#CCIIntern Spotlight: Programs Team

A Day in the Life of a #CCIIntern

CCI Programming Intern Photo

Working with Alex and Andrea, (or known at the center as Alexandrea) the Programs Team crew was made up of four interns - Aires Miranda-Antonio, Ruth Zheng, Chelsea Luo, and Teak Hodge - who each brought something new and unique to CCI. Now at the end of their summer experience, we asked them to reflect on their experiences and share a little more about themselves.

Tell us a little more about yourself. What are you studying/did you study in college and what do you want to use that degree and experience to do in the future?

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Aires

I am a rising junior at Georgetown University. I am majoring in American Studies with a concentration in Art and Museum Studies and minoring in African American Studies. Once I finish my bachelor's degree, I plan on pursuing a career in curating and/or museums or gallery. In the long run, my dream would be to open up my own museum or gallery that exclusively features artists of color and queer artists that also includes a community center space for organizing and advocacy, however, I am not sure where yet. In terms of experience, I look forward to returning to DC for a semester of school and then studying abroad in Tokyo in the spring.

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Ruth

I’m a rising junior at Harvard College majoring in social studies with a secondary in statistics. I’ve always been drawn to the challenges associated with building stronger and fairer societies. In particular, I’m interested in the role the relationship between governmental institutions and the economy plays in creating equity. I hope to go to law school after college and to practice in the field of public interest advocacy.

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Chelsea

As a rising junior, I’ve recently committed to a major in International Political Economy and a certificate in International Development. I hope to eventually work in the field of international development, which my major will set a strong foundation for. I hope to research on the causes of economic inequality and societal marginalization in Asian developing countries, as such is the space I’m knowledgeable about and rooted in. And I hope to implement my solutions, to be proven wrong thus given the chance to better my solutions.

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Teak

I’m a rising junior in the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service studying Culture & Politics with a concentration in International Human Rights. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been invested in people - who they are, what they feel, how they live. Stumbling into the field of human rights, I’ve been able to think more critically about the human condition, the relationship between the individual and the collective, and begin to imagine what healing means in this space. Ultimately, I want to be a healer in this space. What exactly this means, I don’t know, but I’m excited for the adventure.

What is the source of inspiration for the work you do? - Aires

The main source of inspiration for the work I do is my little brother, Axel. He is entering the world with a gross amount of injustices and inequity and I continuously think about how every generation is forced to deal with some level of oppression and turmoil however the younger half of Gen Z have entered the internet era with explicit details about every tragedy in the world, is so disruptive to my spirit and outlook on the way my brother sees the world. Additionally, I also think that I’ve constantly centered the idea change being crucial to any form of development. 

In terms of art and design, growing up the only spaces where I saw stories that included characters who looked like me, were in art and gallery spaces, and even then not the major ones. It was only small gallery spaces or special exhibitions in Los Angeles that opened up my world. Now being able to create something and choose a way to communicate myself, I want it to be through the format that embraced me openly. 

What brought you to the center? - Teak

The center that focuses on social impact (Beeck Center) at my school was taking applications for their summer fellowship program that works to match students with a bunch of unique organizations around the world, and CCI was the organization that struck me the most. The organization description talked about alleviating inequality through investing in outcome-based solutions to local social challenges. After a little more digging through CCI’s website, I began to understand their role as a space that supports, guides, and pushes the people working on the ground. That sense of creating space for and giving opportunities to the people doing the work was something that stuck with me and made me actually want to meet the people who work at CCI.

What has been your experience interning at the center? Name some highlights of your time here, favorite experiences, favorite things about being at the center. - Chelsea

A one-word summary of my experience would be inspired. I love chatting with the team at CCI and the civic entrepreneurs who work with the CCI. My favorite memory has been the graduation celebration for the most recent class of civic entrepreneurs. To hear their appreciation of each other, to see the community they’ve constructed amongst themselves on the platform CCI provided has been truly remarkable. Such is what I will remember as the fuel to my work in the future, something I treasure and will refer back to when I feel stuck in my pursuit of justice and equity.

How has your internship made you think about the role you and others have in the community? - Ruth

Working at the Center has been humbling and uplifting. When institutions fall short, ordinary people are forced to shoulder the enormous burden of fighting for things that ought to be taken for granted. In such situations, the best ideas about policy change might not come from the political sphere, but from communities of people who want to live in a world that is different. Learning more about the work the fellows do and the challenges they face in the social impact world has opened my eyes to how complex our systems are. Even though I’ve spent so much time thinking about these issues in academic settings, I realized how little I actually know about what it takes to achieve systems level change. It’s also been exciting to see innovation in a sector where the primary end goal isn’t profit but rather impact. I hope to continue to learn about the governmental and non-governmental mechanisms that have the potential to address systemic inequalities as well as how to empower civic engagement on a local level.

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What advice do you have for future CCI interns?

  • Meet the fellows! Spend time with the fellows! Enjoy all your time with the fellows and staff!

    It will help you make the most out of all the events and the day to day life in the office.

  • Be vocal if want to adjust your assignments or do something else. The team is super accommodating to work preferences.

  • Ask to sit in on meetings – it feels like seeing the future as it is taking shape through Ro’s eyes. I definitely see CCI becoming a dominant force in civic and social entrepreneurship and community engagement/empowerment. It’s so exciting to witness the ideas that will drive its growth.  

  • Explore Atlanta, especially South downtown. It’s such an eccentric and lovely, lovely area, lots of quirk and verve.

  • Be attentive to not only the work of the civic entrepreneurs but also them as individuals. For such returns them to their full humanity that narratives often obscure.

Team CCIcci interns