We at Indego Africa are consistently humbled by the steady stream of highly qualified (and motivated) individuals that walk through our doors with each new season. This summer is no exception. Please join us in welcoming a deep and talent-rich summer 2011 intern class.
Sara Dushey (Fundraising & Development): Sara is an MPA candidate at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service focusing on International Development. Prior to joining Indego Africa, Sara worked on an Israeli-Palestinian economic peace initiative and then for the Joint Distribution Committee, a leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. Sara is keen on marshaling her extensive fundraising expertise to push Indego Africa to meet our lofty 2011 development goals while deepening her own understanding about the anatomy of a social enterprise (an ultimate win-win scenario). Sara holds a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from Brandeis University and can often be spotted around town doing yoga, sewing, or listening to music.
Kelsey Eng (Graphic Design): Last spring, Kelsey collaborated with SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) to design their marketing and branding materials. The eye-opening experience propelled Kelsey to seek out more graphic design engagements across the non-profit sector. Motivated by the saying "Women Hold Up Half The Sky," Kelsey is eager to apply her graphic design acumen to the challenges of raising global awareness about Indego Africa, our economic justice mission, and, most importantly, our dynamic artisan partners. Kelsey is a Communication Design student at Washington University in St. Louis and is constantly looking to further expand her horizons.
Laila Qaimmaqami (Rwanda Program): Laila recently completed her coursework for an M.A. in International Business and Humanitarian Project Management at the Université de Provence in Marseille, where she has lived for the past five years. This career trajectory in international development represented a dramatic shift for Laili following several years of work in education and communications. Laila previously interned with Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) with the Harm Reduction Mission, where she worked on cross-border development projects with Italian NGOs. Following her stint on the ground in Rwanda with Indego Africa, Laila will return to France to defend her thesis on women’s economic empowerment and social enterprise. Laila holds a B.A. in English Literature and Italian from the University of Maryland and passes her down time cooking, traveling, kayaking, and hiking.
Allie Taylor (Sales & Marketing): Allie is an MBA candidate at the NYU Stern School of Business, specializing in Social Innovation and Impact, Global Business, and Luxury Marketing. Allie is interested in leveraging the fashion industry to create sustainable social change. At Indego Africa, Allie is able blend her prior experience in product development and merchandising with retailers Target and The Limited with her experiences in fundraising and developing strategic partnerships for the non-profit organization KaBOOM!. Allie holds a B.S. in Business from Miami University, where her coursework in economic development helped her frame an understanding of the wide possibilities for women's empowerment through education and employment. As a Social Impact Internship Fund fellow, Allie is spending her summer with Indego Africa and also working to launch a social enterprise partnering with women cooperatives in India.
Rachel Tennenbaum (Communications): Rachel is a graduate student at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where she studies social enterprise and international development, with a concentration in sustainable food systems. Before returning to graduate school, Rachel worked at the brokerage firm, E1 Asset Management, and as a facilitator with the youth anti-nuclear organization, Think Outside the Bomb. Her professional interests in organizing, administration, and cross-sector collaboration are what led her to social entrepreneurship and to the communications department of Indego Africa. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from University of California, Santa Cruz, where she edited the university paper, City On A Hill Press. A practicing Buddhist, Rachel is a regular on the city's yoga studio and museum circuits.
Valerie Varco (Sales & Marketing): Valerie is a second-year MPA Candidate at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service with a specialization in International Nonprofit Management and Policy. With an interest in building social enterprises in impoverished communities, Valerie was attracted to Indego Africa’s sustainable business model, commitment to measuring impact and emphasis on entrepreneurship training for its artisans. Before enrolling in graduate school, Valerie worked with a number of non-profit organizations, helping them to define their communications and outreach strategies. Valerie holds a B.A. in History from Colorado State. In her spare time, Valerie enjoys traveling, taking photographs, and exploring New York City.
Ryan Williams (Legal): A second-year scholar in NYU Law’s Mitchell Jacobson Leadership in Law and Business Program, Ryan’s professional interests lie at the intersection of these two disciplines. However (and fortunately for us), his personal interest in law and business remains firmly tethered to a strong sense of social responsibility – a quality he attributes to his mother. Ryan studied international development at UCLA and serves as the Executive Director of NYU's Law and Social Entrepreneurship Association. In his "free time," Ryan is launching a start-up social enterprise aimed at creating a sustainable and profitable market for solar energy in Africa by utilizing existing cell phone coverage to monitor home solar energy systems via text messages. As demonstrated by his experience, Ryan is convinced that the future of business will involve the active alignment of profit-generating models and social interests - Indego Africa is simply ahead of the curve.
Adding a promising new intern class means expectations will remain sky high for a productive and change-making summer at Indego Africa. And that is exactly the way we like it. To quote the one-hit 1980s wonder Timbuk3, "the future's so bright, [we] gotta wear shades."
-Conor French and Ben Stone