Meet the Staff: Durham Edition

Some of our interns at a staff meeting

Some of our interns at a staff meeting

If you’ve been up to CEF recently, you may have noticed several new regulars in the office. In late May, the Community Empowerment Fund of both Chapel Hill and Durham gained several eager and well-qualified summer interns!

What do these interns do you may ask? By day (aka office hours), we work as Advocates: meeting with members, confirming appointments, and doing whatever the lovely admin staff needs doing around the office. We also have been bestowed with special administrative powers on Salesforce.

After our office hours, the transformation occurs. We change into our nylon super suits, and tap into our stores of reserve energy, unique powers and specialties. We tackle projects and special tasks in various areas of CEF in order to improve our operations and services to the people of Chapel Hill and Durham.

I tracked these interns down and managed to get a quick word with each about what they are doing here this summer. So without further ado, I present…

The 2014 Summer Interns of the Community Empowerment Fund in Durham

Stephanie Colorado, Marketing and Communications Intern:

Stephanie finds herself smack dab in the middle of her college career as a rising junior at Duke, working towards majors in both Public Policy and Psychology.

What brought you to CEF?

I started working with CEF September of last year. I was attracted by the opportunity to work one-on-one with community members (unlike my previous volunteering experiences that were more impersonal), and the CEF advocates seemed like awesome people to be around with!

What is your Special Mission this summer?

I am focusing on making CEF flyers that make it easier to explain CEF to members and advocates, and a member folder. I am also updating the Food folder in the advocate book to bring it up to date and see food pantry and hot meals that are available for free in the Durham community.

Liaowang “Zoey” Zou, Development Intern:

Zoey will be a sophomore at Duke, pursuing degrees in Public Policy and Mathematics.

How did you become involved with CEF?

I am involved with Duke Engage this summer. During the site selection process, I came across CEF and I found this organization fascinating. Moreover, I have heard about CEF while I am at Duke and I always wanted to get involved. Hence, this summer is a great start for me to be introduced to CEF.

What is your Special Mission this summer?

I will join the other interns to Urban Ministries and Beyu Caffe for financial office hour. I am also doing some resource development, and summer projects including ethnography this summer. I hope I can have a basic understanding of how CEF function and establish a deeper relationship with members. Hopefully, I will continue working with CEF after school starts.

Shannon Elliott, Mental Health Intern and Team Leader:

Shannon chooses not to partake in our university rivalry, and comes to us all the way from Davidson College, where she will be a junior majoring in Psychology.

How did you hear about CEF?

I heard about the awesome work CEF was doing in Chapel Hill and Durham through a family friend and wanted to help make a difference in my home community.

What is your Special Mission this summer?

As a Durham Intern, I serve as Team Leader for Beyu Cafe Open Office Hours. I am planning on focusing my work this summer on furthering our knowledge of mental illnesses and our connections in Durham to mental health resources.

Jennifer Sunmonu, Finance and Savings and Development Intern:

Jennifer is a member of Duke University’s class of 2015, making her a rising senior.

What brought you to CEF?

Duke Engage brought me to CEF.

What is your Special Mission this summer?

This summer I am working on resource development, particularly on developing CEF’s resources for Finance and Savings. I am also helping out the other interns at both sites on the Housing Task Force.

Rhondu Smithwick, Development Intern, Laptop Class Leader, and Team Member at Urban Ministries and Alliance Architecture:

Rhondu is a rising junior at Duke University, majoring in Statistical Science.

How did you hear about CEF?

Quinn Holmquist was always talking about [CEF].

What is your Special Mission this summer?

Consolidating information, creating a comprehensive curriculum for laptop use, and building a connection with the staff at our partner sites.

Karen Li, Advocate and Genesis Home Team Leader:

Karen is a rising sophomore at Duke University.

How did you become involved with CEF?

I heard about CEF during the school year and thought it would be cool to get involved!

What is your Special Mission this summer?

This summer I have been working on various projects involving Genesis Home office hours, creating member folders with Stephanie, and updating resources in the Durham Advocate Book.

Juliana Posen, Healthcare Resource Coordinator and Advocate:

Juliana will be a sophomore at Duke University, and is majoring in Statistics.

How did you hear about CEF?

I was drawn to CEF because of all of the advocates’ passion for helping the Durham community. It really shines through in everything they do.

What is your Special Mission this summer?

My projects for the summer with CEF include compiling resources in Durham for substance abuse, primary care options, and specialized healthcare resources for low-income families. I have also been working on a project to bring free bus passes to members of the Durham CEF division.


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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

Chapel Hill: 919-200-0233 Durham: 919-797-9233