, as a strong option to work for after I graduate from San Jose State."

            Soledad Parada

            Soledad Parada

            Placement: Office of the County Executive - Office of Supportive Housing

            Educational Institution: Mission College

            "...I am beyond excited and blessed that the Office of Supportive Housing loved my help that they offered me to stay as an Intern III. Thank you so much for the opportunity and I hope many more students are able to benefit from the fellowship as much as I did."

            tran-tran-2018

            Tran N. Tran

            Placement: Office of the County Executive - Office of Immigrant Relations

            Educational Institution: University of California, San Diego

            "This is my second year in the Government Fellowship Programs and I still have a same conclusion that this work experience really inspires me to work for the County. I am proud of what SCC has achieved and the fact that local government always supports its community."
             

            tyris-le

            Tyris Le

            Placement: Consumer and Environmental Protection Agency

            Educational Institution: De Anza College

            "Overall, this fellowship was an eye-opening experience and was a privilege to be able to get my feet wet in the field of government work. After witnessing how interesting this type of county job can be, I am more curious about it and hope to immerse myself into other aspects of government duties as a possible future career."
             

            vinshaan-nguyen

            Vinshaan Nguyen

            Placement: Department of Planning and Development - Technology Services and Solutions

            Educational Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz

            "I thought that this program was very beneficial for me. I was able to take what I have been learning in school and apply it to my work on the InSite permit system. Through these 10 weeks, I have been exposed to a real working environment and I was able to work with real professionals."
             

            brendan-miller

            Brendan Miller - Honorary Fellow

            Placement: Department of Planning and Development

            Educational Institution: San Jose State University

            "Overall the experience has been a positive one... Learning about the various aspects of both the permitting processes and future agricultural developments was a highlight."

            psep-2017
              Charlotte Von De Bur

              Charlotte Von De Bur

              Placement: Office of Ken Yeager, Board of Supervisors - District 4

              Educational Institution: University of Chicago

              "I appreciated the high level of autonomy, which granted me ample room for professional growth, something that many other internship programs lack."

              Christian Andres

              Christian Andres

              Placement: County Communications

              Educational Institution: Evergreen Valley College

              "This experience, I can say has inspired me to work for the county in a public safety capacity. I've always wanted to work in public safety and I am very fortunate and blessed to have been put in this program. It was a very unique and valuable experience."
               

              Colleen Burke

              Colleen Burke

              Placement: Office of the County Executive - Office of Women's Policy

              Educational Institution: Santa Clara University

              "Not only did I feel as though I was actually capable of making an impact, but it taught me some very beneficial ways of communicating and working in an office environment. Mostly, it fueled my passion for social justice and I felt like I was finally doing something that mattered to me."

              Divya Kumari

              Divya Kumari

              Placement: Office of the Sheriff

              Educational Institution: Evergreen Valley College

              "I believe the PSEP program is a learning program and you can gain a lot of knowledge with the program. I recommend this program to all the students because it is an experience that will teach you tons."
               

              Rodrigo Raya, Jr

              Rodrigo Raya, Jr.

              Placement: Roads and Airports Department

              Educational Institution: Gavilan College

              "The people I mainly worked with shaped me into a better man and helped me decide what I want to do with my life. I benefited so much form this internship. Seeing everyone being happy at their job is the definition of a job."

              Sochinazor Odidika

              Sochinazor Odidika

              Placement: Information Services Department

              Educational Institution: California State University, East Bay

              "This fellowship has not only intrigued my curiosity; it has also led to me inquiring about the possibility of a GIS certification after my graduate degree in the fall of 2017."

              Tran Tran

              Tran N. Tran

              Placement: Office of the County Executive - Office of Immigrant Relations

              Educational Institution: De Anza College

              "The experiences in these weeks really inspired me to work in the County because I have learned Santa Clara County staff has worked as a great team and have provided a great support to others to achieve the mission."
               

              Government Fellowship Program 2019 Fellow's Testimonials

              Government Fellowship 2018 Fellow's Testimonials

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