Meet the Interns!

written by Kate Seif
June 15, 2012

Every summer, the Alliance gets a big boost of help – our summer interns! They’re here to help with the conference, assist the policy team, and generally make the Alliance offices an even livelier place. Today, we introduce our summer crew and provide a little information on why they’re here, what they’re doing, and their thoughts on their summer home! They hail from all over the country and have already made big contributions. We look forward to working with them this summer, and we hope you get a chance to meet and interact with them throughout the summer and at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness. And without further ado….

Christian Brandt, Federal Policy Intern My name is Christian Brandt, and I’m from the illustriously un-illustrious town of Moscow, Idaho and just graduated from Dartmouth College in June with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology.  I am currently working at the Alliance as a Federal Policy Intern doing various things for various people on the Program and Policy team.  I wanted to intern at the Alliance because of its emphasis on policy and research, a duo that I haven’t really combined in my previous experiences with homelessness and housing.  I hope to greatly expand my knowledge of legislation and policy regarding those two issues (got a leg up with the Research Council Meeting; talk about Baptism of Fire! Check out my recap blog next week.), and to hone my research skills in both areas.  DC has been great so far (especially the concerts in the sculpture garden!).  Except for the humidity - that I could do without!  And the heat.  Too. Much.

Nichole Friday, Meetings & Events Intern My name is Nichole Friday, a rising senior at Louisiana State University down in the good ole bayou. I am the Meetings & Events Intern here at the Alliance and I am working with D’Arcy on the National Conference on Ending Homelessness that will be taking place in July. In particular, I will be working closely with the volunteers as well as the scholarship recipients. I hope to learn more about the meetings and events side of a nonprofit organization while I work at the Alliance this summer. I also hope to learn more about policy and other issues that surround the homelessness problems we are experiencing in the US. I am from the Washington, DC area and continue to expand my love for the city the older I get (being a new 21-year-old sure helps to expand my options!) and look forward to what the rest of the summer has in store for me here!

Amanda Jensen, Federal Policy Intern My name is Amanda Jensen and I hail from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (the steel/Christmas city). I am a rising senior at American University, and hope to graduate by December. I am a federal policy intern at the Alliance and while here, I hope to generally gain experience working in a nonprofit through the internship experience. More specifically, I am interested in expanding my knowledge on legislation vital to ending homelessness and I also hope to see the impact of the Alliance’s policy work on federal legislation through my time here.  The best thing about DC would have to be the endless opportunities to acquire free food, and the worst part is undoubtedly the constantly out-of-service Metro escalators. I was just not meant to walk that much.

Tessa Knight, West Point Fellow My name is Tessa Knight and I’m from Boise, Idaho. I am second-year cadet (sophomore) attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. I applied for this academic trip with the intent of learning as much as I can about the situation of homelessness, an issue that really speaks to me as a national priority. As one who has never participated in either government/nongovernment organizations, I seek to understand and define my future role in the system. Working with the Alliance fits with how I think I personally might “change the world,” for I always go back to the basics: feeding the hungry, taking care of the poor, housing the homeless, etc. While I’m at the Alliance, I hope to undertake a lot of research and perhaps create some sort of synopsis on the effectiveness of certain veterans’ programs for the future use of the Alliance. As far as being in Washington DC, well, there are a lot of cool things to do, but people really need to smile more. In Boise, everybody smiles! If you’re in DC reading this, please work on that.

Eduardo SanFilippo, Youth Policy Fellow Hola, me llamo Ed, and I’m this summer’s Youth Policy Fellow. I was born in California but spent nearly my entire childhood in the Canadian Prairies. I returned to CA for my undergrad at San Diego State University (Aztec for Life!) and completed degrees in Religious Studies and Political Science. In the fall, I’ll be starting my last year of law school at the University of Pittsburgh, where my focus is on how the structure of law/legal structures can be used to advance social change. I promise this is a lot more exciting (and fulfilling) than it sounds. I’m excited to work with the Alliance because I was homeless for a short time and view this as a terrific opportunity to give back and help those still struggling. My big projects for the summer focus on LGBTQ and rural youth and I look forward to contributing to the wellbeing of these populations. I previously did homeless outreach with the Hot Metal Faith Community in Pittsburgh and I’m sure I’ll find similar organizations here. DC is my favorite American city so I’m excited to actually spend some time here and see the sites. The humidity leaves a lot to be desired (especially for a kid from Canada) but that’s a fairly nominal complaint. I hope to spend the summer working and checking out the whole region on my bike.

Maulin Shah, Federal Advocacy Intern Hi! My name is Maulin Shah, and I’m this summer’s Federal Advocacy Intern at the Alliance working on Capitol Hill Day. While originally from Nashville, TN, I’m currently a rising junior at Birmingham Southern College studying Math and Chemistry. The opportunity to work at the Alliance appealed to me for several reasons: the most prominent being that it gave me an opportunity to ground myself in the context of what homelessness is. Sometimes it becomes hard to fathom that you can deal with issues like homelessness when confronted with the somewhat overwhelming size and scope of those issues. Working at the Alliance gives me a chance to try and begin to understand the structural aspects of the issue which in turn changes it from being an impossible series of numbers to a focused set of strategies. By working here, I’m not trying to just put one issue in context, but rather I hope to gain a greater understanding for the process by which you assess and create when addressing problems of seemingly insurmountable scope. I can’t say getting to try and do so in DC isn’t a really big perk, though. Thus far, my favorite part about the city is the food trucks. The only thing that could make them better is if there were any 24-hour ones. If you know of any please feel free to contact me.