Past WorldLink Interns
Spring 2009 WorldLink Interns
High Tech High International
Thomas is a junior at High Tech High International (HTHI). He was born in San Diego and attended elementary and middle school in Mira Mesa. While at HTHI, he developed a strong interest for the cultures and histories of other nations. Thomas is also interested in national and international politics and closely follows the news. He loves to discuss current events with his peers in order to gather an understanding of other people’s perspectives.
Locally, Thomas participates in beach cleanups and fundraiser walks for numerous causes. He believes that being active in the community is the best way to make a difference. Thomas’ hobbies include writing poetry, reading books, performing his music, creating art and helping others. He is very creative and hopes to major in either music or another artistically expressive field and find a way to apply his talents to making a difference.
High Tech High International
Yvette is currently a junior at High Tech High International (HTHI). While attending this school, she was exposed to traveling and became interested in global affairs. Through various opportunities, Yvette has been able to immerse herself in the culture of countries such as China, Mexico, Guatemala and Italy. During her travels she enjoys helping local organizations such as ARCAS in Guatemala, which works to rehabilitate rare animals sold in the black market and return them to their natural habitats. Yvette is part of HTHI for Africa, a collaboration between interested students and Invisible Children, as well as serving as the World Health Organization chair for the High Tech High Model United Nations club.
Along with international issues, Yvette enjoys sports and plays as a guard for her school’s varsity basketball team. She also has a deep passion for photography and won a local competition, which had her art printed in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Yvette makes it a goal to use her passions and skills to be an active member of her school, most notably as website writer for HTHI’s Associated Student Body.
After graduating from high school, Yvette hopes to study history and culture in college. She dreams of continuing to travel the world and using those experiences to help further global causes.
Fall 2008 WorldLink Interns
High Tech High International
Jay is a junior at High Tech High International, with a profound interest in political science and international affairs. He has previously worked with major humanitarian campaigns such as Save Darfur and Invisible Children to raise money for their causes. He consistently takes part in his school's Associated Student Body and Model United Nations programs. Jay is also very involved with the Jewish community through the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) and the JCC Teen Coalition, and serves as president of Temple Youth Group and on the Jewish National Day of Service (J-Serve) Council. Jay was recently appointed the Students For Barack Obama: San Diego District Director and attended the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Update: Jay is attending American University in Fall 2010, focusing on political science, law and Jewish studies.
High Tech High International
Sierra will start her junior year at High Tech High International (HTHI) and participates in various clubs in school and in her community. Since her freshman year, Sierra has been an active participant in the student council and was previously elected vice president. Through this club she was able to sharpen her public speaking skills and now enjoys speaking in front of large audiences. Sierra is also part of her school's Model United Nations program, where she won "best delegate" debating issues about the Darfur conflict in Sudan. She is an active member of the California Youth and Government program, where she has been given the opportunity to learn about the governmental system in the United States and lobby bills through the Senate and Assembly in Sacramento. In March of 2008, Sierra joined the O Ambassadors club, where she works with her peers to raise money and awareness for issues effecting Latin America.
When she is not active in her extra curricular activities, Sierra enjoys traveling. She has a goal of stepping foot in every continent by the time she is 18. So far she has traveled to China, South Africa, Swaziland, England, Ireland, Wales, Mexico and India - the latter through a three-week service community service project. Sierra would like to attend Princeton University and study international affairs and Mandarin.
Update: Sierra will begin her freshman year at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall 2010.
Summer 2008 WorldLink Interns
Otay Ranch High School
Sofia Casillas is currently a senior at Otay Ranch High School. During her freshman year she joined the Academy of Criminology and Justice, which is a college-bound program for students interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement. She has spent countless hours volunteering in diverse community service activities, such as helping elementary school students and feeding children at an orphanage. During her sophomore year she worked as business manager and writer for her school’s newspaper, The Ranch Review. This experience motivated her to pursue a career in writing.
In May 2008, Sofia planned and led a conference for “Building Bridges,” a program that builds youth awareness about tolerance and racism. During the 10th Annual WorldLink Youth Town Meeting, Sofia was a moderator for lecturer Patricia Marquez in a briefing session titled, “The Case of Santa Teresa: Business Leadership for Social Change.”
In addition to her involvement in school and her community, Sofia works as a lifeguard at Knott’s Soak City. Once in college, Sofia hopes to study abroad for one year in Italy. Her goal is to make a difference in the world by reaching out to others and creating awareness of major global conflicts and find solutions. When she’s not busy with school and work, Sofia enjoys listening to the sounds of Jack Johnson, reading novels, playing field hockey for her school and spending time with her friends.
Update: Sofia hopes to complete her journalism major at San Diego State University in 2012.
Francis Parker School
Milia Fisher will return to Francis Parker School this fall for her senior year. She has attended Parker since seventh grade and has been actively involved in her school community through her participation in student government. As a junior she served as her class co-president and currently holds the position of global awareness director. Milia identified the need for the creation of a global awareness director in 2007 and worked with her fellow Associated Student Body (ASB) members and the administration to make the position a part of student government. She hopes to make global awareness and education a part of the Parker community, curriculum and everyday environment.
