We here at Outreach are so often inspired by the people we encounter around the world who work so hard. They problem-solve so brilliantly to create solutions for how to help people in poverty.
Among our most inspiring people are our interns. This summer, we’ve been lucky enough to work with four bright, talented, tireless people who are motivated to make a difference. They’re led by Elene Cloete, the Director of Research and Advocacy. And, their insight and intellects are matched by their drive to make the world a better place.
Read on to meet our 2021 summer interns. We promise, you’ll be inspired, too.
2021 summer intern JENNA
Hi! My name is Jenna Johnson, and I am one of the Outreach 2021 summer interns!
I graduated in 2017 from Oklahoma State University with a degree in International Business. I’m currently a 2nd year International Studies master’s student at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel’s School of International Studies. I focused on public policy, human rights and humanitarian assistance.
I’ve always been interested in the intersection of global affairs and policy in addition to having a passion for nonprofit work. But it wasn’t until my service in Senegal with the Peace Corps that I decided I wanted to work in the development/humanitarian aid sectors. Read More
My goal after I graduate is to have a field operations position with an international humanitarian aid or development organization.
I was drawn to Outreach International because of its emphasis on community-driven development. The values and work Outreach does aligns closely with my own beliefs and understanding of how sustainable development should work. Thus, I knew I would gain valuable experience and knowledge working with them. I was confident it would directly relate to the career path I hope to take after school.
My main project (and thus my favorite project) has been researching alternatives to traditional microcredit or microfinance programs. These have been widely used in low and middle income countries for the past 2 decades. By the end of our Rapid Systematic Review, we will be able to help inform decisions at Outreach when considering programming relating to these areas.
Obviously, I love to travel, and if I could get on a plane right now, I would go to Egypt. This is primarily because I’ve always loved Egyptian history, but also because it’s a beautiful country that I’ve always dreamed of seeing in person someday!
meet 2021 summer intern BEN
I’m Ben Pickert. I’m a rising senior at Indiana University, pursuing a degree in International Studies. My focus is on Diplomacy, Security, and Governance in the Germanic countries. Additionally, I’m working on a pair of minors in the German and Norwegian languages.
When I was in high school, I discovered I had a knack and passion for both politics and language learning. Over the course of the last several years, I’ve become increasingly politically active. I’ve also learned Italian, Spanish, Esperanto, Norwegian, German, and Dutch to varying degrees of fluency with a mix of classes and self-study. Read More
So Many Options
The blessing and curse of a degree in International Studies is there are a thousand paths a person can take. For a long time, I thought I would end up working for the government at the State Department. I considered the CIA, FBI, or one of the other many federal departments which bring on International Studies graduates. However, my time at Outreach International has opened my eyes to the joys of working at a nonprofit. It allows me to help so many people and fosters an amazing work environment. Going forward, the idea of working at a nonprofit such as Outreach is a very exciting prospect to me!
I was drawn to Outreach because of their unique and exciting approach to how to help people in poverty around the world. When I found out there was an organization doing such amazing work in my own backyard here in KC, I was thrilled! During my interview, I was so nervous because I knew how badly I wanted to be a part of the Outreach team! Everyone I’ve had the pleasure to work with has been so wonderful. I can’t imagine a better scenario for me right now than being on of the 2021 interns!
Each of my projects has been a favorite in its own way, since I’ve worked on such a variety. I helped to rework the donor recognition program. I researched starting a diversity, equity, and inclusion committee. And I even researched how cryptocurrency could become part of the donations which power Outreach. However, my favorite project has been developing a dashboard where the information from our project sites can be compiled and turned into graphs. I used to think statistics and data analysis were pretty dry. But through this project I discovered that I’m a true stats nerd! And it’s so exciting to think of how this work will help make more informed decisions and create concrete good in the world.
One of my biggest passions is language learning. At the moment, I’ve studied seven in depth (including English!) and I want to go further. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to say I’m fluent in ten languages. I’m always thinking of the next language I’d like to learn, and I’m whittling down the list for language #8 right now! It will likely be something outside of the European bubble, I think. But until I decide, I’ll continue refining my skills in the languages I’ve already dedicated myself to.
meet 2021 summer intern RACHAEL
Hey! My name is Rachael Sorcher, and I have loved every second of being one of the Outreach International Field Operations Research and Advocacy 2021 summer interns since May. I graduated from Miami University (Ohio) in May of 2020 with a BA in Anthropology, and I’m currently pursuing a Master’s of Public Health degree from Boston University.
I always thought I had too many interests to ever decide on one career path, but that was before I found public health— the arena where I can capitalize on my diverse yet integrated passions for education, sustainability, and storytelling, as health is at the intersection of them all. Read More
Inspired For the Future
As a future public health practitioner, I’m inspired by the opportunity to enact change on a local and global level, tipping the scale towards health equity. To do so, I aim to be both a qualitative researcher and journalist dedicated to amplifying the voices of marginalized populations, such as refugees.
