YIDA Intern Alumni

Youth in Development News

The USICD team was excited to host its first cohort of seven interns in our newly launched Youth in International Development and Affairs (YIDA) internship program this summer, which is supported by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF).  The YIDA program is meant to inspire youth involvement in international affairs and development careers.  It is targeted at students with disabilities from across the United States who share a commitment to careers in the field of international development or international affairs.  The program is one way USICD has been working to strengthen the mainstreaming of a disability perspective in all US foreign affairs issues. 

Our seven interns were selected from among more than 130 applicants: Ki’tay Davidson, Katie Donahue, Christopher Hutchinson, Anais Keenon, Bonnie Prestridge, (Shana) Marisa Rafsky, and Emily Robson.  The interns completed internships at various international organizations in the DC area in June and July 2013. Participating host organizations in 2013 included: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Handicap International, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Medical Care Development International, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Winrock International, and World Learning.

One of our interns, Ki’tay Davidson, was recognized by the White House on a July 25 ceremony honoring eight Americans with disabilities as “Champions of Change” who embody the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  He wrote a blog post reflecting on this honor for USICD’s blog.

YIDA intern Anais Keenon delivered a graduation speech on behalf of our cohort of YiD interns at USICD’s annual meeting on July 25.  Read the prepared version of her speech at: http://usicd.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/yid-graduation-speech/

All YIDA interns were asked to write blog posts throughout the summer about their internship experiences.  Browse through their blog posts at http://usicd.wordpress.com/tag/yid/

The USICD team thanks MEAF for their support for the YiD program!  We also thank the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) for collaborating with us on shared training and orientation events for participants in the YiD and AAPD internship programs!  AAPD interns made a great video this summer in which they shared how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had impacted their lives: this video also talks about the importance of the CRPD!  http://t.co/70aGdLIf8w

The YIDA program will be able to host another cohort of interns in the summer of 2014.  The tentative dates for this program will be from May 26 to July 26: these dates may be subject to change.  Students will be able to begin applying on November 11, 2013.  Those who are interested can sign up for the YIDA mailing list to be notified when more details about the application process are available: www.usicd.org

Meet the 2013 Youth in International Development and Affairs (YIDA) Interns!

A smiling man of African descentKi’tay Davidson

Ki’tay is a student at American University completing a joint MPA/BA in Public Administration and  Law and Society. More importantly, he is a social justice advocate attempting to be a pioneer of possibility.  His focus is on the incubation of social innovation specific to the realm of international disability policy. Within this pursuit, he focuses on community integration, social entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.

Outside of academia, Ki’tay is an active member of the AU Debate Society and Disability Rights Coalition. He has a strong commitment to racial justice and queer advocacy and has worked extensively on AU’s campus to create a more inclusive environment for people of color and the LGBTQ community. He regularly leads workshops at local universities and high schools in the D.C area on the disability rights movement, ableism and social justice in relation to disability rights. Post-college, Ki’tay will pursue a career in disability policy and social enterprise.

Ki’tay completed his YIDA internship at Handicap International, which is an independent and impartial aid organization working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster.

Connect with Ki’tay Davidson via his LinkedIn profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ki-tay-davidson/45/320/7a7

Read Ki'tay Davidson's blog posts about his YIDA internship experiences at: http://usicd.wordpress.com/tag/kitay-davidson/

A smiling woman with glassesKatie Donahue

Katie Donahue is completing her Graduate Degree this fall. She is earning a Graduate Degree in Human Development and Leadership with a concentration in International Education Administration. She has previously studied abroad during the summer of 2010 in Seville Spain and had a great experience, which convinced her to pursue a master’s degree in International Education Administration. After she earns her degree, Ms. Donahue hopes to work for either a university in a study abroad office or hopefully work for a study abroad organization. She wants to assist other students with disabilities to study abroad.  She believes that with determination and the right people to help them along their journey, they, too, will be able to study abroad!  She completed her YIDA internship at World Learning, which works to empower people and strengthen institutions through education, exchange, and development programs

Connect with Katie Donahue via her LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/katiedonahue.

Read blog posts by Katie Donahue about her YIDA internship experiences at: http://usicd.wordpress.com/tag/katie-donahue/

A smiling man in a blue shirtChristopher Hutchinson

Chris Hutchinson joins us from Tampa, FL where he recently graduated from the University of South Florida Honors College with two undergraduate degrees; a bachelor of arts in international relations and bachelor of science in public health. Chris is currently working toward a Master of Business Administration from Saint Leo University, which he will place on hold starting this fall, when he begins law school. 

