Summer interns help the organizing & policy staff

Our organizing and public policy staff have been helped by seven bright and caring interns this summer. We asked them to tell you a little about themselves and the work they’ve been doing at CCH:

PaigePaige Affinito is interning this summer at CCH and at StreetWise Chicago, working in the development offices through Notre Dame’s Summer Service Learning Program. I grew up in Wilmette, and this fall I will be a sophomore at Notre Dame, where I’m studying English and sociology.

EmilyEmily Berkman has worked with the development staff since October. Since earning a bachelor’s in psychology at the University of Chicago, Emily is now working toward a master’s in clinical social work at U. of C.’s School of Social Service Administration. Raised in the the Chicago area, Emily loves to bike along the lakefront and sign petitions.

CharlesCharles Dabah interned with the policy staff. Born and raised in New Jersey, Charles attended the University of Maryland. He moved to Chicago to complete a one-year AmeriCorps  program, where he worked in leadership development in a Chicago public high school. Charles’ most recent position was with Inspiration Corporation, a non-profit that provides employment, housing and supportive services to people who are homeless and trying to reach self-sufficiency. Charles said he is excited about working with CCH on policy initiatives that improve and increase the provision of homeless services in Chicago.

JasmineA Waukegan native, Jasmine Jones will be a senior at the University of Richmond in Virginia. She is an American Studies major, with minors in criminal justice and anthropology. Jasmine was introduced to CCH through an internship fair run by her scholarship program, the Schuler Scholar Program. This summer Jasmine interned full-time with organizer Jim Picchetti, helping to expand CCH’s Statewide Network in her home county, Lake County.

EdwardEdward Martinez interned with the policy staff. He grew up in the Wicker Park and Humboldt Park community areas. Edward graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago with a bachelor’s in criminology, law and justice. He will be entering the graduate school at the University of Chicago for Social Service Administration, and hopefully entering another U. of C. graduate program in public policy.

Edward volunteered at CCH two days a week. He also works as a re-entry counselor for the Safer Foundation’s Belmont-Cragin office. “Many of my clients face not only re-entry issues, but also homelessness issues. My interest and passion in learning more of homelessness and public policy derived from my clients.”

At CCH, Edward’s research focused on zoning and special use permits required that cities require to open shelters, supportive and transitional housing. In Chicago, special use permits are political and difficult to obtain. Edward’s researched those cities and states that allow different types of housing as a principal use, without requiring special use permits. Edward also helped research issues related to re-entry and prostitution/trafficking.

JadeJade Vinson was born and raised in the Hyde Park area of Chicago. She attends Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, where she is in the third year of a five-year MBA major program, with a concentration in marketing. Jade came to CCH through her organizing studies at Midwest Academy to work on fair tax reform. This summer Jade created a presentation for A Better Illinois, and we’ve been presenting it at various shelters and organizations across Chicago.

IMG_7765A native of Virginia, Matthew Walsh will be a senior at Northwestern University, where he studies economics and music. He has been a member of the CCH Speakers Bureau’s core team at Northwestern. This summer, Matt worked with organizers and homeless leaders on the CCH Education Committee. He helped with its work researching whether federal Title I funds are being properly allocated to homeless students by Chicago schools.

– Anne Bowhay, Media