Meet our 2016 summer interns!


Allegra headshot

Allegra Brandon (Fondly known as “Happiness”)

I’m the kind of person where if there’s a food platter with 10 hors d’oeuvres, I’m going to sample all of them cause I like to try everything. Likewise, I’ve been sinking my teeth in a whole variety of tasks here at AP, from photo editing and archiving to website building, all the way over to writing HTML, and back to handling videos and podcasts. Although I’ve tasted most of the samples on the platter, I still have fundraising and maybe even social media to sample before I finish my work for the summer. It’s been tasty.

“I have never worked a desk job in an office before, but working at AP has been an easy shift and great exposure to the inner workings of a non-profit and human rights issues. For the past couple years, I have known that I will dedicate my life to human rights, and I couldn’t be happier to start off my career here. The office is small, both in staff and space, which I have loved since it fosters teamwork and communication. That being said, our summer 2016 team has gotten very close, both in the office and during activities like canoeing, and we have lots of fun together. It’s been a great experience so far!” .


Hannah headshot

Hannah Chi, Programs Assistant (HP)

As the Programs Assistant, my role was to support the efforts of AP’s peace fellows abroad by providing research, creating learning modules, and writing training materials. Most specifically, I worked with our peace fellow in Nepal to curb the issue of child marriage and advocate for menstrual health management. Since I had access to a wealth of knowledge from NGO’s in D.C., I spent a large part of my summer running frantically around the city trying to make it to my next meeting with a women’s rights expert. These experts were way smarter and more important than me, so it didn’t help that I always showed up a sweaty mess– (unlike Rachel, who only glistened even more radiantly after a lunch-time run.) Since AP is just a one-room office, I would also take phones calls with women’s rights experts at the Starbucks down the street. This may not have been my brightest idea. One time, I remember passionately preaching about the need for menstrual health management in a quiet, yet completely full Starbucks… once I realized that I was attracting a lot of stares after saying the words “period” and “blood” and “uterus” over and over again… I had to move my conversation to a cafe table outside… where of course, I was welcomed with one of DC’s lovely thunderstorms. Though I’m sure I looked ridiculous, I know that there isn’t a single person at AP who wouldn’t preach about girl’s health rights, huddled under a green Starbucks umbrella knowing that your laptop will surely suffer water damage. Because that’s who we are at AP– we put others in front of us, and we put the agenda of human rights at the forefront. As for fun facts about me? I am most known for eating all of Allegra’s muffins (who knew vegan muffins would be so delicious?), never using my advocacy.net email address, losing my “trousers” on our canoeing trip, and being incredibly passionate about women’s rights. 

“Reflecting back on my internship with AP, I think of the people. I had the pleasure of working with a dynamic team of interns who are all exceptionally bright, motivated, and passionate. I learned so much from each and every one of them, and they always gave me a good laugh. In addition, having the opportunity to support the efforts of AP’s inspirational peace fellows and having Iain and Karin guide us through the internship was an incredibly unique experience. At a small nonprofit like AP, it is truly the people that make the organization what it is. The staff, intern team, and peace fellows fill AP with so much passion, love, and dedication, and it is the reason why The Advocacy Project makes such a tangible difference in promoting human rights around the world.” 


Rachel headshot

Rachael Hughen, Photography Assistant (The Road Runner) )

One of my primary responsibilities this summer was photo editing. I quickly became acquainted with light, color, composition, and pressing the “auto adjust” button on the photo editor and taking credit for it. I also edited fellow’s videos from the field, using complex video software by pressing all the buttons and panicking until it turned out moderately well. My favorite and most stressful job was monitoring the security situation in all of the countries our peace fellows are working in. For someone who is usually 30 minutes late to work, I am still not sure why I was entrusted with the responsibility of this task. Either way, it was interesting and fun to try and translate headlines in broken English from Ugandan news apps. I am most well-known for refusing to write subject lines in my emails, leaving to run midday and returning unbearably sweaty (sincere apology to those who had to sit close to me), and getting into strange situations on the metro. All in all, this is the best job I’ve ever had. 

“I have always wanted to work for a human rights based NGO, but did not think I would get the chance so early in my college career. Working at The Advocacy Project was a great reaffirmation that I want to work in the fields of international affairs, conflict resolution, and human rights for the rest of my life. It is a small staff and office, but everyone I have worked with here is so dedicated to the projects, causes, and human impact of our work that you would never know it was run by only nine people. I have loved being able to communicate with the Peace Fellows in the field, assist them, and see the direct and positive impact on communities abroad.”


Rita headshot

Rita Lo, Fundraising Assistant (“Miss Pie [Chart]” or Rad Rita)

My main responsibility at AP is raising some money for the summer. I work with fellows on creating their fundraising appeals, work with Amanda to promote them on social media, and bombard my Facebook friends on AP campaigns. I also organize AP’s donor database and money raised in the past by chasing after Iain and giving him a to-do list since he is the only one who knows about the fundings that have come through since 1998. With things organized, I created many colourful pie charts to which are to be found on AP website.

