Our team members are passionate, dedicated, and committed to raising awareness about global poverty and advocating on behalf of the world’s poor. Read about some of our past interns and the amazing work they did.

 

ALEXANDRA

Alexandra Modula, PR/Marketing Team

Alexandra’s Photo: My daughters inspire me to fight for a better world. I’d like them to grow up with a desire to help others. If we can instill these values in our children, we can create a better world for them to live in.

Alexandra’s Achievements: Letter to the Editor published in the Columbus Dispatch, received four celebrity/public figure retweets, and raised over $500.

Question #1:  Since you have been with The Borgen Project, what is one thing that has surprised you so far about global poverty issues or advocacy?

The biggest surprise to me has been how much is positively affected by lifting developing nations out of global poverty. I was captivated to learn that issues such as overpopulation, the economy and national security are all directly affected when other nations are lifted out of poverty. To someone who isn’t aware of the issue, the reality of what can be accomplished by ending global poverty may seem unreal, however, after watching the videos and reading the articles on The Borgen Project’s website, I feel as if this global goal is definitely possible and beneficial in so many ways; spreading awareness and information is crucial to compel others to fight for our cause.

Question #2:  You were very successful in social media outreach. What do you think helped you be so successful in that aspect of the program?

I actually used a tip given to me by my mentor, Christine: I took the time to see what topics and issues interested the celebrities I was reaching out to. I also took the time to personalize my approach, which, while time consuming, proved to be successful given the “attention” I was able to receive. I think a very large part of my success was my dedication to this cause. I found inspiration in The Borgen Project – through Clint’s story and the successes the organization has had since being founded. I just wanted to share how great this organization is in order to raise awareness and I think my genuine desire to be a voice for something so great was heard in my social media outreach.

Question #3:  Any tips or words of advice for other team members to help them along a similar path to success?

Embrace your role with The Borgen Project! This organization is a really great one and being able to say that you volunteered for such a powerful advocate for global poverty should motivate you to make the difference they chose you for! If you haven’t done so already, watch all the videos on the website, read the articles and blog posts; and if you are in love with The Borgen Project’s cause after doing so, you will do great things while you’re working here! Compassion is what motivated me as an intern, and hopefully, it will drive you to do great things as well!

Question #4:  What are your plans after completing your internship role with The Borgen Project?

I am very glad to be able to say that I will be continuing my volunteer work with The Borgen Project as a Regional Director! Once I’ve completed my time with The Borgen Project, I’d like to continue to be a voice for the organization while also finding similar opportunities in the nonprofit sector to help me grow professionally – it truly is rewarding work and I can’t imagine a better way to continue to work towards my career goals than through nonprofit experience.


CAITLEN

Caitlen Sellers, Political Affairs Team

Caitlen’s Photo:  The photo is from Pwoje Espwa in Haiti. It was the first time I traveled and volunteered on the ground. My alma mater, OWU, has a strong, lasting partnership with Espwa. It was an incredibly rewarding trip that has shaped a lot of what I do and aim for now.

Caitlen’s Achievements: President’s Circle – met with all three of her Congressional leaders’ offices; Public Outreach Award – mobilized 50+ people to email via The Borgen Project Action Center; and raised over $500.

Question #1:  Since you have been with The Borgen Project, what is one thing that has surprised you so far about global poverty issues or advocacy?

A lot of people that really care and want to help have no idea how they can and how easy it is! It has been incredibly rewarding to help others feel great about having a global impact. At first, I felt nervous asking people to “do me a favor” and send an email or make a phone call. That quickly changed when all of the responses I received were consistently, “Thank you so much for showing me this – I had no idea!”

Question #2:  You were very successful in mobilizing and fundraising. What do you think helped you be so successful in those aspects of the program?

Using the tools I already have helped me a lot. I teach yoga classes at least once a week and pledged to donate my earnings for the duration of my internship. I bring it up to anybody and everybody who will listen and take advantage of my surroundings. For example, when I received the email that the READ Act and Digital Gap Act were going up for a vote within a couple hours, I was working at a neighborhood coffee shop. I opened up the email page on my computer and asked everybody if they wanted to help. I made it as easy as possible. I have also been taking advantage of people getting more politically involved lately. Whenever I see or hear friends talking about contacting their Congressional Leaders, I reach out with a, “Hey! While you’re at it…”

Question #3:  Any tips or words of advice for other team members to help them along a similar path to success?

Don’t be afraid to let your passion for this work come out in every conversation you have and task you complete. It’s contagious, and it opens up opportunities for others to get excited and get involved. Also, do your research. The more information I can gather, the more comfortable I feel talking about the Project and different pieces of legislation and writing genuine letters and emails. People are responsive when I can confidently convey information, answer their questions, or say I don’t know, but point them to a place where we could find the answer. Make time for your work with The Borgen Project. This is an incredible organization.

Question #4:  What are your plans after completing your internship role with The Borgen Project?

My long(ish) term goals are preparing for grad school and finding a career in social justice, human rights, and/or activism. In the meantime, I am trying to teach yoga in prisons around me and in addiction rehabilitation programs. I believe it provides much needed healing in a therapeutic, accessible way.