I was drawn to Outreach International because their ongoing determination to enact the Participatory Human Development process parallels my aspiration to ignite inclusive and sustainable change that alleviates the burdens of poverty— not to mention the rockin’ staff!
While every day working with the team and Elene Cloete, the Director of Research and Advocacy, is a GREAT day, my favorite project of this summer has been collaborating with Outreach’s Program Partner Team in the Philippines, Outreach Philippines Incorporated, on a qualitative research project exploring the processes of latrine projects across several community-based organizations in the Philippines.
And finally, while the thought of what I hope to achieve in my lifetime may (sometimes) keep me up at night, I hope to do what small part I can to enhance the well-being of those who face systemic barriers to achieving health, in every sense of the word. Other than that, I hope to travel a lot, laugh even more, and enjoy time with friends and family who will smile with me along the way!
meet 2021 summer intern SARAH
Hey everyone! My name is Sarah Sutter, and I’ve been one of the Outreach International 2021 summer interns since May! I’m from Little Rock, AR, and am graduating this August from Auburn University in Auburn, AL, majoring in Human Development & Family Science. I also studied Spanish and Health Equity Science.
Looking through a biopsychosocial perspective, my studies have led me to become more aware of the powerful influence of family and community among various contexts. I have always loved listening to people’s stories and perspectives and to see how they influence their personal growth and development. Read More
The Well-Being of Others
One aspect of my studies that has always interested me is the interconnection of health and well-being across various social contexts in the generation of health disparities. Health is way more than an absence of disease. It’s also about the aspects of the environment in which people are born, grow up, live, learn and work, as well as the policies in place!
With this perspective in mind, I plan on obtaining a Master’s in Public Health. I want to develop a greater voice and understanding to help those living in underserved communities. And, I want to extend my knowledge on taking a holistic view to health and well-being. Overall, I hope to pursue my passion in empowering others to use their voice as an act for change and amplify the voices that aren’t being heard!
Inspired by Outreach
Outreach is AMAZING!!!! I can’t emphasize that enough. Everyone is incredible and inspiring! What drew me to Outreach was how passionate everyone was and just the overall approach that Outreach takes. The work at Outreach was perfect for what I wanted to learn and experience in an internship. I wanted to help communities living in chronic poverty in some form. I LOVE how Outreach partners with communities and puts local voices in the lead. They teach them to take collaborative action, build on their strengths, and feel empowered to use their voice and achieve sustainable change! This is why I’m feel so fortunate to be one of Outreach’s 2021 summer interns.
I have had the opportunity to work on several projects at Outreach. But if I had to pick one (which is definitely challenging), I would say that my favorite project so far has been helping Cassidy Miller, the Senior Manager of Training and Support. I helped her develop a curriculum for training and mentoring for field staff! Cassidy has been nothing short of amazing and awesome. She is most definitely one of the most inspiring (and funniest) people you will ever meet – trust me! It has been such an incredible experience to tackle this project with her and the rest of the Program Partner team in the Philippines! It’s been amazing to have the opportunity to help develop the training curriculum that will help facilitate sustainable change and make the world a better place!
An International Mindset
If I could get on a plane right now, I would, without hesitation, go to New Zealand. I love a good adventure and anything that has to do with nature. (Fun fact – I have recently become interested in plants, so I have a massive number of them in my home now so I can (try to) grow a green thumb 🙂). So, New Zealand seems like the perfect place to be! Traveling is one of my favorite things to do to experience a different culture, new perspectives, new foods, etc. I will jump on any opportunity that will allow me to travel to different places!
Outreach International is such a special place. It’s full of passionate and inspiring individuals who strive to further change across the world through various contexts! The skills and knowledge I‘ve gained, and the connections I’ve made with others will have a lasting impact on me both personally and professionally. I can’t thank everyone at Outreach enough for making the work for the 2021 summer interns such an impactful and memorable experience!
We promised to inspire you, and we think these interns of ours really delivered! With all their energy, intelligence and drive to help others, we cannot help but be so optimistic about the future for them and everything they touch as they move forward in their lives.
Wherever they each decide to place their focus, we’re certain the people they strive to help will benefit immeasurably. And for now, as they continue to help Outreach as our 2021 summer interns, we cannot thank them enough. We’re amazed by their dedication, hard work and positivity.
Thank you, interns, for working with Outreach International as we meet the challenge of how to help people in poverty. You help make the world a better place for everyone.
How to Help
To learn more about Outreach International and how to help people in poverty, take a look at our approach!