North Texas Daily

UNT alumnus brings Mean Green to White House

UNT alumnus brings Mean Green to White House

UNT alumnus brings Mean Green to White House
November 21
16:09 2012

Nadia Hill
Senior Staff Writer

As a child growing up in Bolivia, UNT graduate student and Honors College alumnus Marcelo Ostria wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a former foreign affairs adviser for the Bolivian government.

Ostria made it one step closer toward a career in international diplomacy this semester by working as an intern at the White House.

He works in the Office of Public Engagement, attending mostly to administrative tasks while gaining insight into how the executive branch of the U.S. government operates.

Ostria learned about the program while interning in the U.S. House of Representatives four years ago, but it took some coaxing from English faculty director James Duban for the recent graduate to apply for the position this year.

“I believe that being involved is absolutely crucial if you care about making a positive difference in other people’s lives,” Ostria said. “I want to maximize my ability to help address domestic and global social problems pertaining to the crippling poverty cycle, and how it particularly affects children.”

He said he believed everyone had the ability to find a cause worthy of time and committment.

Ostria went to the White House this semester toting an already-impressive resume: He was a Truman Scholarship Finalist, has picked up a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship and was selected by the White House for the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2008 and 2009.

He founded the UNT chapter of UNICEF, which works to protect children’s well-being around the world, and his extensive work with the organization put him on the volunteering map.

“Since I can remember, I felt an intrinsic desire to help the less fortunate, perhaps because I saw pervasive inequality,” Ostria said. “At an early age, for me, it was all unjust and confusing. It was in college that I began to better understand these complex social issues and surrounded myself with peers who also wanted to make a difference.”

Both his UNT political science and international studies degrees, which he earned in 2010 and 2011, respectively, propelled Ostria to his current position and laid the foundation for years of work abroad.

The alumnus is the sole UNT student currently working in the White House and said he only knows of a couple students landing the internship in the past.

“I took advantage of the Honors College by immersing myself in classrooms with dedicated professors, and mainly through student organizations,” Ostria said. “I hope to leave this experience with not just more knowledge of how government works, but also with a better perspective of what I want to do in the future, and what I need to do to get there.”

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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