Meet the Five Outstanding Interns Who Worked at PeerForward this Summer

This summer, PeerForward hosted five exceptional interns at our national office in Washington, DC. From Finance to Program to Marketing, each department at our organization was positively marked by the heart, creativity, and hard work our interns poured in. We are grateful and impressed with all they contributed. 

Meet the “fantastic five” 2019 PeerForward summer interns: 

Alivia Graham 

Program Operations Intern 

Towson University, Class of 2021 

Mass Communications Major; Minors in Communication Studies, Business, Communications, and Liberal Arts 

Alivia has been part of the PeerForward family since 2016 when she was a Peer Leader at Oxon Hill High School in Maryland. After an impactful Summer Workshop experience at UMBC that summer, she returned to join the Towson University Summer Workshop staff in 2018 as an alumni support team member, where she says, “I fell even more in love with the program and people that I knew four days out of the year just was not enough for me.” So, she returned this year to work for a full summer on our Program Operations Team, helping to ensure Summer Workshops ran smoothly. She described the new experience working behind the scenes at the PeerForward office, sayin:, “Everyone really wants to see the interns learn and exceed in everything that we do. There isn’t a single person in this office who isn’t willing to help or give advice. They let us make mistakes, learn from them, and help guide us to be a better version of ourselves. Being a Public Relations major, I have learned the hard work and dedication it takes to work behind the scenes and ensure that everything is stay afloat. I have learned critical thinking skills, being able to improvise, as well as crisis communications.”  


Andrew Shim 

Development and Finance Intern 


Franklin and Marshall College, Class of 2020 

Business Major 

Andrew learned of PeerForward for the first time during his junior spring semester and was instantly interested in joining our team. Growing up nearby in Virginia, Andrew says he was excited to spend the summer working at our office and being so near downtown DC in a building shared with many different organizations. His highlight of the summer was getting to learn more about how nonprofits organization run behind the scenes and getting experience with, software like Salesforce. “I’ve further polished my accounting and software skills while also learning about new databases such as Salesforce, which I know I will need in the financial business industry in the future,” he added. Andrew notes that his most rewarding project this summer was helping with the 2019 annual audit and says we can expect to see him at our future PeerForward Summer Workshops. 


Anna Macknick  

Marketing and Communications Intern 


Princeton University, Class of 2021 

Linguistics Major, Minor in Translation and Intercultural Communication 

Bringing her design skills and personal background closely connected to our mission, Anna joined the Marketing and Communications team at PeerForward to help create fresh social media content in support of our program’s FAFSA, college app, and career connection campaigns. Anna found us through the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program, where  “I’ve worked with college access organizations before, but what set PeerForward apart was its model. I appreciated that the organization was set up with a student focus and horizontal mentorship, centering students as the key leaders in creating a college-going culture in their high schools.” She says a highlight of the internship was experience the Washington College Summer Workshop and getting to interact directly with our high school Peer Leaders. 


Ellijah McLean 

Curriculum Design Intern 


Bates College, Class of 2020 

Interdisciplinary Major in Politics, Education, and Sociology 

Utilizing the Purposeful Work summer funding program at Bates College, Ellijah set off from his junior spring semester to work on PeerForward’s program team this summer. Not having learned of PeerForward before, Ellijah says he was drawn to “the motto, curriculum, and genuine desire to enrich entire communities where underprivileged youth reside.” Among all his projects, he says the highlight of the summer was: “The workshop! The office life is incredible, filled with love and hard work. However, the workshop is beyond captivating and encourages growth beyond words.” As he returns to Bates College in the fall, Ellijah says he has gained much from his internship:I will take the skills with me that I have gained in developing PowerPoints, speaking publicly, working with youth, and meeting office expectations. I will also take the curriculum development skills and use those for my thesis, coordinating activities and curriculum for my Social Justice House, and the skills gained working with youth will be used during my semester as a teacher.” 


Quanis Freeman 

Program Operations Intern 


Trinity Washington University, Class of 2021 

Media Journalism and Non-Profit Business Communications Major 

Quanis became a Peer Leader after attending her Summer Workshop in 2016. Now a rising junior at Trinity Washington University, she says, “I applied for the PeerForward internship because I planned to give back to PeerForward’s Peer Leaders everything the staff poured into me: love, hope, and guidance.”  Now eager to share the benefits she received from the program, she says, “I love giving back to the youth because I believe all children, no matter the age, need someone to lift them up and fill their buckets. Peer Leaders are the future, which makes me feel compelled to pour into them everything I wish I knew and more! PeerForward is breaking chains and building generational wealth, and I want to be a part of that impactful movement.” Working on both the Program and Marketing team at PeerForward, Quanis shares that the highlights of the summer were getting to mentor and connect with high school Peer Leaders and getting to co-facilitate a social media session at the Summer Workshops. Altogether, Quanis says is excited about the skills she’ll be able to take form this internship into the future. “My future goals include print and radio journalism geared toward education within the black community, and nonprofit business for real estate, journalism, and social change.” While still deciding which path she’ll take to achieve these goals, she says, “PeerForward is setting me up for greatness in either direction I choose.” 

We are thrilled to add that Quanis will be joining our Marketing and Communications team part-time this fall while she returns to college for her junior year. 









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