Past Interns


Nola Tolsma, Fellowship Assistant

Nola Tolsma“As the fellowship assistant at AP, I have had the opportunity to work with  and for marginalized communities around the world. AP is a model of a successful operation working to support organizations doing much needed  work in their communities. Rather than coming in with an agenda and a  budget, AP asks what is needed and works with the locals instead of over  their heads. This is one of the many thins I admire about Iain and the  team – they are not afraid to be humble and do the dirty work to help the  job get done.

My work here included helping with the Fellowship hiring process for this  summer. I helped post job listings, review applications, interview, set up  training, etc. I also helped with writing the Annual report and updating  some parts of the website. Don’t be misled, though: while we do work  hard, this group is like a family and we have a blast working together (and  eat lots and lots and lots of chocolates).

I feel that I learned more this semester than I possibly could have imagined, and I really understand how much of a jack of all trades you need to be to run a nonprofit. I am so so grateful to AP for the opportunity to learn and grow as a person, student and future NGO employee. AP is doing something right, and I am honored to have been a part of it this semester.”

Angelique Palomar (aka Angelica, mighty mouse, mighty midget or fire cracker) Outreach and Fundraising Assistant

angelique758 (1)“I became the Jane of all Trades because of AP. From being an  electrician to coordinating events, it was like getting to try a new piece  of chocolate from a See’s Candy box! As a fundraising assistant, I was  in-charge of maintaining the donor database and drafting emails to  AP’s massive network. All while getting the hang of Global Giving,  Network for Good and Constant Contact, I took on the role of Communications and Media Outreach Assistant. Every day was  different, filled with a variety of work from designing graphics, to  asking my friends and family in helping with a Global Giving campaign appeal. I even learned basic HTML coding! The biggest project I  managed was quilt outreach. I coordinated events with solidarity groups from various universities.

I’ve gained invaluable skills, knowledge and lasting friendships from my time at AP. Here I am thinking I would be contributing to marginalized communities, little did I know how much this experience would return to me in ten-folds. I am incredibly proud to be a part of a truly impactful organization. Cheers!”

Kate Wagner, Social Media Coordinator (Unofficial Peace Fellow Expert)

Kate-Wagner-221x300“What can I say about my time at AP? I was so lucky to have the opportunity to work  here for almost nine months. As the social media intern (for the first three months,  with a promotion to Social Media Coordinator), I was the voice behind AP’s  community updates. But my job was so much more than that. If I had seen things  like “create promotional graphics,” “lead crowdfunding campaigns,” and “edit and  troubleshoot HTML code for the website” on the job application, I don’t think I would  have bothered applying! But after my time at AP, I can proudly say that I would  apply to an identical position with confidence.

That’s what I grew to adore about AP’s small office: nobody was expected to know everything, and everybody would eventually learn something. After being with AP for  less than a month, I was teaching my fellow intern Catalina how to add her bio to the website. After being at AP for about three months, I was learning new editing  software; another four months later, I was teaching it to AP’s director Iain and the  2017 Peace Fellows. And somewhere around my third month with AP, I could identify  a Peace Fellow from 2012 by one grainy photo, dive into their Flickr album, and find  a better quality version of the same photo. I guess that’s a side effect of interning with AP when there are no Fellows out in the field!

I will forever be grateful to AP for all that they have done for me. Closing an almost two-year gap on my resume; opening my eyes to what life is like outside of the USA; teaching me so many new skills; making me hone and update my existing skills; and introducing me to so many wonderful coworkers: Karen, Catalina, Nola, Angelique, Bri, Talia, and Natalie (not to mention this year’s Peace Fellows). These last nine months have been truly wonderful, and I will always look back upon my time at AP fondly.”

