PRESS RELEASE FROM SEN. EDDIE LUCIO, JR.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez , Press Secretary
Phone: (512) 463-0385

RIO GRANDE VALLEY NATIVE LANDS INTERNSHIP IN SEN. LUCIO'S OFFICE

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AUSTIN, TX -- The 22-year-old recent graduate from the University of Texas Pan-American is excited to be assigned to the International Relations and Trade Committee at the Capitol that Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. chairs. Julie Gonzalez underwent a rigorous selective process while trying to complete her studies to be considered for the Sen. Gregory Luna Legislative Scholar and Fellows Program.

The program, named after the late Sen. Gregory Luna of San Antonio, provides undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to gain experience and develop leadership skills as full-time legislative assistants in the Texas Senate during legislative sessions.

"I feel very fortunate not just to have another Luna Scholar working in my office this legislative session, but I am especially thrilled that Julie is a bona fide constituent from my district," said Sen. Lucio. "She is an asset to the work we are doing for the people of Texas."

The Edinburg resident, who was born in San Juan, is fulfilling a five-month internship in the Senator's IRT Committee that he chairs. Her duties include researching policy matters, constituent issues and helping develop legislation.

"I am very glad Senator Lucio opens the doors of his office to Luna Scholars," noted Ms. Gonzalez." I am learning a great deal about Texas government from him, and especially as a staff member of his IRT Committee."

The former migrant student has overcome tremendous challenges to complete college, receiving her bachelor's degree in anthropology with a minor in political science. She credits her mother with motivating her to excel and continue her education. Ms. Gonzalez said that her stepfather, who died suddenly in March 2005, while she was a junior in college, left a deep void in her life but her mother's strength "got her and her four siblings through it."

Some of her goals are to complete graduate school--she is currently applying to several schools---and one day work at the United Nations. She enjoys helping colonia residents get involved in the political process, and she has volunteered her time to organize carpools in the colonias for the voting polls. Ms. Gonzalez has deep religious convictions and considers her family, her church and her education primary in her life.

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