Learn About the Current Interns

Adriana Mendoza - SFP Research Intern (she/her)

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 nonprofit that helps university-based scholars use their research to improve policy at every level of government.

Adriana holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Art History from The George Washington University. She is passionate about how research and policy can strengthen political and economic democracy.

Ahmed Ahmed - Communications Intern

Ahmed is an intern with the Communications team. He helps cultivate messaging and provide media relations support to promote the Center’s outreach and policy work. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago and is a former research assistant at the UBI Center. He has long been interested in public policy and hopes to do work studying health care and the social mobility impacts of different government assistance programs.

Annamaria Orlandi – Communications Intern (she/her) *returning

Annamaria is an intern with the Communications team. She is a graduate student in the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Master of Public Policy program. She completed her undergraduate studies in Journalism and Political Science at UMass Amherst in December 2021. Anna is passionate about making positive social, economic, and political change on a policy level.

With a broad skill set in communications work, policy research, and community outreach, she is motivated to solve complex problems regarding social inequity — including economic disparities, discrimination, and education access — and to research the political psychology and social climates that drive them. She has worked as the Senior Program Assistant at the Institute of Diversity Sciences, a Research Intern at Reading Success by the 4th Grade, a Communications Assistant at the UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College, and a Journalism Bootcamp Intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Crystal Wan - SFP Network and Organizational Effectiveness Intern (she/her) *returning

Crystal is an intern with the SFP Network and Organizational Effectiveness team. She is from Tacoma, Washington. Crystal is currently a senior at the University of Washington in Seattle majoring in International Studies with a focus on foreign diplomacy/foreign relations. Through her past experiences with volunteering for nonprofits and working as the Director of Internal Relations for an environmental organization called SEED at her campus, she became interested in nonprofit management and event planning. After graduation, Crystal hopes to work in the nonprofit sector and advocate for people in need while creating a more positive world. She is thrilled to contribute to supporting and strengthening the SFP staff.

Da’Shon Carr – Family Income Support Intern (she/her) *returning

Da’Shon is an intern with the Family Income Support team. She is a candidate for the Master of Public Affairs - DC Concentration at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Her commitment to racial equity stems from being a first-generation college student and having deep ties and upbringing in Sacramento, California.

She double majored in African and African American Studies and Sociology with an emphasis on Social Services at the University of California, Davis. Prior to graduate school, Da’Shon was an Associate at Public Profit, a program evaluation and strategy consultancy in Oakland, California. In this capacity, she developed expertise in culturally responsive and equitable evaluation practices to empower underrepresented and historically marginalized communities and create social impact through data.

Diana Bender-Bier – Food Assistance Intern (she/her) *returning

Diana is an intern with the Food Assistance team. She is currently a graduate student at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. An Emory University alumna, she is a former Rwanda Peace Corps volunteer, street outreach worker with Everyone Home DC, and Unite for Sight fellow. She has worked at USAID and multiple anti-poverty and youth-focused nonprofits in the D.C. and Atlanta areas. Currently, she is participating in maternal and child health research at Tufts and will begin research on nutrition and food security and the carceral system in the fall.

Diana feels grateful to be serving as CBPP’s Food Assistance intern. She is looking forward to learning from the Center's experts on food assistance policies and programs so that she can continue her work toward social justice, racial equity, and food and nutrition security.

Erin Donnelly – SFP Communications Intern (she/her)

Erin is the Communications Intern for the State Fiscal Policy team. She is a recent graduate of George Washington University with a B.A. in International Affairs with a minor in Spanish. In college, she worked as a Student Intern for the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans, Environmental, and Scientific Affairs, where she wrote the Bureau’s daily newsletter. She also worked as an Environmental Education Intern for Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy and volunteered as a sex educator for students at Jefferson Academy. In her free time, Erin likes to run, hike, read, and cook. After finishing her internship with CBPP, Donnelly will complete a Fulbright English Teaching Award in Asunción, Paraguay.

Isabella McShane – Housing Intern (she/her) *returning

Isabella is an intern with the Housing team. She was previously the Health and Housing Integration intern during the summer. She graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy and a minor in Public Health. She is currently a volunteer tenant community organizer for the Chinatown Community for Equitable Development. Previously, she worked as a community health worker for the LA County Department of Public Health to manage COVID-19 outbreaks in the unhoused community.