“It is a very rewarding experience to intern at the Advocacy Project. I learned a lot about the every day challenges facing small nonprofits and particularly advocates working in the field of conflict resolution, such as management, organization, communication, and fundraising. The best part, of course, is the friendly office culture and the countless bizarre stories Iain has!”


Kay headshot

Kay Scanlan, Website & IT Assistant (One of the “Salve Girls”)

I didn’t have any IT experience before coming to the AP. On my first day, fellows were already asking me for help and I remember nodding slowly, warily saying, “I’m sure I can take care of that,” panicking. What did I sign up for? Now I dream in code. I have memorized {p style=”text-align: justify;”} {span style=”color: #000000;”} {span style=”font-size: small;”}. I live every day in fear of crashing the website, but luck has been on my side. Everyone says the website looks great, but most of the time I just hit different buttons until it works. We have had so many laughs inside our small but air conditioned office and we have lunch outside everyday in our little garden. I love that we never really know what to expect when we come into work, for instance, we have discovered that there is a coffin in the basement and a toilet in the filing closet. Despite the online learning curve, I have truly enjoyed my summer at the AP.

“Interning at the AP has taught me many functional skills from learning how to create and manage a WordPress website to making a podcast. More than that, it has encouraged me to grow as a world citizen. I am more aware of other cultures and issues that underrepresented communities face than I was at the beginning of this summer, and I have so much more respect for people who dedicate themselves to doing non-profit work.”


Laura headshot

Laura Stateler, Development Assistant (“Laughter”/”Creature-Face”)

In the first week of my internship, Karen printed me out some business cards with the title of “Administrative Assistant” centered nicely below my name. Although this is a nice and very professional sounding job title, I think my business cards should be reprinted to read, “Princess Laura”. Every morning I begin my day with a nice cup of tea, I eat lunch outside in a garden filled with flowers, and I even get Tuesdays off work.  Now, this may sound quite luxurious, but like every Disney princess I faced turmoil.  I was locked in a dungeon for 10 weeks. Eighteen years worth of paperwork, a toilet, and I were all that inhabited this dungeon.  It may have lacked a fire-breathing dragon, but my time in this dungeon consisted of developing a new filing system for the Advocacy Project. Cinderella had a Fairy Godmother, Rapunzel had her luscious locks to save her, and Princess Laura had filing folders and labels to the rescue. With hard work and a reliance on the Spotify “Confidence Boost” playlist, I am happy to report that I escaped the dungeon…and did it without the help of any Prince. Princess Laura and the rest of the AP “creature faces” went on to live happily ever after. 

“Reminiscing on my internship at the Advocacy Project, I cannot help but smile. Smile about the people and the work that this organization does.  I am so grateful that this was my first office experience because I learned SO much about human right issues and the inner-workings of NGOs.”


Amanda headshot

Amanda Reis, Social Media Assistant (One of the “Salve Girls”)

Social Media Assistant” is my official job title. What this means is that I was in charge of AP’s social media accounts, responsible for updating followers on organizational projects and expanding our network. If I’m being honest, my daily routine consisted of virtually stalking the Peace Fellows (who I now feel like I know better than I know myself), and frequently shouting into the void that is Twitter. There were times when I seriously considered writing, “Hello? Is anyone AT ALL listening?”(I would like to take this opportunity to give a shout-out our #1 fan and follower, my mom. Many thanks for all the notifications, they gave my life some meaning). A word cloud of my internship would depict the word “hashtag” in size 84 font. Also soap, but that’s an entirely different story. I truly could not have wished for a better experience. 

“I am tremendously grateful for my internship at the Advocacy Project, especially to have worked closely with people so passionate and so dedicated. I have learned a great deal over the course of the past ten weeks (specifically, perfecting the art of 140 characters #socialmediaproblems), and have acquired skills that I can apply throughout my life. It has been an incredible experience, one I will certainly miss and will never forget.”


Catalina headshot

Catalina La Mers-Noble, Fundraising Assistant

The Advocacy Project is small but mighty. In the time of my 10-week internship, I shared the office with two amazing women, Kate and Karen, who not only were colleagues but also became friends. With them I stepped into the strange world of DC, where most weeks I was schlepping around a massive quilt and a bucket of candy, trying to convince the federal DC population to donate to our organization. My time at AP expanded me as a person, and I don’t just mean through DC’s happy hours.  I learned how to edit websites (I also learned how to calm down after thinking I deleted the website), Excel spreadsheets, donation platforms, and how to kindly harass people through email.

“The Advocacy Project is a wonderful organization doing much needed work in a world that is in great need of more compassion. It was a privilege to work along side such admirable people.”

AP on Flickr

A photo on Flickr
A photo on Flickr
A photo on Flickr
A photo on Flickr
A photo on Flickr
A photo on Flickr