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Learn About the Current Interns

Adriana Mendoza- SFP Research Intern (she/her) *returning

Adriana is an intern with the SFP Research team. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Policy at Northeastern University. Prior to graduate school, she worked for seven and a half years at the Scholars Strategy Network, a small nonprofit that helps university-based scholars use their research to improve policy at every level of government. Mendoza holds a B.A. in International Affairs and Art History from The George Washington University. She is passionate about the roles that research and policy can play in strengthening political and economic democracy.

Douglas Simons- Federal Fiscal Intern (he/him)

Douglas is an intern with the Federal Fiscal Policy team. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and History from New York University. During his time at NYU, he developed a strong interest in American social and economic history. He is excited to apply his passion for research and insights from history to help shape federal tax and budget policies that center economic justice. Prior to interning at the Center, he served as the International Economics intern at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is looking forward to joining the team this spring and learning more about public policy while contributing to the Center’s policy recommendations.

Emma Chen – Government Affairs Intern (she/her)

Emma is an intern with the Government Affairs team. She is currently a second-year student at the University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in Public Affairs. Over her undergraduate career, Chen has been involved in civic engagement and community advocacy efforts in the nonprofit sector. She has also worked on field and finance teams for congressional and Los Angeles mayoral campaigns. She is looking forward to gaining experience in government affairs with an institution like CBPP, whose work aligns with her mission of advocating for data-informed, equitable policymaking approaches to uplift marginalized communities.

Gwendolyn Nowaczyk - Communications Intern (she/her)

Gwendolyn is an intern with the Communications team. She previously held various roles within the communications field as a Research Associate for kglobal and a member of the Content Team for the UN PEACEKOR. She is currently working toward a Master's of Global Policy and Affairs at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. Prior to attending Yonsei, Nowaczyk earned a B.A. in Strategic Communication and a B.A. in Business Administration from Flagler College.

Jonathan Burgess – SFP Network and Organizational Effectiveness Intern (he/him)

Jonathan is an intern with the SFP Network and Organizational Effectiveness team. Prior to joining the Center, he worked as a Congressional Intern for member of Congress Ruben Gallego, assisting the residents of Arizona's then-7th district to access community and federal resources. He also worked for Music Unites, a music education nonprofit based out of Southern California. Burgess received a B.A. from Biola University, double majoring in Music and Sociology and is currently a graduate student at the University of Southern California, working toward a master’s in Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy.

Juliette Kimmins – SFP Campaigns and Communications Intern (she/her)

Juliette is an intern with the SFP Campaigns and Communications teams. She is currently a graduate student in Stony Brook University's public policy program, and holds a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science from Stony Brook. She previously worked for the Institute of International Education, tracking global student mobility data and international education policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Passionate about CBPP’s work, she is eager to contribute to the Center's mission and learn from the SFP team.

Kacy Bartels – Food Assistance Intern (she/her)

Kacy is an intern with the Food Assistance team. She is a Master of Public Administration candidate at the University of Arizona. She currently works as a graduate research assistant with the University of Arizona’s Food Systems Research Lab. In this position, she assists with a research project that seeks to understand food system needs in southern Arizona and utilize that knowledge to advocate for a more sustainable and equitable food system. Before graduate school, Bartels was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco and an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. She is excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from CBPP’s Food Assistance team.

Karmen Pang – Health Intern (she/her) *returning

Karmen is an intern with the Health team. She is a senior at the University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in Human Biology and Society and minoring in Global Health. In her time at UCLA, she has interned with disability services organization Momentum and supported organizing efforts for equitable education legislation. Currently, she conducts research on biomedical racism in the coroner system at the BioCritical Studies Lab. While at CBPP, she is excited to learn more about health policy and develop her skills as a researcher and advocate for health equity.

Omar Omar- IT Helpdesk Intern *returning

Omar is currently a senior at George Mason University studying Information Technology with a concentration in cybersecurity. Omar previously worked as an IT Support Specialist for an e-commerce company prior to joining CBPP.

Reagan Van Coutren- Outreach Intern (she/her) *returning

Reagan is an intern with the Outreach team. She is passionate about fighting poverty and inequity and aspires to further that goal through the use of evidence-based, people-focused, and compassionate policy. Van Coutren holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Baylor University and is currently working toward an M.A. in Public Policy at Oregon State University. In pursuit of her master's degree, she has conducted research on public transportation, social movements, and abortion criminalization. Prior to joining the Get It Back campaign team, she worked on local hunger relief as both an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Abilene Big Country Hunger Coalition, and as the primary coordinator for the Abilene Community Fridge.

