The Karel Fellowship has been around since 2012. Here’s a quick look at what some of our past Fellows have been up to!

2021 Fellows

Qing Yu Chen (She/Her/Hers) graduated from Columbia University as a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, with a Bachelors in political science. She spent the summer intending at Human Rights Watch, a leading international nonprofit organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Qing Yu is now a paralegal specialist at the Federal Trade Commission!


A woman wearing a black blazer with a campus backdrop smiling at the camera.

Kassandra Luis (She/Her/Hers) graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors in advertising and business administration. She spent the summer interning at Human Rights Watch, a leading international nonprofit organization that is dedicated to research and advocacy on human rights. Kassandra is now a sales management associate at PepsiCo!


Christian Donaldson (She/Her/Hers) is a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, studying Anthropology and Mathematics. She spent the summer interning at the National League of Cities, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to being a resource and advocate for the nation’s cities and their leaders.


Lizbeth Olarte (She/Her/Hers) is a student at Montgomery College, studying Business. She spent the summer interning at the National League of Cities, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to being a resource and advocate for the nation’s cities and their leaders. 


Katherine Marin (She/Her/Hers) is a senior at the University of Florida, majoring in English Literature. She spent the summer interning at the National Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit whose mission is to unite Americans from all walks of life in giving wildlife a voice. She is now an intern at the ACLU!


Roger Avila-Vidal (He/Him/His) graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a Bachelors in International Studies and Sociology with a minor in French. He spent the summer interning at Spitfire Strategies, a public relations firm that helps nonprofits and foundations make positive change happen. 


2020 Fellows

Fatimah Abu-Sbeitan graduated from the University of Florida (UF) with a Bachelors in public relations. She spent the summer interning at Families USA, a leading nonprofit and national voice for health care consumers that is dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care and improved health for all. Fatimah is now working as part of the frank social media team and the National Press Photographers Association!


Aisha Adekunle is a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, who graduated from Yale University with a Bachelors in political science. She spent the summer interning at Families USA, a leading nonprofit and national voice for health care consumers that is dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care and improved health for all. 


Noura Al-Rajhi graduated from the University of Florida (UF) with a Bachelors in public relations and sustainability. She spent the summer interning at the National Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit whose mission is to unite Americans from all walks of life in giving wildlife a voice. Noura is now an assistant account executive at OutsidePR!


Jenny Ha is a Jack Kent Cooke scholar studying sociology at the University of Southern California (USC). She spent the summer interning at the National League of Cities, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to being a resource and advocate for the nation’s cities and their leaders. Jenny is now a content producer at Airtime and a talent acquisition intern at Comcast NBCUniversal!


María Silva is a student at Hood College studying economics with a concentration in political economy and global studies.  She spent the summer interning at the National League of Cities, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to being a resource and advocate for the nation’s cities and their leaders. María is now a canopy intern for RAICES! 


Ashani Williams is a student at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) majoring in government and Africana studies. She spent the summer interning at Spitfire Strategies, a public relations firm that helps nonprofits and foundations make positive change happen. Ashani is now at Franklin and Marshall College researching the future of work!


2019 Fellows

Naomi Cruz graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors in public relations.  She spent her summer as a Fellow interning for the National Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit whose mission is to unite Americans from all walks of life in giving wildlife a voice. Naomi is now the lead COVID-19 specialist at KIPP Texas Public Schools!


Z Estimé is a student at Mount Holyoke College, studying anthropology. For their fellowship, Key was matched with Martha’s Table, a nonprofit that is dedicated to supporting children, families, and communities by increasing access to quality education programs, healthy food, and family support. They are now the South Berkshire Community Health Coalition (SBCHC) Program Coordinator for the Railroad Street Youth Project!


Maryam Iftikhar graduated from Hood College, with a Bachelors in global studies. She spent her summer interning for Families USA, a nonprofit that is dedicated to ensuring high-quality, affordable health care and improved health for all.


Camryn Jackson graduated from Mercer University with a Bachelors in journalism and a minor in sociology. For her Fellowship, Camryn interned at Mary’s Center, a nonprofit that provides medical, social, and education services to families in the greater Washington D.C. area. She is now a human resources specialist at Ideas United!


Cindy Jara graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors in public relations and criminology. She spent her summer interning for the Children’s Defense Fund, an organization that is dedicated to making sure every child gets what they need to thrive and reach their full potential. Cindy is now a digital communications manager at Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative at the Common App!


