Introducing: Our New SRA Interns

This summer, Students Rising Above has brought three new interns on board. These new interns will be assisting various SRA teams with projects involving program development, event planning, research, content creation, or social media coordination. Below you can find out an introduction to our Rising Star, Programs and Development and Communications interns. These new team members will tell you about themselves as students, individuals, professionals and SRA Rising Stars!


First up, the Rising Star Intern, Linda Ortega (she/her):

My name is Linda Ortega. I was born and raised in Hayward, California, and I am transitioning to my sophomore year at UC Davis, majoring in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. Although I am not sure what specifically my career will be, I do know that I am passionate about helping others and would pursue a career in healthcare. 


With gratitude and love, I am proud to say I am a current Rising Star! This summer, I was given the opportunity to help SRA as a Rising Star Intern. My responsibilities involve helping with different programming within SRA, like supporting the Selection Committee, event planning, and program development if needed. So far, I have learned so much from the Selection Committee, but most importantly, that communication is key. As long as there is clear effort and communication with one another, it is sure that a great and effective team can be built that will carry much success, much like the SRA Selection Committee. I have also learned much about the hard work that is required with the process of selecting students, it takes much time to schedule, interview, contact students, and make selections while staying organized, but this team goes above and beyond! One highlight I’d like to share is being able to meet up in person with Luna, Veli, Lisa, and Christy to select students, and we had an amazing time working with one another! 


My projects so far include helping the Selection Committee with the interviews of the finalists and making selections. My next project will involve working more on planning and organizing for the Summer 2021 Retreat dedicated for the upcoming Rising Stars. I can’t wait to learn more about program development after this internship, and to also meet the rest of SRA staff.


Overall, I am thankful that SRA is there to guide me through my professional development, helping me build friendships, gaining support, and helping me rise above my challenges. Major shoutout to my advisor, Salote, who helped me with my application process and made sure I was confident. Big thanks to Edylwise for helping me prepare for my interview! Thank you to Aliza for  helping me with onboarding and meeting other staff members. Also, much gratitude to Lisa, Veli, Luna, and Christy for welcoming me to the SRA team with open arms. 


Next, our Programs Intern, Marlene Barrios-Espinoza (she/her):

Hello! My name is Marlene and I am from San Mateo, CA! I am currently an incoming fourth year student at UC Riverside majoring in Psychology and minoring in Women’s studies. I plan on becoming a clinical psychologist in the future that specifically focuses on working with children and adolescents. 


I am a rising star, SRA class of 2018! I am currently SRA’s Programs Intern, I specifically work with the EdTech and Career Development team. I help with updating and developing resources for Rising stars, the SRA Hub, and the SOAR program and help with building a virtual community. Some of the projects I’ll be working on include the July Mock Career fair, CD Content conversion, and SOAR summer community hangout. I look forward to getting to know the EdTech and CD team better as well as improving my leadership, writing, and speaking skills! 


I wanted to give a thank you to the EdTech and CD team for being supportive throughout my internship as well as my advisor Chelsea for helping me with the application process and always pushing me out of my comfort zone! 


And finally, our DevComms Intern, Sunari Weaver-Anderson (she/her):

Hello, My name is Sunari (suh-nar-ee), and I’m a 2020 Rising Star from Richmond, California! I am a rising sophomore at Occidental College, interested in Critical Theory and Social Justice. While I am still sitting with several career interests, I am quite passionate about investigating how to disrupt and redistribute the power that is wielded over marginalized communities. I hope to one day hold a professional position that allows me to facilitate the empowerment of marginalized people, making economic, educational and political prosperity more inclusive and accessible!


I am currently the SRA Development and Communications Intern. This summer, I will be working with the DevComms team to create social media content, as well as assisting with marketing campaigns, research and communication. One of my professional goals for this opportunity was to start and finish a multi-stage project, as well as learn more about fundraising in the nonprofit sector. Though I’m still in the opening weeks of my internship, I’ve already gained valuable insight into what goes into conceptualizing and executing a social media campaign. Perhaps my most exciting project this summer will be rolling out the new SRA Instagram Takeover project, where guests will have the chance to share information—via videos, Q&As, and posts—on the SRA Instagram account. I hope to leave this internship with an expanded professional network, as well as first-hand peek behind the proverbial nonprofit curtain. 


It would be remiss of me not to express my deepest gratitude to Edylwise for looking over my application, Brenda (my advisor), Julia (my amazing supervisor), and the entire SRA Development and Communications team for such a warm welcome.


Written and Published by Sunari Weaver-Anderson