Spotlight: Summer 2021 Learning Life Interns

Learning Life’s seven student interns this summer 2021 are, among other things, helping to record and recruit new Family Diplomats, Family Diplomacy Ambassadors, plus dialogue speakers and members of/for our Family Diplomacy Initiative (FDI), helping to prepare for our October 21 fundraising event, building the invitation list for our Democracy Dinners, developing our website and video communications, and more.  We are very grateful for their dedicated work. Learn a little about each of them below.


Year, major, and school: I am a third year student in the Dual BA Program between Sciences Po in Paris, France, and Columbia University in New York City. At Sciences Po, I studied Economics and International Relations in the Europe-Africa Program. At Columbia, I am studying Sustainable Development. 

Hobbies: I enjoy running, hikes, playing drums, traveling, and spending quality time with friends. 

Career aspirations: I would like to work in the environmental realm on solutions that benefit people and the planet. I really like community-led projects that implement renewable energy or sustainable agriculture on a local scale. Since I love learning languages and meeting different types of people, I could see myself working in many different countries, particularly on the African continent since I know French and am learning Swahili.  

Why Learning Life? To tackle big problems like the climate crisis, you need to first understand what people’s daily lives are like, you need to connect with people at a human level. At an academic level, we know that air pollution leads to poor health outcomes for diseases like COVID-19 or that climate change is causing increased displacement. It’s a totally different story, however, to hear directly from a family going through the COVID-19 pandemic in India or from a Sudanese refugee explaining daily life in a Ugandan refugee camp. Learning Life’s dialogues are invaluable because they allow people to connect as equals and really hear each other. I am honored to be a part of them. 


Year, major and school: I am a rising junior at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, majoring in international relations with a concentration in the Middle East, and minors in Journalism and Hebrew & Arabic language and culture.

Hobbies: I enjoy being outdoors, and started rock climbing and sculling (rowing) this summer 2021. I am also a big fan of skiing and running. I ran more than 800 miles for the first time in 2020 and climbed 4 high peaks. Two goals of mine are to pursue mountaineering and backcountry skiing.

Career aspirations: I would be interested working as a journalist in the Middle East or a freelance travel videographer and photographer.

Why Learning Life? I resonated with the FDA programs offered by Learning Life, a great opportunity for young adults to learn first hand information from other young people around the world. Through this program, I learned about current news in different area of the world, how people with different ethnic, religion and value share their perspective and opinion and the possible explanation of where their views come from. What’s more, I learned how the program was able to bring all people together and foster a sense of global citizenship and community. Learning Life’s values and mission has really benefited myself to think border, bigger and more inclusive toward different viewpoints and ideas.


Year, major and school: I am currently a graduate student at American University. I am in the School of International Service studying International Development with a Professional Track in Social Innovation. I will graduate in May of 2022!

Hobbies: I like to work out, run, read, listen to music/podcasts, watch movies, hang out with friends, and explore more of Washington, DC!

Career aspirations: I would love to work in social impact within the corporate social responsibility side of international development, specifically for a company with initiatives working towards women’s economic empowerment.

Why Learning Life? I am interning with Learning Life as part of my Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellowship for my graduate program at AU. Interning with Learning Life has allowed me to learn how massive movements like family diplomacy begin. I have also loved getting to work alongside my fellow Learning Life interns and meet so many amazing people from around the world! The idea of bringing families together as a way to connect across borders and discuss issues that are happening worldwide resonated with me, especially given the eventual goal of families advocating for themselves via governments, nonprofits and businesses at local to global levels.


Year, major, and school: I am a sophomore at the University of California-Berkeley where I am majoring in Political Science and minoring in Race and the Law.

Hobbies: I enjoy listening to music, discussing politics, skating, thrifting, painting, being in nature, going on adventures, and participating in any spontaneous, creative activities. Exploring new music is one of my most prominent hobbies. My favorite music genres are indie and alternative.

Career aspirations: After my undergraduate years at the University of California-Berkeley, I plan to attend law school as I aspire to become a family law attorney. 

Why Learning Life? I enjoy taking part in enriching educational experiences, and Learning Life offers a great opportunity to participate in addressing the disconnect between family spaces, politics and diplomacy. Considering my passion for family law, I found myself admiring the time and effort that Learning Life commits to its families and learning communities. It is truly inspiring to see the different ways Learning Life engages with its members virtually in order to provide a more captivating experience for those interested in family diplomacy and all it has to offer.


Year, major, and school: I am a first-year Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) candidate and Paul D. Coverdell Fellow at the American University’s School of International Service, pursuing a dual focus in International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and US Foreign Policy and National Security. I earned my first MA in Russian Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Hobbies: I’m a long-distance runner and am training for the October 2021 Marine Corps Marathon. To help me maintain my footing in Russian, French, Spanish, and Armenian, I listen to the news once a week in each target language; Monday is for National Public Radio. I write poetry and short stories on occasion and am working on a mosaic memoir, which is some five years in the making.

Career aspirations: I envision myself within the next five years working as a global policy maker for socioeconomically and politically marginalized groups. I aspire to be Ambassador to the UN, or US Secretary of State. After retiring, I want to establish an institute for Eurasian cultural appreciation with programs to foster regional partnerships and post-conflict recovery.

Why Learning Life? In too many countries, domestic life revolves around warfare and its consequences — boys prepare for military conscription well before they start school. Learning Life’s mission is to foster the consideration of families–the most important yet most marginalized body politic — in public and foreign policymaking. It has created a platform for families around the world to speak for themselves, while also empowering them through education on how to manage the issues impacting their daily lives. I admire the Family Diplomacy Initiative’s international family dialogues, where experts from various fields discuss issues with families. I was also drawn to the organization’s programs for low-income and socioeconomically disadvantaged youth, an issue that hits close to home. Learning Life’s innovative approach to solving international problems inspired me to help the organization grow and gain international visibility. 


Year, major, and school: I am a Master’s student at the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC, in their Development Management Program. 

Hobbies: I love to explore and find any reason to get outside! I like hiking, traveling, and exploring new cities and learning new cultures. A fun hobby I learned while living in Eswatini was traditional style beadwork. In my free time, I particularly enjoy making beaded jewelry while listening to podcasts.   

Career aspirations: I’m passionate about merging for-profit business models with social impact, and aspire to lead or create social impact initiatives for a corporation in the future. I also would love to work in communications and impact consulting, assisting purpose-driven organizations in measuring, marketing, and scaling their impact.

Why Learning Life? I wanted to intern with Learning Life because of the opportunity to utilize my passion and skill set in impact communications, while gaining a greater understanding and respect for grassroots-level diplomacy initiatives. 


Year, major and school: I am currently a graduate student at the American University in Washington, DC, studying international relations with a concentration in International Negotiation & Conflict Resolution.

Hobbies: Bike riding and painting are my all-time favorite hobbies other than making illustrations on my computer. Since the pandemic, this has been groundbreaking for my mental health and keeping calm during stressful times. 

Career aspirations: I’ve always been interested in learning about political partnerships and diplomacy that ensures cooperation rather than conflict. By pursuing a career in the federal service, I hope to share a candid perspective from an underrepresented and marginalized community to advocate for fair policies that cater to middle to low-income individuals.   

Why Learning Life? I joined Learning Life because their grassroots outreach and family-oriented mission inspire me. Their approach to uncomfortable and hard conversations is an intuitive way of getting different international perspectives at the grassroots level focused on ordinary people’s opinions and experiences.