Our 2013 Fall Interns
Antonio is a Chicagoan born and raised on the South Side and a graduate of Rickover Naval Academy. Formerly, he was commanding officer of the Fox Trot Company where he supervised and led students in efforts to support their academic performance. He has also organized at Louder Than A Bomb, a city-wide exposition of student talent that includes art performances, slam poetry and short films/documentaries. He is a student at Malcolm X college majoring in political science. Antonio has always enjoyed intellectual debates with anyone who held an opinion. When he isn’t studying or debating he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes. His signature dish is chicken parmesan.
Raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, Eiman is a student at DePaul majoring in Political Science and Economics. She serves as a board member for the Students for Justice in Palestine, worked as a social media editor for the UMMA Ink Newsletter, and has worked on local campaigns with organizations such as Project Mobilize. and Having spent three years as a summer camp counselor, Eiman loves working with kids and hopes to continue working with younger generations in the future to shape them into political leaders. Politics aren’t the only thing Eiman loves–she enjoys hanging out with friends and family.
Chahinda was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but grew up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. She is a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she studies Urban Planning and Affairs. She has previously volunteered with Project Mobilize, CAIR-Chicago and ICCR[b] where she worked on Get Out the Vote and New American Vote campaigns. Chahinda, who is Lebanese by origin, speaks both English and Arabic and dabbles in French. She’s an avid food lover, would prefer to travel than study and has read Atonement more times than she would like to admit.
Isacc Velasquez is from Chicago’s Archer Heights community and is a former student at Curie Metro High School. He formally organized at the Southwest Side non-profit organization Enlace, registering voters in predominantly Latino communities. At Chicago Students Organized to Save Our Schools, he helped plan a campaign to protest school closings. His goals in life are not yet set in stone, but his values guide him. He believes strongly in equity, compassion and empowerment, and that the backbone of democracy is people working together. At Chicago Votes, he organizes events to register voters at haunted houses, high schools and places where young people hang out. When he is not bringing democracy to the masses, he tries to bring people love and peace by playing guitar.
2013 DemocracyCorps Fellows
Cinthya Rodriguez, from Chicago’s West Eldson community, found out just how great it is to remain in the Chi when she chose to study not-so-far-afield at Northwestern University. Cinthya has organized on campus and in her community around issues ranging from the living wage to the DREAM Act. When she isn’t stirring up trouble on campus (the good kind!) she can be found mentoring younger students who share her background or practicing with the ballet folkorico group on campus (she helped create that puppy!)
Chakena Sims hails from Scottsdale neighbrhood and studies Government and History at Connecticut College, where she is also a leader in several student organizations including SISTERS, the Black Student Union, and a bunch of other groups. While she is interested in providing positive rolemodels for the youngsters, Chakena also has a distinct interest in spending time watching Pretty Little Liars and Scandal. Fun fact: Chakena recently visited South Africa, which is kind of a big deal, if you didn’t know.
Christopher Huff joins us from South Shore and is a graduate student at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. While studying at Oglethorpe University, he served as Class President and started a student organization that provided students from diverse backgrounds a platform to discuss sensitive social issues facing the nation. Chris is deeply involved in causes relating to the young people of Chicago, Illinois, and the country at large (the children are the future, guys!). Chris might seem like a pretty extraordinary fellow, but he’s just an all around great guy.
Evelyn Venegas is an Ecuadorian student currently studying at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Raised in Chicago, hailing from Albany Park, she is comfortable with all the beautiful diverse people she encounters. Having volunteered with Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights at workshops for immigrants, her passion for organizing ignited. She also enjoys competitive sports such as volleyball and soccer and will bring passion from the field into DemocracyCorps.
Cheswayo Gabriel Mphanza was born in Zambia and raised on the south side of Chicago. He is a rising sophomore at Middlebury College in Vermont where he is an English major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in African American studies. He is a devout believer of social justice and youth mentoring. He has demonstrated his passion by founding an open mic club at his high school where youth combine art and culture into a solution for many of the problems that they face. In his spare time, Cheswayo enjoys heavy reading, writing poetry, listening to jazz, blues, and critical thinking as a hobby. He aims to one day become a professor of Africana Studies in hopes of enlightening more minds and saving them in the process.
Evelyn Vargas (center), originally from Chicago, has always been involved in non-profits- from tutoring at an after-school program, to writing grants for other community programs. She attends college in Grand Rapids, Michigan and keeps busy majoring in Political Science and International studies, and getting her minor in History. Politically active, Evelyn voted as soon as she was allowed to, and honestly believes in the power of a community’s voice. Although an expensive hobby, Traveling has become an important aspect of her life, doing service trips to Guatemala, Turkey, and Mexico. When she’s not traveling, she loves reading at the beach, or trying out new recipes.
Scott Corsey was born on the South Side of Chicago and currently attends DePaul University, studying both Political Science and Mathematics. He is a member of the service group, Circle K, and is also the Treasurer of his Mock Trial team. Scott is an avid proponent for political finance reform and public education reform. He has been on two week-long service trips to Saint Louis, MO and Tuba City, AZ where he developed most of the political ideologies he holds today. Scott plans on signing up for the Peace Corps after graduation and dreams to someday play a major role in a landmark governmental change.
Cheyenne Evans, originally from the South Side, is a rising sophomore at Denison University. She was involved in the Black Student Union, Freshman Foundation, and Sustained Dialogue on her campus. Her passion is to help others in her community become politically aware and involved. The recent Presidential Election was her first time voting and she was very excited to be allowed that opportunity. In her spare time she enjoys cheerleading, watching Horror Films, and reading classic novels.