Building Community

2012 Intern Class

Class of 2012 Intern Bios

Mehreen Ahmed

My name is Mehreen Ahmed and I am a rising senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I am majoring in International Affairs, with a geographic concentration in Europe. I hope to one day become a human rights lawyer for a NGO. But before learning about how nonprofits work at the international level, I would like to learn about their functioning in communities. I am currently interning at New Era Colorado and hope to learn how nonprofits involve community members and specifically young people in advocacy. New Era is an organization which inspires our generation to think and to act, something I believe incredibly important to the smooth functioning of society.


Mikayla Branz

My name is Mikayla Branz and I’m from Boulder, Colorado.  I’m a rising sophomore at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and I’m a psychology and Spanish double major.  In my spare time, I love to spend time with my friends, travel, and cross-stitch.  I’m thrilled to be interning with Denver Colorado AIDS Project, and I hope to learn a lot about risk reduction, prevention, and care for people living with HIV.


Gabriela DeRobles

My name is Gabriela and I am a junior at Regis University. I am majoring in Spanish and Sociology and minoring in Education. One of my passions is volunteering and serving my community. Currently, I assist as a tutor for the Regis English as a Second Language (ESL) Program for the Regis custodial staff. I also enjoy aiding in after school programs and tutoring elementary-aged students. This summer, I will be interning at Aurora Community Connection, an organization working to “develop the capacities of under-served families, increase access to resources and promote social equity.” I feel very fortunate to be working at Aurora Community Connection because I know it will be a valuable learning experience. I hope to enhance my leadership skills in a way that will greatly benefit the community I am serving. I want to increase my knowledge of the nonprofit sector and develop the necessary professional and personal skills to work in such field. My hope is to feel more confident in myself and the work that I complete for Aurora Community Connection.


Wendy Guardado

My passion for helping others stems from experiencing a difficult childhood where general resources were not available. My dream is to be able to provide educational resources to those in need around the world. I am currently attending the University of Colorado at Boulder and majoring in International Relations with a minor in Astronomy. With my background, I have been active in community tutoring and guiding at risk Hispanic students, as well as working as a Learning Assistant for introductory Astronomy courses at my college. I have a strong sense of self saying that “ultimately, [I am the] one who holds [my] life choices and no one else's perception will dictate who [I] can be." I just hope that I can create an environment globally where the choices I have been given the opportunity to pursue, from education, politics, and health, are given to all who seek them.  This summer, I am interning at Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado.


Marilyn Hernandez-Stopp

Hailing from Lakewood, Colorado, I made my move to Colgate University in a quest for new horizons. My time there has been filled with many rewarding experiences. I am involved with a variety of student groups including: the Latin American Student Organization, the Caribbean Student Association, the COVE and the Benton Scholar Program. Currently, I work for the Colgate Communications Office where I write for the Colgate Website, and contribute regularly to the Scene Magazine. My passion for writing, and for using words to unite people of all differences has served me well. I have been honored to have had the chance to use my personal communications skills while at my internship with the Museo de las Americas, during my summer in Colorado. So far I have been able to contribute to the installation of an exhibit, and I will also be able to work with children during the summer camp portion of the Museum. Later, I will work with the development and marketing sections as well.  I will be studying abroad in Madrid, Spain in the upcoming Fall semester, and I will hopefully be working towards my goal of learning how people communicate cross-culturally.


Meagan Maddock

My name is Meagan Maddock and I am a senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I am double majoring in Women and Gender Studies and International Affairs with a concentration in Latin America. Last summer, I left my native Colorado to study abroad in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic for one amazing, challenging, and adventurous year. Having just returned, I feel ready to dive back into the social justice movement in my own community. I am deeply passionate about social justice and consider myself an activist. That is why I am beyond thrilled to have been chosen as an intern at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. This experience will allow me to put the theory I have learned in the classroom to practice within the world of social justice. I hope to learn how to be a better leader and advocate for reproductive rights and sexual health while working with the PPRM team. I have already gained so much from this experience and feel so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a strong and passion-filled movement. I can't wait to see what the summer throws at me!


Velia Munoz

My name is Velia Muñoz and I am currently a senior at Colorado State University. I will be graduating in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish as well as my teaching license. I was born in Gomez Palacio, Durango Mexico and I’ve grown up in the Denver/Aurora area since I was nine years old. This summer I am working as an intern with the Strengthening Neighborhoods Program at The Denver Foundation. As a future teacher, I have a high interest in learning how educational access plays a role in the non-profit sector and I want to learn how to best access resources and opportunities available to students in the Denver metro area. I hope to learn to be a better advocate and resource for the communities that I work in as well as learn all I can from the very best at Strengthening Neighborhoods!