Isabella looks forward to pursing her MPH in Health Policy and will continue to advocate for underrepresented communities and healthy housing. She is grateful to continue interning at CBPP with the Housing team.

Karmen Pang- Health Intern (she/her)

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 the disability services organization Momentum and supported organizing efforts for equitable education legislation. She currently 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.

LaWanda Walker - SFP Intern

LaWanda is an intern with the SFP team. She is a recent graduate of Hampton University with a demonstrated interest in nonprofit management and public history. She and her three younger siblings were raised by their mother, an educator, who taught them the importance of being different and “breaking the mold.” LaWanda’s mother was the first to cultivate her love for education and storytelling which she uses as motivation for all of her professional and academic endeavors. At Hampton University, LaWanda remained active on campus while simultaneously working toward a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a concentration in International Relations and pursuing a minor in Leadership Studies. Her mission was to leave Hampton better than she found it and implemented several programs and initiatives to do so. Currently, she intends to enroll in a graduate program in the fall of 2023 for history with museum curation in mind. Her interest in the study of the Black experience from a feminine centered and historical perspective is ultimately influenced by her identity. Being a Black queer girl raised in a southern religious household taught her the importance of ensuring inclusivity in her work through the practice of intersectionality and cultural sensitivity. Her upbringing and her desire to discover people who look, think, and love as she does, has inspired her to pursue a career in historical research, which has served as a healing tool on her journey of self-love and validation. When reflecting on the legacy she desires to leave, she wants to share the stories of those who have come before her and dedicate her professional career to advocacy through research.

Omar Richardson - Government Affairs Intern (he/him)

Omar is an intern with the Government Affairs team. Originally from New York City, he is a rising junior at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. His course of study includes majoring in Political Science with concentrations in Africana Studies and Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies. At Holy Cross, Omar was an active member in the community serving as the Co-Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Student Government Association and as the Co-Director of Events in the Black Student Union. Prior to joining the Government Affairs team, Omar worked as a District Intern with the Office of Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. He is looking forward to joining the Government Affairs team and spending the semester in D.C.

Pooja Bapat – Fed Fiscal Intern (she/her)

Pooja is an intern with the Federal Fiscal team. She is currently in her second year pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Data Science and a minor in Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Some of her policy interests include sustainable economic development, land use planning, and resource management. Pooja is extremely grateful for the opportunity to work at the Center and looks forward to contributing to the Federal Fiscal team.

Reagan Van Coutren - Outreach Intern (she/her)

Reagan is an intern with the Outreach team. She is passionate about fighting poverty and inequity and aspires to further that goal through evidence-based, people-focused, and compassionate policy. Reagan holds a B.A. in anthropology from Baylor University and is working toward an M.A. in Public Policy at Oregon State University. As part of her master's degree, Reagan 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)

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, Sa'De 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.

Sa’De is from Houston, Texas, and she enjoys watching Formula 1, going to the movies, reading books, and cooking new recipes in her free time. 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.

Sarah Foster - Development Intern (she/her)

Sarah is an intern with the Development team. She is a student in York College of Pennsylvania's 4+1 Master of Public Policy and Administration program and will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in December, and then with her MPPA in December 2023.

Sarah started working in Fundraising and Development this year 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.

In addition to being passionate about policy and research, Sarah 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 — an organization aimed at uplifting and advancing Black and Brown students, and the Secretary/Parliamentarian of the Dance Excel team at her college.

Stephany Vasquez - Human Resources Intern (she/her)

Stephany is an intern with the Human Resources team. Prior to joining the Center, Stephany worked for governmental institutions such as the Social Security Administration and foreign governmental institutions such as the Ministry of Armed Forces of the Dominican Republic Administration of Presidential Security. She received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the City College of New York.

Sean Park - Data Intern (he/him)

Sean is an intern with the Data team. Before joining the team, Sean volunteered with the reDiscover Center where he collaborated with the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism department. Prior to that, he coordinated volunteers for an organization to assist people with disabilities in literature, athletics, and social skills. Sean is currently a fourth-year undergraduate at UCLA studying statistics.

Viktoria Cupay - Food Assistance Intern (she/her)

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 on Global Health. She volunteers at Integrative Touch Kids in Arizona, offering support to children with special medical needs. Viktoria 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.

Viktoria’s 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 and contributing to CBPP’s mission of broadening opportunities and improving health.