Natalie Roberts, Social Media Assistant (“Nats”)

Natalie“As the AP social media assistant, I have had the ability to virtually keep up with  our summer peace fellows! I had the opportunity to invest my time in learning  about AP’s partner organizations, and the fellowship program. Before this experience, I undoubtedly considered myself a social media guru, but this  summer, this skill has grown to what I would call a ‘social media junkie.’ My  everyday tasks  consisted mostly of tracking our nine fellows through their  journeys abroad and reporting them to the various social media platforms  (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr etc.). However, I also edited video, edited  pictures, designed graphics, assisted with basic office tasks, and collaborated with  my co-interns on GlobalGiving appeals, fundraising and event ideas, and partner  organizations. I was even able to connect with AP’s supporters through the  writing of blog digests to highlight the fellows blog postings.

AP truly lives up to the notion of “small but mighty.” AP’s commitment is truly  inspiring. I have seen AP accomplish so much in just a few short months, and for  that I am grateful to have been able to support such an influential organization.”

Talia Hoch, Outreach and Fundraising Assistant (the Napper)

Talia“The Advocacy Project plucked me from college obscurity when they showcased their  Middle Eastern Refugee Quilt at my university. It was love at first sight. I fell in love  with AP’s message and mission and knew I just had to work for them.  After our first  meeting I reached out and secured a summer internship. On my first day at the  office they showed me the couch that they had and said that I could nap there  whenever. From that moment I know I had chosen the right place to intern at!

After arriving I truly got to know AP’s mission and how they operated first hand.  My  official title was the outreach and fundraising assistant but I did more than just that.  By being the outreach intern I got to meet with and Skype with many different  organizations. I learned how to conduct meetings and how to work towards a  common goal with these organizations.  However, I learned so much more than  that. I learned basic html (never thought that would be something I would ever  learn or ever want to learn), catalogue design, excel, and a lot more.

I had already respected AP’s mission of working with marginalized and underserved  populations but once becoming an intern I grew to love it. AP never tried to come off as ‘white saviors’ coming in and telling these community organizations what to do. Instead they strove to build the capacity and the capability of these organizations. They were also so careful to not hijack the narratives of these communities for their own gain they made sure that the voices of these people were heard loud in clear.

I am so grateful for my time with AP working with Karen, Iain, Natalie, and Bri was so rewarding. We were such a team working together to support everyone’s job to be an effective non-profit. I will miss them all dearly but I know I’ll be seeing them soon!”

Brianna, Administrative Assistant

Brianna“As the administrative assistant during the summer, I helped keep track of all the 2017 AP Fellows as they worked with partner organizations around the world. I got to learn alongside the Fellows at the May training, and quickly became immersed in the digital side of AP’s work. Aside from monitoring logistics and security in each country where we had a Fellow posted, I also updated and added to the online training materials available to the Fellows. I researched myriad topics like crowdfunding, peacebuilding, and videography to help ensure that our Fellows had all the tools they needed to support our partner organizations. Over the course of the summer, I was excited to become something of a website guru as I worked on updating the AP website and finding solutions for our partners’ websites. I learned how to use plugins, HTML and CSS coding, and all the little buttons that make WordPress work like a charm

I had no idea that I could learn so much in just a few short months! AP gave me the chance to work with our partners on initiatives that amplify the voices of people who have powerful stories to tell. Even beyond the opportunity to build new skills and learn about the world of nonprofit work, AP gave me new friends and mentors for whom I am incredibly grateful. I’ll miss the office full of sunlight, quilts, and stories!”

Allegra Brandon (Fondly known as “Happiness”)

Allegra headshot“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 Chi, Programs Assistant (HP)

Hannah headshot“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 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 Karen 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.”

Rachael Hughen, Photography Assistant (The Road Runner)

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

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 Iain and giving him a to-do list since he is the only one who knows about the funds that have come through since 1998. With things organized, I created many colorful pie charts which are to be found on the AP website.It is a very rewarding experience to intern at The Advocacy Project. I learned a lot about the everyday challenges facing small nonprofits and particularly advocates working in the field of conflict resolution, such as management, organization, communications, and fundraising. The best part, of course, is the friendly office culture and Iain’s countless bizarre stories!”

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

IMG_6150“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 Stateler, Development Assistant (“Laughter”/”Creature-Face”)

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

Amanda“‘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 La Mers-Noble, Fundraising Assistant

IMG_8530“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.”