The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon has selected Rodolfo “Rudy” Soto, former student body president at Portland State University, as the 2013-14 Mark O. Hatfield Fellow.
The fellowship was founded in 1998 by the Confederated Tribes. Each year one Native American is selected to be the Hatfield Fellow and serve in Washington, D.C. as a staff member of one of Oregon’s representatives in Congress. Soto will work as a legislative assistant to Rep. Kurt Schrader. The internship starts in November and lasts nine months.
Soto is an enrolled member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe. He was born and raised in Nampa, ID, and moved to Portland during high school. He earned a scholarship to attend Portland State University and became the first in his family to go to college. He served as president of the Associated Students of Portland State University in the 2007-08 academic year.
As a student, he was elected coordinator of United Indian Students in Higher Education. He also served as project assistant for a suicide prevention grant at the Native American Rehabilitation Association. He later received training in community organizing in Washington, D.C., as part of the Native American Political Leadership Program.
Soto is currently a youth engagement specialist with the National Indian Child Welfare Association, and is a member of the Oregon National Guard.