 


CAMILLE

Camille Parenteau, HR Team

Camille’s Photo: This is from my fundraising page.  It’s with baked goods, bake sales, and through my fundraising page, mostly, how I fundraised .

Camille’s Achievements: Raised over $500.

Question #1:  Since you have been with The Borgen Project, what is one thing that has surprised you so far about global poverty issues or advocacy?

One thing that surprised me the most is the lack of government funding going towards foreign aid. I did not realize the percentage of government funds being put towards foreign aid was as low as it is.

Question #2:  You were very successful in fundraising.  What do you think helped you be so successful in that aspect of the program?

What has helped me the most with being successful is reaching out to clubs and organizations on my college campus. I am part of Alpha Omicron Pi and my friends from that were extremely helpful; they attended my fundraisers and donated.

Question #3:  Any tips or words of advice for other team members to help them along a similar path to success?

My advice is to contact everyone, including local shops; people are more willing to help than you would think. For example, I was able to host two fundraisers where restaurants donated a percentage of their profits from customers who brought in Borgen Project flyers, for a couple hours on a certain day. When I had bake sales, I often reached out to bakeries all over town and had them donate baked goods when I lacked time to bake. Overall people seemed more likely to donate when they received something in return, so try to use incentives when possible.

Question #4: What are your plans after completing your internship role with The Borgen Project?

My plans after completing my internship role with The Borgen Project is to focus on school; I am pursing a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources and Management at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. This summer I am studying abroad in Barcelona, and I have to keep my grades up to stay in the program, so I am taking a little break from internships to spend more time on academics.

 


MICHAEL

 

Michael Kay, Political Affairs Team

Michael’s Achievements:  Letter to the Editor published in News for the Leaders of Tomorrow; Public Outreach Award – mobilized 50+ people to email via The Borgen Project Action Center; and Chief Closer Award – raised $1,900.

Question #1: Since you have been with The Borgen Project, what is one thing that has surprised you so far about global poverty issues or advocacy?

People’s willingness to participate; not only that, but their general excitement about this kind of work. Whenever I engage with others, or talk about The Borgen Project and my work, they seem happy to help and to listen to what I have to say. It’s shocking how little most people know about global poverty and foreign aid, and how much they seem to care once they know the details.

Question #2: You have been very successful in mobilizing and fundraising. What do you think helped you be so successful in these aspects of the program?

I think mindset is everything; whenever I’m mobilizing, or fundraising, I try to take on a happy, positive, and excited mentality about whatever it is I’m mobilizing for. People really respond to that, if they see that something matters to you, then it’s difficult for them to find reasons to not help you out. Also, I happen to live in a town filled with thousands upon thousands of college students who desperately want to be involved in the community, but just aren’t quite sure how to, so reaching out to these types of people always attracts participation and funds. I try to make it fun for all parties involved, and they seem to appreciate that.

Question #3: Any tips or words of advice for other team members to help them along a similar path to success?

Educate yourself on the issue (bill or act, really) before attempting to engage people – it seems to be extremely helpful, and probably reassuring, for those being engaged knowing that you know what you’re talking about it. This, and just try to stay excited and positive about the process. I always remind myself that this work and the issues involved are bigger than myself, or even, that they are bigger than a few people who don’t respond or react positively to joining in on what you’re doing. Staying positive and educated go a long way.

Question #4: What are your plans after completing your internship role with The Borgen Project?

I want to get a job or internship working in a government office, I think. I want to familiarize myself with those processes and hopefully discover what path within political issues I want to take; that is, non-profit, or governmental, really.


NORA

Nora Hanson, Political Affairs Team Member 

Nora’s Photo: I’ve attached a picture of myself after a talk last night on sustainable global food trade. One of my favorite parts of this job has been meeting so many people with ideas about how they can make the world a better place. From sustainable businesses, to service groups like the rotary club, to the leaders who write the legislation The Borgen Project supports, there are so many people leading impactful lives.

Nora’s Achievements: Chief Closer Award – raised $1,020 (so far) and meeting with Congressional offices.  Read about how Nora secured two co-sponsorships here.

Question #1: Since you have been with The Borgen Project, what is one thing that has surprised you so far about global poverty issues or advocacy?

I have been most surprised by the impact of little things and individual action.  I was skeptical about the effects of e-mailing and calling Congressional representatives.  But when I see the influence of the Borgen Project and the responses I have gotten by repeatedly calling and emailing Congressional offices, I understand that one person can make a difference.  With persistence and dedication, each of us can contribute to national action.

Question #2: You have been very successful early-on in meeting with your Congressional offices and in fundraising. What do you think has helped you be so successful in these aspects of the program?