Sa’De Black- Equity and Inclusion team (she/her) *returning

Sa’De is an intern with the Equity and Inclusion team. She is a recent graduate from Bryn Mawr College, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Biology with minors in History and Health Studies. At Bryn Mawr, she worked as a Student Consultant for Equity and Anti-Racism for the President’s Office. She also headed a college-wide teach-in program focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Black is from Houston, Texas, and in her free time, enjoys watching Formula 1, going to the movies, reading books, and cooking new recipes. Through this role, she is excited to learn more about the Center’s E&I initiatives and to work with a team that advocates for underrepresented people and their communities.

Sara Maillacheruvu – Data Intern (she/her)

Sara is an intern with the Data team. She previously worked as an urban planner with the City of Peoria, where she focused on affordable housing and food access issues. She then served as an Emerson Fellow with the Native American Agriculture Fund and CBPP's Food Assistance team. She is excited to be back at the Center to support its data work.

Sarah Foster- SFP Intern (she/her) *returning

Sarah rejoins the Center as an intern with the SFP team. She graduated in December with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from York College of Pennsylvania. She is now a full-time student in York's Master of Public Policy and Administration program and will graduate this December with her MPPA.

Foster started working in fundraising and development in January 2022 with the York College Fund and gained an interest in connecting to donors and learning about ways to advance the Student Development and Alumni Relations programs. She now serves as a Supervisor for the Student Development Officers within the program. She was most recently the Development Intern at the Center last term.

In addition to being passionate about policy and research, she also invested in social service and leadership as the Recruitment Advisor of Phi Sigma Pi Gender Inclusive National Honor Fraternity Alpha Zeta Chapter, the Fundraising Committee Chair of Owning My Blackness (OMB)— an organization aimed at uplifting and advancing Black and Brown students, and the Secretary/Parliamentarian of the Dance Excel Team at her college.

Urvi Patel- Housing and Income Support Intern (she/her)

Urvi is an intern with the Housing and Income Support team. She is a graduate student at Rutgers University-Camden and will receive her master’s in Public Affairs and Community Development in May 2023. She holds a B.S. in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication from James Madison University. Previously, Patel worked with community-based nonprofit organizations and international government agencies, including AmeriCorps VISTA and the United States Peace Corps.

Viktoria Cupay-Food Assistance Intern (she/her) *returning

Viktoria is an intern with the Food Assistance team. She is currently a senior at the University of Arizona majoring in Public Health with an emphasis in Global Health. She volunteers at Integrative Touch Kids in Arizona, offering support to children with special medical needs. She also serves as a member of the walking committee of the Lupus Society of Illinois and is passionate about spreading awareness of lupus and supporting lupus research.

Her goal is to help communities overcome disparities in food access and improve the quality of nutrition available to the public. She is looking forward to learning more about food assistance at CBPP and contributing to its mission of broadening opportunities and improving health.

Winnie Mwayi- Human Resources Intern (she/her)

Winnie is an intern with the Human Resources team. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Affairs at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a People Operations Senior Associate at Open Capital Advisors, a management consulting firm helping businesses, investors, development partners, and the public sector identify opportunities and deliver unique, impactful solutions. Mwayi holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration and a minor in Organizational Psychology from the United States International University-Africa.

Zenayah Roaché – Housing and Income Support Intern (she/her)

Zenayah is an intern with the Housing and Income Support team. She is currently a rising senior at Columbia University where she is studying Urban Studies with a specialization in Political Science. Alongside her academic studies, her firsthand experiences with homelessness and the shelter system in New York City fuels her passion for housing policy and social justice. She is currently developing a podcast called "Out of Place, Out of Home" that focuses on empowering the voices of young people experiencing homelessness, or who have experienced homelessness, and restoring their agency.

Outside of her personal endeavors, Roaché has worked with think tanks like the Center for an Urban Future, organizations such as Homes Guarantee as part of People's Action, and D.C. nonprofits namely Negotiation Works. Throughout her experiences, she has acquired hard skills in data collection and comparative analysis, as well as soft skills such as storytelling, both her own and that of others. Overall, she is looking forward to a career in housing policy, followed by law school and becoming a public interest or civil rights lawyer.