Taina Perez graduated from Franklin and Marshall  College with a Bachelors in environmental studies. For her Fellowship, she interned at The Communications Network, a network of foundation and nonprofit leaders who share ideas, evidence, and lessons about how smart communications improve lives. Taina is now pursuing a Masters degree in environmental management at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies!


Patricia Sanchez-Ramirez graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University with Bachelors in sociology and a minor in computer science. She spent her summer as a Karel Fellow interning for Living Cities, a philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions working to improve the economic well-being of low-income people in cities. Patricia is now pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology at North Carolina State University!


Paige Swanson graduated from Yale University with a Bachelors in political science. For her Fellowship, she was matched with Spitfire Strategies, a public relations firm that helps nonprofits and foundations make positive change happen. Paige is now at Sciences Po Paris pursuing her Masters in Communications, Media, and Creative Industries!


2018 Fellows

Tarek Deida graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelors in American history. He spent his time as a Karel Fellow interning for Living Cities, a philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions working to improve the economic well-being of low-income people in cities. Tarek is now an associate at INDABA CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC!


Lauryn Fanguen graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelors in political science. For her Fellowship, Lauryn was matched with Spitfire Strategies, a public relations firm that helps nonprofits and foundations make positive change happen. She is now a federal advocacy communications manager at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America!


Tamara Gomez-Ortigoza graduated from Dartmouth College with Bachelors in economics and public policy. She spent her summer as a Karel Fellow interning for Families USA, a leading nonprofit and national voice for health care consumers that is dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care and improved health for all. She is now an associate at Boston Consulting Group!


David Guirgis graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelors in social policy and a minor in critical theory. For his Fellowship, David was matched with the International Partnership for Microbicides, a group of nonprofit enterprises that is dedicated to providing women with affordable, self-initiated HIV-prevention strategies they can use to protect their own health. David is now a communications manager and lead writer at New Deal Strategies!


Dayna Hood graduated from Trinity Washington University with a Bachelors in journalism and media studies. She spent her summer as a Karel Fellow interning for the Afterschool Alliance, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of afterschool programs. Dayna now heads up her own creative agency based out of Philadelphia!


Inaya Payne-Wilks graduated from Williams College with a Bachelors in statistics. For her Fellowship, Inaya interned at Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. The semester after her Fellowship, Inaya studied abroad in Japan!


Lia Tavarez graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a Bachelors in government and a minor in Arabic. She spent her summer as a Fellow interning for Urban Alliance, a nonprofit that empowers under-resourced youth to aspire, work, and succeed through paid internships, formal training, and mentorship. Lia is now a Fulbright Research Award Grantee to Peru!


Tamarra Thal graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors in public relations. For her Fellowship, she interned at the Truth Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to making tobacco use a thing of the past. Tamarra is now working in internal communications at IBM!


2016 Fellows

Jeanette Alcaraz graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelors in business management. Jeanette spent her summer as a Karel Fellow interning with GreenLatinos, a nonprofit that advocates for environmental issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latino community. She is now a human resources recruiter at Clinica de La Raza!


Adrian Cibran graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors in public relations with an outside concentration in business administration and a minor in Spanish. He spent his summer as a Karel Fellow interning at Amnesty International USA, whose mission is to unite people from all over the world using research, action, and advocacy. Adrian is now a notary public & loan signing agent.


Karen Franco graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelors in politics. For her Fellowship, Karen was matched with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an advocacy organization working to reduce tobacco use and its deadly consequences around the world. Karen is now a senior account executive at Chandler Chicco Agency!


Luisa Guaracao graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors in public relations and Portuguese. She spent her summer as a Fellow interning at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition dedicated to promoting and protecting the civil and human rights of all people in the United States. Luisa is now a social impact associate manager at Instacart!


Sean Mock graduated from Macalester College with a Bachelors in political science. For his Fellowship, Sean was matched with The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research and policy institute that pursues federal and state policies designed to both reduce poverty and restore fiscal responsibility. Sean is now an associate project manager at the Neighborhood Developers!


Emmanuel Oyalabu graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a Bachelors in public health. He spent his summer as a Karel Fellow interning with the World Wildlife Fund, a global nonprofit, working to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on earth. Emmanuel is a medical student at
the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine!


Jackie Salg graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a Bachelors in American studies. For her Fellowship, Jackie was matched with Martha’s Table, a nonprofit whose mission is to build a better future through healthy food, affordable clothing, and quality education. Jackie now works at Proctor and Gamble!


