Excuse us if we’re a little weepy at Self-Help this week. We’re missing our summer interns, most of whom had their final day with us last Friday. These accomplished students and recent graduates come to us with loads of talent and a strong sense of mission, and we get pretty attached.
This year we were fortunate to have a large summer intern group—23 in all. The interns work with different parts of Self-Help Credit Union and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) according to their interests. In addition, they participate in group activities, like volunteering at SEEDS, a nonprofit educational community garden.
“It has been an honor to work with such a bright, curious and passionate group of students,” said Self-Help’s Yolanda Ray, who coordinates our intern program. “One of my favorite times this year was the day at SEEDS when the interns worked, sweated and laughed in the garden together. Every year our interns are passionate about serving the community, and it is wonderful to receive their gifts while watching them grow and learn.”
Here we introduce just a few of the interns who helped us this summer. (Yes, two of them are in shark suits. That’s all in a day’s work when you’re helping to fight predatory lending “sharks.”)
Chaz Hawkins - "I interned with the Center for Responsible Lending to support the Payday Mobilization Campaign, where we’re working to reform abusive practices in the small dollar loan industry. I’m from Nashville, TN, though I’m more interested in the world of politics than country music. Currently, I’m pursuing Public Policy and Theater Studies at Duke University, right up the street from CRL's office."
Amandine Mondelice - "Born and raised in Guadeloupe – a beautiful French overseas “department” in the Caribbean – I graduated in July from SKEMA Business School and obtained a Master in Management. I was immediately drawn to Self-Help’s work and values, and I’m working with the Marketing and Communications team to expand our presence on social media and provide better information to our members through content marketing."
Gerardo Mora - "I am a graduate student at NC State University pursuing my master’s degree in Architecture. This summer I worked as the Architectural Design Intern for the Real Estate team, where my main focus was providing design concepts for three unique residential projects. I also learned a great deal about budget estimates, zoning restrictions and Self-Help’s capabilities as an organization."
Lydia Powers -- "This summer I worked on federal regulatory compliance and legal research for the Mortgage Credit Administration Team. Before attending Elon Law I spent 12 years engaged in community organizing and non-profit work. I remain impressed with Self-Help’s model, which includes building wealth and knowledge so underserved communities may become self-reliant. I feel lucky to have had this experience and hope Self-Help continues to set examples for community development and policy work."
Gustell Preston - "I hail from Kernersville, NC and I’m a senior at UNC Chapel Hill studying Political Science and Global Studies. I was drawn to CRL because of the positive economic change that the organization makes in communities of color. My internship focused on the payday lending campaign, learning about nonprofit administration, and conducting research on minority- and women-owned business."
Adrienne Shoaf - "This summer I worked with the Accounting-Finance Team on process documentation. I am originally from Winston-Salem but now live in Raleigh and attend NC State University where I am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. I was drawn to Self-Help by the strong emphasis on community service and the friendly people."
Emily Walters - "When I applied to Self-Help, I was looking for an internship in my field (I’m studying geography and city and regional planning). Learning about Self-Help’s values and initiatives, I became even more excited than when I was accepted to UNC! During my internship I investigated how our branches can use financial capability services to empower members."
Rachel Wexler - "I am a master's student in City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill and spent my summer interning in Sustainability and Real Estate. My time was split between two projects: I developed Self-Help's proprietary green building standards and designed an artist-in-residency program for a specific space in Revolution Mill in Greensboro."