I really like people. I like talking to them and hearing about their lives and finding common points of agreement. When working with congressional offices, that translated into doing a lot of research into the elected officials whose staff members I met to understand more about them and their interests. I approach each staff member as if I was trying to make a new friend. I was looking for things we shared that would help us work together.  For fundraising, I was nervous at first, but I posted my fundraising page to Facebook with a description of what I was doing. I thought a Facebook post was a good starting point so I could learn how many people were  interested in The Borgen Project. When people responded to the Facebook post by expressing interest in what I was doing and donating money, that gave me the confidence to email and write to basically everyone I know.  If you tell the story of The Borgen Project and its goals, people care about what it does and want to help.  Just telling people that Borgen exists is sometimes enough.

Question #3: Any tips or words of advice for other team members to help them along a similar path to success?

Put yourself out there! People care about global poverty and want to help.  You are doing them a favor by giving them simple, direct ways to help solve the issue.  You will succeed more often than you think.

Question #4: What are your plans after completing your internship role with The Borgen Project?

I am a rising senior at Colby College, so my immediate plans are to finish my BA and graduate. After college, I want to continue to work for social justice. I would like to find similar work to what I’m currently doing now. I love the work of The Borgen Project and I am having a blast lobbying.

 


PREETI

Preeti Yadav, Content Team 

Preeti’s Photo: I’m enjoying the sunshine in Athens, Greece, where democracy was founded.

Preeti’s Achievements: Capital Achievement Award – over $2,000.

Preeti’s Articles: The Syria Fund:  Healing Through Music and Education; Lifting the Fog:  Air Pollution in Developing Countries

Question #1: Since you have been with The Borgen Project, what is one thing that has surprised you so far about global poverty issues or advocacy?

Previously, I was cognizant of the existing social and economic inequities, but since joining The Borgen Project, I have realized that my understanding of the situation was fractional. I have truly been surprised by the magnitude and the depth of poverty that exists around us and our deliberate obliviousness to it. But the really staggering thing I learnt by working with The Borgen Project is, that though global poverty seems like an enormous and unsolvable problem, it is not! Often times, many of us don’t contribute towards alleviating poverty because we believe it is undoable. This has been an educational experience that has made me aware of our disconnect with reality, which is that we are capable of significantly reducing, if not eliminating, poverty and creating social justice for all.

Question #2: You have been very successful in fundraising. What do you think has helped you be so successful in this aspect of the program?

I attribute my successful fundraising to my generous friends and family who care deeply about improving the conditions of those less fortunate and want to do their part in alleviating global poverty.

My personalized letters also helped my cause and, in my opinion, were consequential in meeting my fundraising goal. Each letter conveyed my genuine affection or regards for the person it was addressed to and included a detailed explanation of The Borgen Project’s’ mission and methodology. This related to my donors the critical work being done at Borgen and its significant impact on the lives of millions. It also showed them that I cared deeply for the cause.

Question #3: Any tips or words of advice for other team members to help them along a similar path to success?

I would highly recommend writing letters that reflect your personality. For me, the letters were more like personal letters instead of fundraising letters, but with all the pertinent information I wanted to share with a potential donor.

Following up and reminding people to support the cause is equally essential. I have some amazing friends who I know to be genuinely compassionate individuals and want to do their part, but are just too busy or in some cases, simply forgetful. Reminding them as often and as many times as needed was my way of helping them to do what they really wanted to do, which was to contribute to the cause.

Question #4: What are your plans after completing your internship role with The Borgen Project?

I intend to continue writing and working for a humanitarian organization. I want to utilize my skills and my passion to empower people trapped in unfavorable situations. I really enjoy research-based, journalistic writing to tell stories that reveal the successes and failures in eliminating social injustice and that highlight the hidden heroes working tirelessly to impact positive change. I also intend to continue creative writing and see myself pursuing an MFA in the future.

 


REBECCA

Rebecca Yu, Content Team

Rebecca’s Photo: This is of me with a couple refugees and other American health care professionals that I volunteered with in the Middle East. It’s a reminder that refugees are just people like the rest of us– they take selfies, want to finish school and want to build better lives for themselves and their families. For me, The Borgen Project has been primarily about raising awareness and letting others know that people like them are really people like us.

Rebeccas’s Achievements: Chief Closer Award – raised over $1,000 (so far).

Rebeccas’s Articles:  Three Myths About Refugees; The Next Breakthrough in Public Health:  Vaccine Stabilizers

Question #1: Since you have been with The Borgen Project, what is one thing that has surprised you so far about global poverty issues or advocacy?

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how easy it’s been to mobilize people to alleviate global poverty. I’m normally quite cynical, so it’s been really encouraging.

Question #2: You have been very successful in fundraising.  What do you think helped you be so successful in this aspect of the program?

I think my success in fundraising has mostly been due to the blessing of knowing the right people. My friends have been so generous and I really appreciate their support. Personally I also try to make a practice of being generous, so maybe that has helped with the fundraising, but mostly it was asking the right people.

Question #3: Any tips or words of advice for other team members to help them along a similar path to success?

Don’t be afraid to show just how passionate you are. The people who care about you will care about the causes that you care about. And never assume that someone won’t help.

Question #4: What are your plans after completing your internship role with The Borgen Project?

I’m going to keep my day job, which is being a pharmacist, but I’d love to find some freelance writing gigs.