Kimberly Sanford graduated from Harvard College with a degree in women’s studies and a minor in government. She spent her summer as a Karel Fellow interning at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit whose mission is to safeguard the earth – its people, its plants and animals, and the natural system on which all life depends. Kimberly is now a high school teacher at Greenwood High School!


Gislene Tasayco graduated from Trinity Washington with a Bachelors in political science and government. For her fellowship, Gislene was matched with the Polaris Project, a nonprofit whose goal is to eradicate modern slavery by systemically disrupting the human trafficking networks. Gislene is now a social scientist at the American Institutes for Research. 


2015 Fellows

Nergis Lemus

Nergis Lemus graduated from Trinity Washington with a Bachelors in political science and government. Nergis spent her summer as a Karel Fellow working for the Special Olympics DC, whose mission is to provide year-round sports training in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. She now works for the DC Government as the assistant to the director of Forensic Science!


Milliecia Lacy

Milliecia Lacy graduated from Macalester College with a Bachelors in international studies and political science. Milliecia spent her summer as a Karel Fellow working for the Communications Network. The Communications Network is a nonprofit organization comprised of social sector leaders who share the belief that smart strategic communications has the power to transform society and improve lives. Milliecia is now pursuing a medical degree from the Harvard Extension Program!


Kindra Nicol

Kindra Nicol graduated from Trinity Washington University with a Bachelors in international business. Kindra spent her summer as a Karel Fellow working with Save the Children Action Network. Save the Children is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that every child has the best chance for success. Kindra is now a program outreach and engagement associate at the Children’s Defense Fund!


Betzaida Nolasco

Betzaida Nolasco graduated from the University of Maryland with a double major in criminology & criminal justice and romance languages. Betzaida spent her summer as a Karel Fellow working for DC Vote. Founded in 1998, DC Vote is a national citizen engagement and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening democracy and securing equality for all in the District of Columbia. Betzaida is now a human resources payroll assistant at the University of Maryland!


Marcia Puig-Lluch

Marcia Puig-Lluch graduated from American University with a Bachelors in international/global studies. Marcia worked for Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) during her summer as Karel Fellow. WOW works to build pathways to economic security and equality of opportunity for women, families, and elders. Marcia is now a Program Facilitator, ROOT & SHOOT RCN at the American Society of Plant Biologists!


Lauren Shiplett

Lauren Shiplett graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a minor in international affairs. Lauren was hosted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which conducts research and analysis to help shape public debates over proposed budget and tax policies, during her fellowship. She is now a communications associate director at Axios!


Aaron Zeiler

Aaron Zeiler graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in public relations and a minor in Spanish. Aaron was hosted by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use in the United States and around the world, during his summer as Karel Fellow. He is now a strategic communications consultant!


2014 Fellows

Taylor Brandon graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and advertising. She spent her time as a Fellow at the Food Recovery Network, an organization that organizes college students to donate their surplus and unused food. At FRN, Taylor provided communications support for the launch of Food Recovery Certified. She is now heads up her own communications and production agency!


Eura Chang graduated from Macalester College with a double major in political science and educational studies and a minor in French & Francophone studies. Eura was hosted by DC Vote, an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to securing full voting representation in Congress for District residents, during her summer as a Karel Fellow. She is now pursuing a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School and is a law clerk at Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.!


calvin_jackson

Calvin Jackson graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology. During his fellowship, Calvin was hosted by the Campaign for Youth Justice, a nonprofit dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing and incarcerating youth under 18 in the adult criminal justice system. He is now an organizer at Consumer Reports!


yoo_jin_kang

Yoo-Jin Kang graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Maryland Baltimore County with her Bachelor of Arts in language and cultural studies and interdisciplinary studies. During her summer as a Karel Fellow, Yoo Jin worked with Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. She is now a senior training specialist at Futures Without Violence and heads up her own trauma-informed consulting practice!


Sivan Sheriffe

Sivan Sherriffe graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from George Washington University in May 2015. During her fellowship, Sivan worked with Greenpeace, the largest independent direct-action environmental organization in the world. She is now a communications associate for the Center for Law and Social Policy.


Karen_Vanegas

Karen Vanegas graduated from the University of Maryland with a double major in broadcast journalism and government and politics. During her fellowship, Karen was hosted by Mary’s Center, a nonprofit that provides medical, social, and education services to families in the greater Washington D.C. area. She is now an external communications senior associate at PwC!