With 9 years in the US Army, Chris plans to use his military, international, and public health experience to earn his Juris Doctor degree. With a JD and an MBA he foresees a future working with veterans and NGO's from his own law firm.  He completed his YIDA internship at Medical Care Development International (MCD), which works to enhance the well-being of peoples and communities in developing nations through technical assistance in health and socioeconomic development.

Connect with Christopher Hutchinson via his Linked In profile at: www.linkedin.com/pub/chistopher-hutchinson/70/69a/390/

Read blog posts by Christopher Hutchinson about his YIDA internship experiences at:  http://usicd.wordpress.com/tag/chris-hutchinson/

A smiling woman in a black shirtAnais Keenon

Anais Keenon graduated magna cum laude from the University of Oregon in 2012 with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism: Advertising. After her internship experience at Mobility International USA and free lancing a feature story on people with disabilities in Ghana, Ms. Keenon became inspired to pursue a career advocating for disability inclusion in development work. She is now halfway through a Master's program in International Development at Gallaudet University, known as the world's only major university for the Deaf, and is expected to graduate in June 2014.   Anais completed her YIDA internship at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), which has worked in more than 135 countries to support citizens’ rights to participate in free and fair elections

Connect with Anais via her LinkedIn profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/anaiskeenon

Read blog posts by Anais Keenon about her YIDA internship experiences at: http://usicd.wordpress.com/tag/anais-keenon/

A smiling woman in a green shirtBonnie Prestridge

For the past year, Bonnie Prestridge has interned at the US Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Her previous professional experiences have included working with bilingual students as a Spanish-language reading interventionist and as the founder and director of a Spanish-language summer camp. During college, she also held several leadership positions in the Berkeley Student Cooperative, the largest student-owned housing association in the United States.

Bonnie holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where she concentrated on contemporary Latin America. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and basic French, and plans to pursue international careers in bilingual education, cooperative business development, and social entrepreneurship.  She completed her YIDA internship at the National Democratic Institute, which works to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

Connect with Bonnie Prestridge via her LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/pub/bonnie-prestridge/52/899/771

Read blog posts by Bonnie Prestridge about her YIDA internship experiences at: http://usicd.wordpress.com/tag/bonnie-prestridge/

A smiling woman in a black shirt(Shana) Marisa Rafsky

Marisa Rafsky graduated Magna Cum Laude along with an International Baccalaureate Diploma from Bodine High School for International Affairs and is now a rising sophomore at Bryn Mawr College.  She plans to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and then a Master's degree in International Security, specializing in counter-terrorism.  A 2011 trip to Israel inspired Marisa to consider the impact of terrorism and security issues on the challenges of poverty.  She is interested in improving bilateral relations between the US and foreign governments in order to solve international security concerns.  Marisa aspires to become a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving the interests of the United States nationally and abroad.  She also is interested in furthering Jewish and Latino communities in the US and elsewhere. Marisa completed her YIDA internship at Winrock International, which works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. 

Connect with (Shana) Marisa Rafsky via her LinkedIn profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/shana-marisa-rafsky/70/a51/231

Read blog posts by Marisa Rafsky about her YIDA internship experiences at: http://usicd.wordpress.com/tag/marisa-rafsky/

A smiling woman in a dark jacketEmily Robson

Emily Robson hails from Portland, Oregon. She is a rising sophomore at Case Western Reserve University majoring in Nursing. In the summer of 2010, Emily gained experience in community development with the AMIGOS de las Americas program while living in a rural Panamanian community.  She then spent three months in Eastern Africa in 2011. While volunteering with a health clinic in Uganda, Emily realized she wanted to pursue a career in International Health. Once she has completed her education, Emily hopes to live abroad and work on healthcare issues in Third World countries. Her goal is to treat those who go untreated. She wants people living in impoverished areas to receive the health education and care they deserve.   Emily is completing her YIDA internship at the International Affairs Division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which manages engagement with international emergency management partners and coordinates foreign visit requests at FEMA facilities.

Connect with Emily Robson via her LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/emily-robson/70/739/601

Read blog posts by Emily Robson about her YIDA internship experience at: http://usicd.wordpress.com/tag/emily-robson/

2013 Graduation


A large, diverse group smiles at the camera

YIDA Class of 2013 mingled with MEAF Executive Director Kevin Webb, USICD President Marca Bristo, USICD Executive Director David Morrissey, YiD Program Manager Andrea Shettle and USICD staff members Esme Grant, Eileen Magan and Suzanne Richard