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Public Administration Student Lands Internship With City of Bellflower

Class of 2024 Grad Aspires to Be a City Manager
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Cindy Flaro is currently assigned to a city project called “Bellflower Connect,” which aims to address the digital divide among lower-income residents in response to the lack of internet accessibility. 

The Class of 2024 graduate student is interning in the City of Bellflower’s office, where she shadows Cal State Fullerton alumnus and deputy city manager Travis Sais ’18 (MPA). Sais has given Flaro tours of different city departments such as human resources, economic development, and city clerk’s and city manager’s offices. 

“The internship has enhanced my knowledge of government and expanded my networks, giving me a greater understanding of where I would like to grow in my government career,” Flaro shared.

Flaro is assisting with project managing the distribution of WiFi routers to Bellflower residents who are facing financial hardships or receiving government assistance. She collects data on applicants and conducts research on the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, which gives families, businesses and governments the resources needed to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Beyond the immediate impact, the project showcases the City of Bellflower’s commitment to social equity and inclusion,” said Flaro. “It is a rewarding experience to help decrease the gap of inequality in internet accessibility.”

Flaro has set her sights on becoming a city manager who advocates for low- and moderate-income communities. “My long-term career goal is to run for a local office,” said Flaro.

Cindy Flaro
Cindy Flaro at the nation’s capital for the Cal State DC Scholars program.

Before her internship with the City of Bellflower, Flaro participated in the Cal State DC Scholars program, where she had the opportunity to study and intern at the nation’s capital. 

Flaro interned for the Office of Legislative and Regulatory Services, advocating for immigrants in agriculture; attending congressional hearings; and developing policy memos regarding agriculture, infrastructure and immigration.

“I recommend that all students interested in government participate in the fantastic programs offered at CSUF,” said Flaro. “My incredible experiences fueled my passion for government and making a difference in underserved communities.”

For her dedication to city management, Flaro is one of three students who received the Wes McClure Scholarship from the California City Management Foundation. 

Continuing Her Education at CSUF

After earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology from CSUF in 2021, Flaro decided to return to her alma mater for a master’s degree in public administration.

“I chose to attend CSUF for both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees because as a first-generation Latina college student, the school’s mission made me feel welcomed,” said Flaro. “I knew I would receive a quality education and be surrounded by diverse students.” 

Flaro took advantage of the university’s many resources, regularly scheduling appointments at the Career Center, engaging with the Office of Alumni Engagement and networking with her public administration cohort. 

She also attended the California Higher Education Student Summit in Sacramento, where the Cal State Student Association provided workshops on student advocacy to demonstrate how state government affects higher education. 

“These opportunities have guided my career journey, and without the support of professors, family, friends and mentors, I would not be where I am today,” said Flaro.

Written by: Vanessa Siguenza