A PR internship that might never have happened changed my life.

— Maria Rodriguez, Vanguard President and CEO

Comunicadores for the Future Program

A first-generation American whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Spain by way of Venezuela, Maria Rodriguez attended The George Washington University initially to earn a finance degree. But she didn’t find her true calling until she was introduced to the PR and communications field and secured an internship at an agency.

“Luckily, GW gave me six credits for the internship experience that semester,” Rodriguez said. “If not, my parents wouldn’t have supported me working for free.”

The internship showed Rodriguez just how powerful communications and public relations can be, which inspired her to make the world a better place through her work.

But the lack of diversity in the PR profession weighed heavily on Rodriguez. Believing that we can’t be effective communicators without having more perspectives represented, she reconnected with her alma mater years later to level the playing field and make room for more diversity in the PR industry through a paid internship program.

By collaborating with GW’s Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute, Rodriguez was able to create Comunicadores for the Future to give more students the same opportunity she had.

Since 2017, the program has been investing in the future workforce and increasing diversity in the communications, PR and marketing fields.

Experiences

“[My internship] gave me the connections and opportunities that I needed to get my foot in the door at an amazing organization like the ACLU.”

“I’m not only grateful for the opportunity to gain professional and communications skills, but also for the authentic glimpse into progress and change-making that this internship has given me.”

“I had a front-row seat for a national conversation where I could see how communications can truly change the world.”

“At [my internship,] I have developed content that reflects myself and my family.”

Help us launch the careers of those who will inspire, guide and innovate in our industry by donating to the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute. 

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Participating organizations

The Comunicadores program has placed interns in several organizations working to advance change across a range of social issues. Below is a sampling.