PCC Legislative Intern Yadira Baltier-Moreno enjoys her work in Salem

Photos and Story by | Start the discussion

Yadira Baltier-Moreno

Yadira Baltier-Moreno is really planning ahead.

Baltier-Moreno wants to transfer to a four-year school to earn her bachelor’s degree in philosophy or business before going on to law school. Once she has her law degree in hand, she envisions starting a firm staffed with lawyers of color, representing low-income families and helping non-profits work with at-risk youth.

While she juggles her education at PCC with an internship, she is learning about the legislative process first-hand as one of 11 PCC students currently interning at the Oregon State Capitol. She works in State Representative Tawna Sanchez’s office, who represents North and Northeast Portland. Rep. Sanchez’s district includes the Cascade Campus, where Baltier-Moreno takes most of her classes.

Advocate for Community Colleges
  • PCC is seeking to increase the kind of wrap-around support that has helped Baltier-Moreno be successful. Oregon’s 17 community colleges are asking the Oregon Legislature for a budget of $787 million for the 2019-21 biennium.
  • Within that funding is $70 million to expand completion programs to serve 11,880 additional students at PCC.

Take Action by Calling Emma! »

As a legislative intern, Baltier-Moreno helps facilitate constituent meetings, and answers emails, letters and walk-in inquiries, as well as attends committee hearings and watches voting on the House floor.

“Witnessing these processes in person helps demystify the process of government,” said Emma Kallaway, PCC’s director of government relations. “The legislative internships were established by PCC to give interested students experience in government.”

Baltier-Moreno is interning at the Capitol Building in addition to her role as a leader in student government at PCC. She’s also a student in Future Connect, a scholarship and support program for students who identify as first-generation or are low-income. She has been thriving at PCC with the ongoing support from her college success coach Josh Mead.

She grew up in North Portland’s Portsmouth neighborhood and is the oldest of three siblings.

“The neighborhood where I grew up was a little rough,” Baltier-Moreno said. “People were shot. I grew up with kids who didn’t have an opportunity to get an education.”

One of her favorite parts of her education here at PCC is the ability to take classes she’s really interested in, like “cool social science courses like Chicano Studies, or Women’s Studies.”  She also volunteers her time at Causa, an immigrant rights organization, and the League of United Latin American Citizens.  

As an Oregon Promise student, she values her access to higher education and is dedicated to her studies, earning an impressive 3.92 grade-point average. She has kept her grades up even through some pretty challenging health issues.Capitol Building with PCC banner.

“I was in and out of the hospital, and I thought I might fail my classes,” she said. “But I worked with my instructors and with Josh, my coach, and was able to get A’s even though I was sick.”

Baltier-Moreno is feeling better this term, and despite the challenges she has faced, she is optimistic about her future and is excited about the opportunity to work in Salem

“I think that interning with Rep. Tawna Sanchez will lead to a great career,” said Baltier-Moreno, who will work for the legislator through spring term, and volunteer on PCC’s student government voter registration drive. “It is such a valuable experience.”

She had an active role with the Alternative Break Program that included lobbying legislators in Washington D.C. She provided insight about the Second Chance Act Grant, speaking on behalf of inmates reentering society from correctional facilities. She wants to expand opportunities for them to have a chance to go back to school.

“I am privileged to have access to education,” she said. “I want to help families and youth have the same opportunities I have had.”

And her planning ahead is paying off. She was just accepted into Pacific University in Forest Grove and was awarded a scholarship.

In addition to Baltier-Moreno, 2018-19 PCC legislative Interns are: Amada Rabauliman (State Senator Mark Hass); Andrea Rubio Ramirez (Rep. Alyssa Keny-Guyer; Areebah Zaidi (Sen. Rob Wagner); Joshua Baker (Rep. Rob Nosse); Marina Tatsuoka (Rep. Tina Kotek); Matthew Hampton (Sen. Michael Dembrow); Mia Bolte (Sen. Floyd Prozanski); Tennille Ann Wait (Sen. Mark Hass); Vee Vo (Rep. Diego Hernandez); and Whitney Whitehouse (Sen. James Manning).

The application for next year’s Intern cohort opens on first day of fall term 2019 (Sept. 23). For questions, contact Stephen Arthur, Sylvania’s Student Life and Leadership Development manager, at stephen.arthur@pcc.edu or call (971) 722-4920.

Start the discussion

PCC offers this limited open forum as an extension of the respectful, well-reasoned discourse we expect in our classroom discussions. As such, we welcome all viewpoints, but monitor comments to be sure they stick to the topic and contribute to the conversation. We will remove them if they contain or link to abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, off-topic items, or spam. This is the same behavior we require in our hallways and classrooms. Our online spaces are no different.