A few years ago, Katie Gerecke (currently Pomona Valley Vice President) began recruiting student interns from Pomona College. These days, we have two or three interns working with the chapter and it’s a win/win for us and the interns involved.
This year we have three student interns helping us at our monthly meetings, recruiting younger members, holding campus events, promoting the UN and our mission through social media, participating in advocacy, working with our databases, and presenting programs of their own.
Julius Torres Kellinghusen, Mel Boynton, and Leyth Swidan
Our veteran student interns are Julius Torres Kellinghusen and Leyth Swidan, shown here with chapter president Mel Boynton. Both have worked with the chapter since 2013 and are campus leaders at Pomona College. In the summer of 2014, Julius is an intern with UNAIDS in Vietnam and Leyth is interning with the US State Department in Washington, DC. Leyth will be studying abroad in Jordan in the fall of 2014, so he will be missed as Julius continues to work with our chapter.
Joining Julius for the rest of 2014 are Pomona College student Sana Kahn and Claremont High School senior Sharon Musa. Sana (pronounced “sun nah”) helped start an arts education non profit “Dear Imagination” in Mumbai, India – where she is working in the summer of 2014.
Sharon won our UNA-USA essay contest this year and plans to organize students at the high school through the Key Club. She is wise beyond her years and a champion orator and debater.
Be sure to say hello to Julius, Sana, and Sharon as you see them in action. Our chapter is healthier and their careers look brighter because we’re working together for a better world. (click here for pdf)
Pomona Valley UNA-USA
Pomona College InternClaudia Sandell-Gándara Joins PVUNA in 2016
Hello, my name is Claudia Sandell-Gándara and I am a sophomore at Pomona College majoring in Politics, and considering a minor or second major in Media Studies. I'm excited to intern for UNA Pomona Valley this spring!
I call several places home including Austin and Fort Worth, Texas, Guanajuato, Mexico, and Quito, Ecuador.
Last summer, I volunteered remotely from my home in Texas for Catalytic Communities, a non-profit urban planning program based in Rio de Janeiro. My work entailed researching media coverage of favelas. I became dedicated to Catalytic Communities' mission to counteract reporting that negatively influences global perceptions of favelas by using stigmatizing language and ignoring the voices of community residents.
My passion for serving underrepresented people is rooted in my experiences in Quito, Ecuador. I have visited family there from an early age and witnessed how economic inequality dampers opportunities and cohesiveness in society. In high school, I taught piano to underprivileged, primarily Hispanic, elementary-schoolers whose first language was Spanish. As a mentor to these children, I recognized the opportunities they would normally be denied due to economic circumstances.
These experiences have developed my interest in international human rights. I look forward to spending time in either Nicaragua or Quito this summer possibly doing a research project having to do with community politics. Until then, I am excited to join UNA Pomona Valley this spring to learn alongside many talented and experienced members!
Haruka Sano, 2015 Intern
Hello! My name is Haruka Sano, and I’m a rising sophomore at Pomona College, very grateful and excited to be an intern at the United Nations Associations Pomona Valley Chapter this fall. I was born in Kawasaki, Japan, and have lived in Yokohama, Japan for all my life except for the four middle-school years I spent in Bethesda, Maryland.
Courses that I have taken this past year at Pomona have confirmed my interest in international relations, especially in East Asian issues. I have worked as an organizer at the Sino-Japan Youth Conference, a week-long summer program in Hong Kong for Chinese and Japanese high school students, and have enjoyed discussing China-Japan issues with peers. I plan to major in international relations while also considering psychology, an entirely new discipline that I would not have engaged in, if not for the amazing liberal arts education at Pomona.
Haruka Sano and Chapter President Mel Boynton
On campus, I sing in the Glee Club, and am currently touring the East Coast with a welcoming community of talented singers. This summer, I will fly back to Japan to work in my nonprofit organization, which helps to open doors for Japanese high school students with potential interests in higher education abroad or in liberal arts education. I look forward to traveling across Japan to inspire students with everything I have absorbed during this past year at Pomona, as well as to coming back to Pomona and growing through my internship at the Pomona Valley Chapter.
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