Jessica Castillo ’21 Receives Prestigious Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship

Jessica Castillo ’21 Receives Prestigious Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship

Image of Jessica Castillo '21

Jessica Castillo '21

Castillo is one of 30 students in the nation who will take graduate-level coursework this summer through the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute Fellowship at Princeton University, to support her career goals in public service.

Participating in the PPIA fellowship means that I can allow myself to dream of higher goals of attending elite graduate schools post-graduation and working in places I wouldn’t have thought myself capable of.

— Jessica Castillo '21

International studies and politics student Jessica Castillo ’21 has been awarded the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute Fellowship, a competitive program for undergraduate juniors committed to careers in public service. Castillo, an international student from the Dominican Republic, is passionate about diplomacy and international relations. With minors in Latin American and Caribbean studies, peace and justice studies, and French, and as president of Fairfield’s Model United Nations Club, she was selected as one of 30 juniors in the nation to take part in the prestigious PPIA Program. Next month, Castillo will take graduate-level coursework through the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, one of the five Junior Summer Institute participating universities.

The goal of the PPIA program is to prepare students from diverse backgrounds for careers in professional public service including government, non-profits, public policy institutions, and international organizations. The six-week program is designed to grow students’ skills in economics, statistics, policy analysis, writing, and public speaking. Upon completing the program, Castillo will be eligible to receive financial support for graduate school.

“Participating in the PPIA fellowship means that I can allow myself to dream of higher goals of attending elite graduate schools post-graduation and working in places I wouldn’t have thought myself capable of,” said Castillo. “What I am most looking forward to is the actual courses I will be taking, and connecting with my fellow Princeton Junior Summer Institute 2020 fellows. Working collaboratively with many like-minded peers and learning from and with them is something I find quite amazing and exciting.”

As a Fairfield student, Castillo practices her passions through extracurricular activities, internships, and study abroad opportunities. As president of the Model United Nations Club she has hosted and facilitated Fairfield University’s Model United Nations (FUMUN) high school conference to support student learning in international relations and diplomacy. Last spring Castillo studied in Aix-en-Provence, France with support from Fairfield’s Research and Travel Grant program through the Office of Scholarly Development. In France she pursued an internship with Humaid, an organization supporting people with disabilities, where she assisted in translating their website.

Following her semester in France, Castillo interned in Washington, D.C. with Atlas Corps, an international network of nonprofit leaders and organizations that provides fellowships for non-U.S. citizens. During her internship she assisted in developing new partnerships with leading social change organizations, businesses, and foundations across the United States for fellows; it was during her time in D.C. that Castillo learned about the PPIA fellowship. In addition to study abroad and internships, Castillo has participated in Fairfield’s International Student Ambassador Program, and is an assistant teacher who guides students practicing Spanish. She works in Fairfield’s Office of Study Abroad, and is the International, Graduate, and Part-Time Student Life intern in the Office of Student Engagement, among other endeavors and affiliations.

Castillo said, “For me, PPIA represents an opportunity to accomplish my dreams both professionally and academically. I hope to improve my quantitative skills to help me better describe our political climate through data. With these skills and the network that I will gain access to, I will be able to tap into the minds of many who are a part of organizations I wish to be a part of and ask them for advice in applying for certain positions. These and many more things PPIA has offered will help me excel professionally in my field.”

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Last modified: 05-21-20 5:38 PM

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