Meet SRA’s Interns!

Meet SRA’s Interns: 

Students Rising Above has four new interns this summer, including myself, Aylin! 


Programs & Operations Intern 

My name is Aylin Velazco and I am the Students Rising Above Programs and Operations Intern. I am a rising junior at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania where I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child and Family Studies. In my position at SRA, I have worked with the Career Development department, DevComms department, and Human resources department. Some of the projects I have worked on include: creating learning modules for the SRA Hub, learning about the employee lifecycle, writing blog posts, and participating in a mock informational interview for other SRA interns. 


What has been your favorite part of your internship? What has been the most challenging aspect of your internship?

My favorite part of my internship experience has been working with a variety of different people and I have really enjoyed all of the projects I’ve been able to work on. I’ve really enjoyed creating presentations, writing articles, and learning new skills. I think one of the most challenging parts of my internship is the fact that we are in a global pandemic. Because of COVID-19, my internship was switched to a remote setting which has come with technical difficulties. Likewise, since my internship is remote, I have not been able to interact with other interns as much as I would have if the internship would have been an in-person opportunity.


Any advice for other interns?

I think one of my biggest pieces of advice is to be willing to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. This is something that I am constantly trying to do in my internship since a lot of the tasks and projects I am working on are different from what I am used to. However, getting out of my comfort zone has allowed me to learn so much. 


Ed Tech Intern 

Students Rising Above’s EdTech Intern for the summer is Liliana Pacheco. Liliana is a student at UC Berkeley where she will be majoring in Political Science with a minor in public policy. In her role at SRA, Liliana has been “collecting data from SRA students to learn about ways to improve the SRA Hub and what webinars they want to see” Likewise, she recently began a new project about the Black Lives Matter movement where she will be “highlighting student voices and helping inform our community about the movement”. 


What has been your favorite part of your internship? What has been the most challenging aspect of your internship?

The best parts of my internship have been learning new skills such as compiling data and other technological skills, and also learning about other career paths that make a positive impact on communities. I am also really enjoying seeing the behind the scenes of a nonprofit organization, as it gives me a better picture of where I can see myself in the future. Some of the challenges I have faced have been working remote, as it can feel very isolating and there can be distractions at home, but overall, my internship has been so rewarding!


Rising Star Interns

SRA has two Rising Star Interns, Tony Troung and Gerardo “Jerry” Gonzalez, who work alongside the selection committee and help conduct interviews. After the interview process is over, Tony and Jerry will also help with the selection process for new Rising Stars. 


Tony Troung is a rising sophomore at Williams College. He plans to double major in Economic and Math. 


 What has been your favorite part of your internship? What has been the most challenging aspect of your internship?

My favorite part of the internship has been by far being able to be a part of the interview process for the Rising Stars program. Having the opportunity to talk to the incoming high school juniors directly and being able to learn a bit about their academic as well as personal background is really fun! A challenge that I have faced in my internship is dealing with students that are unresponsive or are harder to reach. I think persistence and figuring out ways to reach them through other mediums have helped me overcome this challenge.


How has COVID-19 affected your internship experience?

I would like to say that COVID-19 has affected my internship experience more positively than negatively. While I am unable to initially work at the office in SF and to eat with my supervisors and fellow interns during lunch time, the remote nature of the internship has also allowed me to still be committed to my other summer activities. The flexibility that it offers, in terms of time and location in which and where you can work, is truly great. In addition, the effects of COVID-19 have also helped everyone involved save a bit of money and time (no more commuting!).


Any advice for other interns?

  • Do not be afraid to reach out and ask questions immediately when you are confused about something! This will save you time and stress in the long-run both for you and your supervisors.
  • Be proactive in asking how you can further support your supervisors beyond your required projects.
  • Commonly reflect on your internship experience.
  • Google Calendar, Google Calendar, Google Calendar (need I say more?)
  • Under promise, over deliver (promise less, but do a little bit more than expected)


Gerardo “Jerry” Gonzalez is studying sport management at Guildford College in North Carolina.


What are some of the best parts of your internship? What are some of the challenges you have encountered during your internship? 

The best parts of my internship include getting to work with different people but I am glad to be able to help rising stars with their process because I too went through this process.