Milia also established the Free the Children Club at her school, an extension of the Canada-based Free the Children organization, which is committed to empowering students in North America and Europe to break the bonds placed on their peers in the third world. She currently serves as the club co-president and is leading a committee to raise $8,000 to build a school in Africa and send a student delegation to build it next summer. The club will also hold a Global Awareness Fair in September to educate the student body about current global issues.
Milia has spent a lot of time visiting South Africa, where her father grew up and where she discovered her passion for global social justice. She intends to study international relations in college and dedicate her life to the cultivation of global peace and cooperation. She is incredibly excited about this internship and the opportunity it will give her to learn and develop a well-balanced perspective on the causes of conflict. In her spare time Milia likes to travel, paint, dance and read a good book.
Update: Milia is an undergraduate student at Pomona College.
CETYS Universidad (Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior)
Thania Herrera will be a senior at CETYS Universidad (Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior) this fall in the International Baccalaureate program. Thania was born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico and is very active in her community. She is a founding member of Jovenes Unidos por un Mejor Planeta (United Youth for a Better Planet), an organization that promotes community awareness about ecological issues through events and recycling campaigns. Thania participated in the North American Youth Leadership Project for a Sustainable Future in San Francisco, Calif., where youth from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. shared their proposals to develop sustainable communities. She also took part in a project between the Tijuana government and another school to improve the urban environment of Tijuana. Thania cites her volunteer work with orphanages and asylums during middle school as the experience that made her cognizant of those less fortunate. Through Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), Thania has helped child orphans with their homework and taught them how to express themselves through creative methods.
Thania has been involved with WorldLink since the 11th Annual Youth Town Meeting where she served as a moderator for the Roots & Shoots panel that discussed the environment and youth. She has since taken on more active roles with other WorldLink events, including the Youth Forum featuring Dr. Jane Goodall in April of this year.
Thania is truly interested in the diversity of people and their customs and cultures. She plans to pursue a career in international relations and work as a United Nations diplomat. During her free time, she enjoys watching a good movie, reading, listening to music, hanging out with her friends and spending time with her family.
Update: Thania is now a college student at CETYS Universidad.
Cathedral Catholic High School
Alec Howard is entering his senior year at Cathedral Catholic High School in the fall. He was born in San Diego and has attended Catholic schools since kindergarten. Alec has a strong interest in current affairs as well as history. At Cathedral Catholic, Alec is a member of Model United Nations (MUN). He was given a special commendation during the 2008 MUN conference at High Tech High International. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and tutors fellow students at his school. Alec plays on the Cathedral Catholic tennis team and was captain of the Junior Varsity the past two years, and works part-time stringing racquets at a tennis shop in La Jolla.
Alec also serves in the Ambassadors for Christ Corps, a student organization carefully chosen by the faculty for the purpose of representing Cathedral Catholic at significant events during the school year. Its members are a reflection of the trust vested in them by the faculty because of their positive attitudes, responsible behavior and helpfulness to others. Alec has been appointed as executive officer of this organization for the upcoming year.
In his spare time, Alec enjoys swimming, tennis, traveling, painting and spending time with friends and family. As a part-time job he also tutors other students off campus. Alec looks forward to choosing a major in college with an emphasis on international relations. Economics, business, political science and journalism are all under consideration.
Academy of Our Lady of Peace
Alix Reicher will be a senior at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace this fall. She is a member of the school’s Amnesty International chapter, where her responsibilities include organizing the purchase of the club’s merchandise. This summer she attended the NASDAQ-sponsored program organized by the Close-up Foundation in Washington D.C., where she met with other teenagers from around the country to discuss the U.S. government and how it affects the national and global economy. Alix attended the 2007 Youth Town Meeting as a delegate, and the 2008 Youth Town Meeting as a moderator, learning about counterterrorism and climate change, respectively. She has remained involved with WorldLink and also attends other Institute lectures and forums.
During her free time, Alix regularly performs volunteer work at nonprofits like Second Chances: Bread of Life, St. Vincent de Paul’s and Friends of Cats. She also serves as a poll worker during California elections. When not volunteering, Alix spends six hours a week as a working student at the Horsemanship Academy at Del Mar. Alix plans to major in international relations in college.
Update: Alix is completing her coursework in international relations at the University of Hawaii.
La Jolla Country Day School
Jessica Wilson is beginning her junior year at the La Jolla Country Day School this fall. Since her freshman year at Country Day she has been tutoring Sudanese refugee students ranging from age 5 to 17. As class president, she has led her classmates in many community service functions such as beach cleanups and graffiti paint-overs in the South Bay. Jessica is the president of the Arabic Club and Student Diversity Leadership Club, bringing culture, diversity and knowledge to her peers and teachers. As a member of T.R.A.C.E., Jessica has been spreading the word to many schools throughout San Diego about HIV/AIDS and sexual education. She has also attended several Model United Nations conferences and discussed current global topics. In addition, she attended the 11th Annual Youth Town Meeting and moderated a briefing session on the effects of global warming. She is currently working on starting her own nonprofit organization to raise money and awareness to not only educate but also mentor young children in developing countries.
Jessica is a passionate and determined young woman who hopes to make a difference in her community and in other countries. She hopes to expand her horizons by studying abroad and continuing her studies in international affairs. Born in Cairo, Egypt, Jessica is an avid traveler who loves to learn new languages and cultural traditions.