Welcome to our new Programs and Operations Intern Nyana Quashie! She will be interning with CAPAL this fall.
Why did you join CAPAL?
I first joined CAPAL through a shadowing program at the University of Maryland, College Park. After interning for a day, I decided to continue working with CAPAL. I admired the work ethic of CAPAL’s Managing Director Liz Thompson, and the Public Service Fellow Eugene Lau. During the summer, I had the opportunity to attend the Washington Leadership Program, which gave me further insight on issues that affect the AAPI community. As a woman of color, I think it’s really important to understand not only the issues that affect the black community, but also other communities of color as well. Because I think the best version of America, is one that is inclusive and values everyone, and I want to help create a better America.
What are your main responsibilities at your position? What are some of your big projects?
This fall I am working with staff and board members in various capacities. On a daily basis, I make website updates and manage the social media. My main duties involve working with the programs and operations teams, so I help with the logistics of upcoming events such as the Annual Reception and the happy hour for Giving Tuesday (GT). #GivingTuesday is a social media driven movement designed to encourage a culture of generosity and giving back during the holiday season. The staff were really excited when I proposed the pie in the face idea for the GT happy hour! Essentially for every $100 we raise at the event, a CAPAL member will get pied. It’s a fun way to raise money! I have also been working to implement our GT campaign, so be on the lookout for our videos on social this month. In addition to the GT campaign, I help with development by working on prospect research. I’m also working on updating CAPAL’s current volunteer engagement plan, and am creating a proposal for a transition to new blog. Hopefully the blog plan will be fully implemented by next May!
How does this internship fit with your professional and career goals?
I have an interest in nonprofit management and working with unrepresented communities. I eventually hope to work in the international development field addressing issues such as poverty and gender equity. Working with CAPAL not only gives me the opportunity to gain new skills in management, event planning, and fundraising, but it also allows me to learn about the inner workings of a nonprofit. I really love getting the chance to create programs that will promote/benefit the needs of a specific community. Also being a part of CAPAL has given me the opportunity to connect with people who share similar interests with me!
What does leadership mean to you?
I actually interviewed a few people on this topic for CAPAL’s blog, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about this. I have a very service oriented definition of leadership, and when I think of leaders, I think of someone who is not only able to identify and address pressing needs, but also of someone who is able to serve as a positive example to others. As a leader I take initiative and try to serve as a role model, be it by serving as a leader of my local RESULTS volunteer group, taking the lead on projects at my internship, or being a positive influence for my younger brother. I take initiative by identifying the needs of the people and organizations that I work with, and I help them to come up with ways to achieve those needs. Doing those things not only helps me to grow personally, but helps others to grow as well.
What do you consider to be the most interesting thing about you?
My love for food, new cultures, and travel. As I’m originally from Trinidad and Tobago, I grew up exposed to a variety of cultural influences (predominantly African and East Indian). The influences were especially apparent in food and that fueled my love for it all. I count the Food Network and Cooking Channel among my favorite channels to watch on TV. I won’t say I’m a professional chef, but I’m good enough! I sometimes try to recreate recipes I’ve had in different places. I once recreated the Banana Nut Chocolate Chip muffins I had when I was in Nicaragua. Those were pretty good!
Nyana recently graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in Geographical Sciences. While there she also pursued minors in Global Poverty, and Spanish. She is committed to engaging communities and creating social change both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2013, she consulted with local businesses in Nicaragua as an intern with the Social Entrepreneur Corps. She also recently completed a fellowship at the grassroots advocacy organization RESULTS, working to end poverty around the world. Nyana has previously volunteered with CAPAL, blogging on rising leaders in the APA community, and assisting with the Washington Leadership Program. Currently, Nyana serves as CAPAL’s Programs and Operations Intern and will be focusing on event planning, volunteer engagement and fundraising. In her free time, you can often find Nyana reading a book, catching up on shows, or attempting to cook.