Laura Newman

Laura Newman is a student at the University of Denver in the Daniel’s College of Business. She is majoring in Economics (BSBA) and is pursuing minors in Leadership, International Studies, and Business Ethics & Legal Studies and will graduate November of 2013. This summer, Laura is with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado and enjoys her time working in program and fund development surrounded by people with the same values and vision for the future of youth development. Laura has been active in the nonprofit sector for many years, and plans to spend her career in the nonprofit, NGO, and IGO sectors. Laura is also the creator and administrator of the Community and Nonprofit Building Enterprise (CANBE), which connects student volunteers and nonprofits in Denver by matching the unique skills of students and the unmet needs of nonprofits. She developed the website ( in order to get DU students more involved in their communities and to help nonprofits reach even greater potential. After college, Laura plans to become a developmental economist, traveling to developing nations to help build their economies through needs assessments and participatory development programs. Laura is so grateful to have had this chance through The Denver Foundation to work with a wonderful organization and begin her formal work in the nonprofit sector.


Tara Page

Hello! My name is Tara Page. Next year will be my fourth year at the University of Denver. Currently, I am part of a five year Bachelor’s/Master’s dual degree program, so next year, as I finish up my undergraduate degree in Psychology, I will simultaneously be beginning my graduate degree in Social Work. I am passionate about social justice, education reform and women’s reproductive rights. This summer, as an intern for the American Council of the Blind of Colorado, I hope to improve my fundraising skills, gain an understanding of large-scale event planning, and become more knowledgeable about the inner-workings of the Nonprofit Sector.


Anna Richards

I am a native of Colorado and I am studying Anthropology at Sweet Briar College.  For years I have found jobs and volunteer activities that interest me, such as being an ice cream server, an archaeologist, a researcher, a hospital volunteer, a cook at a camp, and being involved with different types of fundraisers, clubs, and non-profit organizations.  Today, I am looking forward to my internship at VSA Colorado/Access Gallery, where I will further my knowledge in non-profit organizations and disability studies. 


Alex Statham

I am currently a senior Journalism major, English minor at Colorado State University. My interest in non-profits (specifically Habitat for Humanity) began back in high school, and continued throughout my college experience. I am very excited to work with the Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver staff in my new position as Corporate Relations intern. This new position entails a lot of research, planning, and communicating with large-scale corporations in order to get donations and volunteers. From this opportunity, I hope to gain more experience in event planning and execution, as well as a greater understanding of the non-profit and corporate worlds as a whole.


Vanessa Teck

I am currently a rising senior at the University of Denver, working on a double major in Intercultural Communications and Digital Media Studies, with a minor in Leadership. I am passionate about community engagement, addressing issues of social justice, and furthering inclusive excellence. However, much of my time is dedicated towards helping in the progressive movements of the Asian Pacific American (APA) movement, both locally and nationally. This year, at the University of Denver, I will be serving as the External President of the Asian Student Alliance, serving on the Colorado chapter of Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and am a part of the Midwest Asian American Students Union, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. This summer, I am fortunate enough to be interning with the Philanthropic Partnerships Department at The Denver Foundation, working to coordinate the Nonprofit Internship Program. I am looking forward to meeting people who work to uplift their communities and becoming more invested in the nonprofit sector.


Kathryn Trask

My name is Kathryn Trask and I am a senior at the University of  Colorado at Boulder. I am majoring in History with a minor in Ethnic studies and am enrolled in the Teacher’s Licensure Program. Overall, I am interested in the education system in Colorado and hope one day to be a high school teacher. From my internship with Qualistar Colorado, I hope to learn a little bit more about what services are offered to young students, and how non-profits interact within the educational realm.


Alba Valerdi

Hola! My name is Alba Valerdi, and I am ecstatic to be given the opportunity to be a part of the program this summer. I am currently a senior at The University of Colorado Denver. I am majoring in Psychology and doing a minor in Visual Arts with emphasis on Drawing. I am obsessed with art, it is my passion. I am working on my own little art business from home where I do commissioned work with my main medium being charcoal and India Ink. I mainly focus on portrait work. You will often find me doodling. From this internship I hope to learn how to teach art on to others, especially children. I want them to look up to me as a role model and be proud of the work they create. I also want to learn about the process of setting up an art gallery event, and what it takes to help run a non-profit program. In my career ahead of me I plan to stick with non-profits and this opportunity is just the beginning.  This summer, I am interning with Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA).


Brittani Venard

My name is Brittani Venard and I am a Senior studying to become an Elementary Education teacher concentrating in Earth Science with a minor in Psychology. I enjoy crafting for myself and others in my spare time and keeping busy with various campus clubs. I hope that I can gain a better sense of self through this internship, while gathering applicable examples of how our youth can teach one another.  This summer, I am interning with EarthForce.


Joshua Zuke

I recently graduated summa-cum-laude from Elmhurst College studying Economics, Business Administration, and Philosophy. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, I'm passionate about ending the suffering of people, particularly children, at a global level. Spending a semester living in Kolkata, India working to educate underprivileged girls solidified this passion. I believe that the rights we take for granted also impart on us responsibility to others. Right and responsibility are two sides of the same coin, namely, Justice. My other interests include evolution, humanism, physics, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  I am an Americorps VISTA with Social Venture Partners, Denver.