Our 2017 Summer Interns

The CEF summer internship allows those seeking a transformative summer work experience an opportunity to work full-time in one of the CEF locations. Our full-time interns are a main source of fuel during the summer, powering our offices while many Advocates are away. Interns spend about half their time meeting with Members and the other half working on various projects, everything from resource building to communications!

Hover over the images below to read about them and their work!


Gabi Stewart

Continuing Education Specialist Intern

Gabi is a rising senior at Duke majoring in classical languages. She is leading efforts to create and strengthen relationships with local organizations who provide education continuation services. She is also developing resources on Connect (our internal database) that will provide Members a streamlined interface for accessing resources! In her spare time, she enjoys writing and playing music. She is also training for a half-marathon!

Varun Prasad

Resource and Financial Coaching Specialist Intern

Varun is a rising sophomore at Duke majoring in statistics and economics. This summer, Varun is working to build resources by receiving Member feedback to constantly improve our services. He is also working on building up our pathways and refreshing information to place people into housing. In his spare time he enjoys exploring new places and watching his favorite TV shows.


Nijah McKinney

Communications Intern

Nijah is a rising senior at NCCU and a mass communications major.  She is serving as the site coordinator for communications in the Durham office, gathering content and utilizing CEF social media and online platforms to expand CEF’s online outreach. She is also creating a Member Success Board to get more members to share their experiences and journey with CEF. In her spare time, Nijah loves to sing, write music, and read! “I am a creator who just loves to create!”

Christiana Oshotse

Healthcare Resource Specialist

Christiana is a rising junior at Duke studying public policy and chemistry. She is working to create and improve upon Member Goals that address the healthcare needs of Members. She is working to survey members to determine their most pressing healthcare needs. She is also creating and improving upon resource documents that serve as information guides for Members and Advocates regarding affording health care and dealing with medical debt. She loves to read, journal, spend time with God, and have fun with family and friends

Vishnu Gottiparthy

Pairings Project Specialist Intern – Duke Engage

Vishnu is a rising junior studying electrical and computer engineering and computer science. He conducts research on similarly-structured local organizations to better understand how they effectively build relationships between their staff/volunteers and community members. In his spare time, he enjoys dancing and reading.

Grace Mok

Housing Advocacy Specialist Intern – Duke Engage

Grace is a rising junior studying economics. She worked closely with Janet on organizing the Mayor’s Landlord Roundtable. She assisted in crafting the content/tone of the event and coordinating circulation of the event invitation. She enjoys spending time with her slow-cooker, her recently acquired soulmate.

And a special thank you to Sam, our Office Beautification Assistant, and Beini, our Outreach Specialist and Duke Engage Intern

Chapel Hill

Kaelan Forbes

Employment Specialist Intern

Kaelan is a rising junior at UNC studying economics and entrepreneurship. This summer, she is working to strengthen the partnership with Inmates to Entrepreneurs, an organization that supports former inmates by giving them the resources and tools to start their own businesses. Kaelan also manages our updated list of job opportunities in Chapel Hill. In her spare time, Kaelan enjoys running and cooking with fellow interns


Tamar Chukrun

Housing Specialist Intern

Tamar is a recent Carolina graduate with a degree in nutrition from the school of public health. She works to keep an updated list of available units in the Carrboro and Chapel Hill areas. She is also conducting research on subsidized housing complexes in the area in order to embed a subsidized housing goal on Connect and works closely with Members transitioning into housing. In her spare time, Tamar enjoys going to the gym, baking, and reading.


Hannah Factor

Impact Specialist Intern

Hannah is a rising junior at UNC studying economics and public policy. She serves as the communications site coordinator in Chapel Hill in addition to assisting with content in both the Durham and Chapel Hill locations. She is developing a portfolio of Member and Advocate story/profiles through interviews, audio recordings and data visualization. She is also leading efforts to pilot an online CEF storytelling platform. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking mountains, yoga and cooking breakfast.

Joyce Yao

Finance Specialist Intern APPLES Service-Learning

Joyce is a rising sophomore at UNC. Her projects include transitioning the Renter’s IDA program from its pilot to a wider implementation in Chapel Hill. She is working as part of CEF’s savings team to assist in the coordination of CEF’s partnership with the Common Cents Lab at Duke. She is also working to better integrate “savings moments” into the trainings that CEF offers to Advocates. Joyce enjoys cooking, reading, and now quilting thanks to David and the CEF Quilting Circle.

Justin Willford

Special Projects Coordinator

Justin is a rising junior at UNC studying statistics and mathematics. He works as an assistant to the co-director on donation analysis and fundraising. He also researches available grants, maintains our donation database, and updates our Major Gifts team on donor prospects. In his spare time, he enjoys stand up comedy, listening to music and exploring the triangle.

Keely Kriho

Member Intro Specialist

Keely is a rising junior at UNC studying health policy and management. She assists in the coordination of our Member intake process and facilitates Talking Sidewalks, a weekly discussion-based group in the Chapel Hill Office. She enjoys running, talking about health policy and eating burritos.

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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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