Cedar Hill Graduate Interns On Capitol Hill

Maria Villa was interested in working on policy and legislation in Washington D.C.

Villa, who graduated fifth in the Cedar Hill High School Class of 2018, wasn’t sure if she had a good chance to intern with the United States Congress.

She decided to apply through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). Villa was accepted and assigned last December to the office of Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA), who represents the area north and west of Boston.

“Policy affects everyone, so I am glad that this internship is presented to majors outside of Political Science,” said Villa, who graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Lamar University in Beaumont.

Villa is a first generation American, first generation college student and the daughter of immigrants from Mexico grew up in Cedar Hill since early childhood. She attended Plummer Elementary, Joe Wilson Intermediate, Permenter Middle School and Cedar Hill High School.

It was in eighth grade at Permenter that she met her now fiancé, Brendon Camp (the Class of 2018 Salutatorian) who had just transferred in from DeSoto ISD. Toward the end of high school, Camp gave Villa a promise ring at a park near High Pointe Elementary. He proposed to her at the same park.

The couple will move to Massachusetts where Camp will begin his studies at Harvard Law School. Villa plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Work at a university in the Boston area, preferably Boston College.

Villa originally accepted a Music Scholarship to Lamar, but when the professor who recruited her left for another university, she saw it as a sign to change majors to Social Work – another area that deeply interested her.

Villa said Social Work appealed to her because she wanted to provide resources to families that were not available to her family. At Lamar, Villa presented her research on how immigrant policy results in family separation at the McNair Research Symposium.

“Social Work is completely amazing at Lamar, and you get to know your professors on a first name basis,” Villa said. “I really loved going to Washington DC and developing my community. I learn how policy happens within an office and how you ask others to support it.