Intern Spotlight: Meet Rio Djiwandana


Rio is a rising sophomore at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, studying Science, Technology, & International Affairs. Originally from Surabaya, Indonesia, he has lived in the Los Angeles area his entire life. Rio is interested in interning with L.A. Works because he really believes in L.A. Works’ mission of empowering and uniting Angelenos through service. “I would love to use the skills I have acquired to help L.A. Works further this mission in any way I can!” said Rio.

As the Development Assistant, Rio expects to be reaching out and communicating with potential sponsors regarding program development projects that will help further the mission of L.A. Works. From this position, he hopes to improve his professional communication skills and obtain a stronger sense of what non-profit work actually entails. Rio’s personal goals include venturing beyond his comfort zone, making and cultivating close friendships, going on as many adventures as possible, staying in shape, and finding inner peace and happiness. His professional goals include maintaining a decent college GPA, and figuring out what he wants to do with his life after graduating.

An outrageous fun fact about Rio is that he once attended a live taping of the Dr. Phil show, and he got to dance onstage before the show started! At Georgetown, Rio is involved with the following organizations: 1) Hoyas for Immigrant Rights- a club dedicated to raising awareness about immigration reform and immigrant-related issues, 2) The Voice- a student-run newsmagazine, and 3) New Student Orientation, where he’ll be leading a group of incoming Freshmen through their first-year orientation, helping them adjust to life at Georgetown. In his free time, Rio enjoys jogging, playing musical instruments, watching Law and Order: SVU, exploring new places, meeting new people, and trying new foods.

Intern Spotlight: Meet Sabrina Zhang


Sabrina is currently a first-year Master of Public Administration student at USC and is concentrating on arts management. Sabrina said she was interested in interning with L.A Works because of “its welcoming culture and its dedicated commitment to empowering the community”. She believes that the Community Relations Intern role will expand her network allowing her to reach out to more non-profit organizations, especially those concentrated in the arts. Her personal goal is to explore as much as possible, meet new people, try new foods and explore different cities and events. Professionally, she would like to work in a non-profit that provides accessible and affordable arts (especially films) to the community. An outrageous fun fact about her is that she was once stuck on a mountain in the middle of a snowstorm and had to restart the car all by herself since there was no one else around. On her free time, Sabrina watches movies, helps her friends edit their documentaries, volunteers at the LA Film Festival and attends any fun events that might be happening in the city.

Intern Spotlight: Meet Rosa Kwak


Rosa is an incoming high school senior at Crescenta Valley High School. Initially, she wanted to join the L.A. Works team because she wants to empower Angelenos through volunteerism. “As human beings we have a moral obligation to help our community, and L.A. Works allows individuals to do just that!” shared Rosa. As the Volunteer Services Coordinator intern she hopes to create constant engagement with the community so that their feedback can be used to engender great and successful events in the future. Rosa looks forward to enjoying senior year and is already thinking that she wants to major in marketing or accounting and join a sorority in college. A fun fact about Rosa is that she once won 1st place at a pie-eating contest. She describes it as being glorious. When she isn’t at L.A. Works, you will find her playing volleyball for her high school’s volleyball summer team, baking, mountain biking and volunteering.

Mary Morrissey – Intern Spotlight

Mary Morrissey_HeadShotMary Morrissey is one of our Advocacy Series Coordinators. She is a junior at Occidental College and is majoring in Critical Theory and Social Justice with a minor in Education. Other than studying and hanging out with friends, she works in the Office of Alumni Relations at Oxy and tutors a middle school student at the Community Literacy Center.

Interning at L.A. Works appeals to her because she wants to engage with the local community and social justice issues that impact Los Angeles. Through the development of the Advocacy Program, she hopes to help others learn more about their community and empower them to take action and implement change. She aspires to pursue a career in advocacy or academia.

After spending last semester in Belfast, Northern Ireland and seeing various cities across Europe, a future goal of Mary’s is to travel and explore various cultures around the world. Some of her traveling tales include accidently locking herself in a bathroom at a hostel in Rome and riding a mechanical bull in Galway, Ireland. A final fun fact about her is that she is a triplet.

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Peter Klingman – Intern Spotlight

PeterKlingman_HeadShotPeter Klingman is one of our Advocacy Series Coordinators. He is a senior at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA and is majoring in Philosophy with a minor in History. He chose to intern with L.A. Works because of his deep-rooted belief that volunteerism plays a crucial role in community building.

Peter hopes to design a sustainable series of events that educates volunteers about various issues, recruits more volunteers, and honors the accomplishments of current volunteers.  He seeks to connect with influential community members, learn about the intricacies of event planning, and navigate the L.A. volunteer landscape. Starting in July 2013, he will spend two years as a Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization that works to extend the learning day for middle school students. Thereafter, he plans to attend graduate school and focus on environmental or public policy.

The most outrageous thing he has ever done is go naked surfing. He also caught Mike Posner’s sweat towel at a concert.  On his free time, Peter likes to hike, surf, play guitar, read, and hang out with friends.  Word around town is that Peter cooks a halfway-decent omelet, and has been known to include bacon in the majority of his meals.  A fun (and slightly embarrassing) fact about him is that he enjoys shows like Pretty Little Liars and Revenge…No judgment.

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Gina Finn – Intern Spotlight

Gina Finn_HeadShotGina Finn is our Communications Coordinator. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Global Communications at USC, a dual degree program partnered with the London School of Economics. Gina lived in London last year, and did not quite acquire a British accent, but did gain a deep appreciation for rain, pubs, and teatime.

Since moving to LA, she sought to become part of L.A. Works because she wants to use her communications skills to better the community and effectively communicate the L.A. Works brand. The exposure provided to her through this position will help her prepare for a career in marketing upon graduating in May.

Gina is also a writing tutor and is a research assistant for the Internal Journal of Communications at USC. On her free time, she likes to read and spend quality time with friends and catch up with her identical twin sister via Skype.

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Maricris Lapaix – Intern Spotlight

Maricris Lapaix_HeadshotMaricris Lapaix is our Service Enterprise Coordinator and guides other nonprofits in their journey to becoming certified Service Enterprise organizations. She is a proud Trojan who graduated from USC in December of 2012 where she earned a Master of Arts in Communication Management with an emphasis in Entertainment.

Having previously interned with the LA Clippers in the Community Relations department, she hopes to acquire a well-rounded approach of this industry by working with an actual nonprofit. Maricris looks forward to connecting with lead contacts at other nonprofits and understanding the ins and outs of the certification and training process for Service Enterprise.

As she transitions into the working world, she also makes time for having fun by playing volleyball and planning well-deserved vacations. A fun fact about her is that she was chosen as a game contestant on the Ellen DeGeneres show and danced with the Black Eyed Peas to promote their music video game. Talk about a memory of a lifetime! A random but cool fact about her is that she has a motorcycle license.

Visit our website to see how you can make a difference!