BARSTOW — A Barstow High School graduate currently attending Cal State San Bernardino has been selected for a "highly competitive" internship with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington, D.C., the university announced.

Alfredo Barcenas, a senior majoring in political science, and his classmate Erika Flores will head east for their internships from Aug. 22 through Nov. 14.

Barcenas, who graduated from BHS in 2011, will work in an assigned congressional office 32 hours a week and participate in group community service projects and attend weekly leadership sessions, the university said.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gave the university two out of 20 spots in its program. Barcenas served as the CSUSB Associated Students Incorporated student body president and was recently selected vice president for University Affairs in the California State Student Association, where he and other officers will represent the university and over 467,000 students in the California State University system’s 23 campuses.

Barcenas said he was ecstatic when he learned he was one of 20 students selected for the internship.

"Honestly, I, out of all the applicants, was selected for this amazing opportunity," Barcenas said. "I immediately contacted my mom first and then Dr. Alysson Satterlund, CSUSB dean of students, to share the news. ... As a first-generation college student, my mother always pushed me to go after my dreams and to always challenge myself."

Barcenas said his dream has been to have an opportunity to acquire hands-on knowledge in lawmaking while having "the experience of a lifetime."

Barcenas’ goal is to attend law school in fall 2016 and earn a doctorate to practice law. According to previous reports, Barcenas was a member of Barstow High's mock trial team.

He said he believes the internship will help him attain a new perspective of the legislative system and gain insight into lawmaking.

"I believe the skills I gain from this internship will give me a competitive edge when applying to law school," Barcenas said. "I also hope to use this opportunity to motivate others to achieve their dreams."