Elizabeth_Tejeda

Elizabeth Tejeda graduated from the University of Florida in 2017. She was hosted by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids during her summer as a Karel Fellow. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Elizabeth is now a senior manager, business strategy consultant at Salesforce!


2013 Fellows

Ava L.J. Kim, Ph.D. graduated from Macalester College in 2014 with a degree in Creative Writing. She was hosted by YWCA National Capital Area during her summer as a Karel Fellow. The YWCA National Capital Area strives to dismantle barriers that women and girls of color face to personal, educational, and professional success. Ava is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. In July of 2023, she will begin an appointment as Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Davis!


Mina Radman, MPS graduated from UF in 2014 with a degree in journalism. She was hosted by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids when she was a Karel Fellow. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Mina is now a director of public affairs at SKDKnickerbocker!


Gaby Gomez received her A.A. in international/global studies from Montgomery College in 2013 and received her B.A. in political science and government from the University of Maryland College Park in 2015. She was hosted by the Latino Economic Development Center when she was a Karel Fellow. The Latino Economic Development Center works to drive the economic and social advancement of low-to-moderate-income Latinos and other underserved communities. Gaby is currently an account supervisor at GMMB!


Roland Walker graduated from the University of Florida. He was hosted by DC SCORES when he was a Karel Fellow. DC SCORES cultivates neighborhood teams that provide kids in need the confidence and skills they need to succeed.


Samir Zaim, Ph.D. graduated from Carleton College in 2014 with a degree in mathematics/statistics. He was hosted by Education Trust during his summer as a Karel Fellow. Education Trust advocates for the high academic achievement of all students, particularly those of color and/or living in poverty through policy and practice, advocacy, and legislative affairs. Samir is now a biostatistician at Allen Institute for Immunology!


Thaddaeus Gregory graduated from Carleton College in 2015 with a degree in sociology and anthropology. He was hosted by the Campaign for Youth Justice when he was a Karel Fellow. The Campaign for Youth Justice is a national initiative focused on ending the practice of prosecuting, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under age 18 in the adult criminal justice system. Thaddaeus is currently an attorney at Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson P.S.!


Vicky Rodriguez graduated from Franklin & Marshall College. She was hosted by Casa de Maryland when she was a Karel Fellow. Casa de Maryland organizes and advocates for expanding opportunities for Latino and immigrant individuals in Maryland. Vicky is currently a Cleveland Heights-University Heights Teacher!


2012 Fellows

Alison Preston graduated from DePaul University.


Brittany Jones graduated from DePaul University in 2013 with a degree in journalism. She was hosted by the Nonprofit Round Table of Greater Washington when she was a Karel Fellow. The Nonprofit Round Table aimed to provide nonprofits and nonprofit leaders direct support via peer-to-peer discussions, public policy forums to foster dialogue between nonprofit leaders, and media workshops. Brittany is currently a clinician at Two Chairs!


Deon Jones graduated from American University in 2014 with a degree in political science. He was hosted by he Campaign for Youth Justice when he was a Karel Fellow. The Campaign for Youth Justice is a national initiative focused on ending the practice of prosecuting, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under age 18 in the adult criminal justice system. Deon is currently a creative collaborator and producer at the Glenn Kaino Studio!


Michael Stanley's Email

Michael Stanley graduated from Duke University with a degree in public policy analysis. He interned at DC Votes when he was a Karel Fellow. Michael now heads up his own creative agency, GSD Creatives!


Nathalie Sun graduated from Carleton College with a degree in international relations in 2014. She was hosted by AERAS when she was a Karel Fellow. AERAS is a nonprofit biotech advancing the development of tuberculosis vaccinations. Nathalie is currently global product lead at Google!


Oluwaseun Roberts, Esq. graduated from the University of Florida in 2012 with a degree in public relations and minor in nonprofit leadership, with a concentration in business and public affairs. She was hosted by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids when she was a Karel Fellow. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Roberta is currently a special assistant United States attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia and serves as a Christian life & leadership coach!


Yves Gomes earned his A.A. from Montgomery College in 2012 and went on to graduate from the University of Maryland College Park with a B.S. in biochemistry. He was hosted by the Nonprofit Round Table of Greater Washington when he was a Karel Fellow. The Nonprofit Round Table aimed to provide nonprofits and nonprofit leaders direct support via peer-to-peer discussions, public policy forums to foster dialogue between nonprofit leaders, and media workshops. He is currently a pharmacy manager at Safeway!