Spotlight: Spring 2020 Interns

Learning Life’s student interns this spring 2020 are, among other things, interviewing families worldwide that are participating in our Family Diplomacy Initiative (FDI) food culture project, building a library of free and low-cost international affairs videos, articles, photo collections and games for our International Mentoring Program, contributing research and writing for an upcoming article about feminist foreign policy, building the invitation list for our Democracy Dinners, and more.  Happily, the six spring interns spotlighted below — Solana Gibson, Ishita Gupta, Anna Hermann, Nima Majidi, Karmen Perry and Ariana Sierra-Chacon — are among the best interns Learning Life has had since our founding in 2012, and we are very grateful for their excellent work.  


Year, major and school: I am a junior majoring in anthropology at George Mason University.

Hobbies: I enjoy doing anything related to music. I play four instruments: drum set, ukulele, piano, and bass guitar. I sometimes write songs using computer software like Ableton Live. I am also a percussionist in George Mason University’s pep band “The Green Machine”.

Career aspirations: I would like to be a user-experience researcher in a corporate setting.

Why Learning Life?  I chose to intern with Learning Life because it seemed to be the most unique and worthwhile experience among the other internships available at the time. I was also drawn to the Family Diplomacy Initiative and the idea of family-to-family learning.


Ishita GuptaYear, major and school:  I am a freshman at George Washington University double majoring in international relations and economics.

Hobbies: I help plan speaker events for my foreign services sorority at GW.  I also volunteer and fundraise for the sorority and charities partnered with my sorority.

Career aspirations: I plan to work in the field of diplomacy in an international organization.

Why Learning Life?  I chose to intern with Learning Life because I was intrigued by citizen diplomacy and wanted to further cultural exchange and promote learning in non-academic settings as well.


Year, major and school:  I am majoring in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am earning a certificate (similar to a minor) in Education & Educational Studies as well as Theatre.

Hobbies: I love to stay active outside.  I enjoy hiking, running, and biking.  In Madison, Wisconsin, there are a lot of bike trails to explore and it is currently my favorite physical activity.  I also love to listen to music, sing and watch musical theatre. Everyone in my family is really interested in music. I have three siblings, and we all enjoy singing and constantly have music playing in the house when we get together.

Career aspirations: I plan to work in the U.S. education system in some way. I hope to work as either a school counselor or possibly even become an elementary or high school teacher someday.

Why Learning Life? I chose to intern with Learning Life because I believe in the power of education. It is important people become educated on material beyond what surrounds them. I believe this is extremely relevant in terms of international education and learning about the ways of life unlike one’s own. I believe that to become a better human, one must educate themselves on the lives and customs of others and accept that one’s way of life is not the only way, nor necessarily the right way.


Year, major and school: I am a freshman at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, and while I have yet to declare any majors or minors, I am interested in majoring in Business and Global Affairs and potentially minoring in International Development.

Hobbies: In my free time, I like to read books about all sorts of topics ranging from economics to history to philosophy. I am currently reading Madeleine Albright’s “Hell and Other Destinations.” I also love discovering new museums and restaurants in Washington D.C  and enjoying a quick chess game from time to time.

Career aspirations: I have no career plans set in stone, but I know that I want to be doing something relevant that helps or educates people in some way.

Why Learning Life?  I chose to intern with Learning Life because it gave me the opportunity to combine all of my interests. In my time at Learning Life, I have been able to interact with people from many countries, even on occasion in their native language. I have seen parts of DC that I have never seen before and met a few of the many underprivileged children that Learning Life serves. I have spent hours researching and writing foreign policy. If someone had told me a year ago that I would have the opportunity to do all of these things as a freshman, I never would have believed them, but thanks to Learning Life, I have been able to do all these things and more.


Year, major and school:  I am a junior at George Mason University majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Deviance, Crime, and Social Control.  I am also double minoring in Global Affairs and Immigration Studies.

Hobbies: Recently, I’ve been into crocheting clothes for my friends and spending time outside reading or meditating.

Career aspirations: I hope to go into research where I can learn and write about institutionalized racism and inequalities in America.

Why Learning Life?  Learning Life’s mission combines my two areas of interest: marginalized communities in the US and communities in other areas of the world. The work that Learning Life is doing is truly the first of its kind, and I am so excited to be a part of it!


Year, major and school: I am a freshman at Vassar College. My college major will most likely be political science and/or education and I might minor in Latin American Studies.

Hobbies: I like to play the guitar, or usually do something creative whether it be writing or painting. I also like to work out a lot and I try to go to the gym often.

Career aspirations: My potential career paths are diplomacy, education policy, or law.  I am also very interested in doing nonprofit work.

Why Learning Life?  I chose to intern with Learning Life because I am very interested in nonprofit work, education and diplomacy.  Learning Life blends those together well.  I am also very passionate about increasing accessibility to all people in foreign affairs and expanding the idea of democracy to transcend country and cultural borders.  I was very excited to hear about the Family Diplomacy Initiative and I’m very happy to work with Learning Life for the semester.