Meet the Interns, Summer 2014 Edition

written by naehblog
June 12, 2014

With today's guest blog post, we'd like to take a moment to introduce you to the great interns who are working in our DC office this summer. If you're going to the 2014 National Conference on Ending Family Homelessness this July, you'll probably get a chance to meet them in person. For now, though, here they are in blog form (and in their own words).

Amanda Blatnik, campaign and development intern

I was born and raised in Virginia, which I love and will always have a place in my heart. Though I’m sad to leave Virginia behind, my drive to work with national organizations has led me to DC. This fall I will start as a graduate student at George Mason University and will focus on nonprofit management with a focus on development. Cultivating the funds and resources for organizations to do the work they do feels so rewarding to me. I hope to gain more experience and knowledge in doing so at the Alliance this summer. My internship here feels like such a great fit for me; it encompasses the type of work and experience I would like to have with an issue I am energized to help combat. What I am enjoying most about DC so far is that amazing feeling you get when you just take a moment to soak in everything that goes on in this city. So much is happening here that affects the rest of the country and the world. It’s quite breathtaking.

Rebecca Goodman, federal policy intern

I am a rising senior at Elon University where I am studying Public Health. Based upon my experiences at Elon, I have found that I am truly passionate about advocating for the most vulnerable populations, and I believe my niche resides in the macro level of practice. This past semester I spent my time learning more about federal policy while also working with the local Burlington Housing Authority (BHA).  The BHA internship was an opportunity that provided me with a wealth of knowledge of how to effectively organize community efforts to provide safe and affordable housing to very low income individuals. When the summer rolled around, I knew I wanted to more deeply explore the negative health implications brought on by severe poverty, and ultimately homelessness. The Federal Policy Internship at the Alliance is providing me with a solid foundation to enable me to further pursue my passions and more. With several important deadlines regarding ending homelessness and the expansion of Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act catalyzing throughout this year, it is a very exciting time to work with homelessness and K Street in Washington, DC. I grew up on a farm in rural Maryland and going to school at a small college in the middle of nowhere North Carolina. So we will see how this country girl is able to manage city living!

Sarah Mesrobian, research intern

I grew up in Williamsburg, Va. but graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in law and society and political science. Boiler Up! As part of an internship class for my law and society major, I interned at the local domestic violence program, which opened my eyes to a variety of different public policy issues, including homelessness. In the fall of 2013, I started graduate school at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy. I am excited to be a research intern at the Alliance because it allows me to be able to pursue my passion for statistical research. It is also going to provide me with a new perspective on research outside of academia. I am excited to be spending a summer back on the East Coast even with the heat and humidity! I look forward to everything DC has to offer in the summer and can’t wait to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July!

Grant Sims, federal advocacy intern

I am from Bowling Green, Kentucky, where I spent most nights sampling hash browns at area Waffle Houses. However, I left the Bluegrass State several years ago to attend Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, Ala.) where I will be a junior in the fall. I am an aspiring problem solver and a political junkie. I am extremely excited to join the Alliance in their efforts to prevent and end homelessness. I will help organize Capitol Hill Day, the annual gathering of advocates from across the country to meet with their members of Congress to further legislation to help people experiencing homelessness. The Alliance is full of passionate, hard-working people and I hope that I can learn from them and their experience to generate further social change in my future career. On an unrelated note, if you are visiting DC, meet me at the Krispy Kreme in Dupont Circle where I’ll most certainly be in a donut-induced coma.

Lindsey Spanner, communications and digital media intern

Hi there! I'm a proud Ohio University alumna (home of the Bobcats, not the Buckeyes!) and soon-to-be graduate student in the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University beginning this fall. I am so excited to be spending the summer in DC, but more importantly I am happy to be working with the Alliance. Growing up and going to school in various Appalachian Ohio counties meant that I saw the effects of homelessness first-hand, but it also gave me the chance to volunteer with local organizations aimed at helping people without homes. After these more localized experiences, I am excited to be working for a national organization on the same issue. In my role at the Alliance, I will help create, monitor and maintain the Alliance’s internal and external communications. I will also have the opportunity to understand how homelessness is portrayed to the public by popular media outlets and other sources. I have played the part of tourist in DC many times, but can proudly say that I have since abandoned the embarrassing backpack and white sneakers (I still have to carry a map, though). Now, I am looking forward to trying new restaurants, checking out less-touristy sites, and becoming more like a local!