This summer, we welcome a new team of talented interns to join us for the exciting events coming up, including the United Nations High Level Political Forum in July, youth programs for climate action and the build up to Climate Week NYC starting in September.  To help support us in these events, we welcome ten new interns for Summer 2021, Virna Seminario, Christelle Barakat, Brittany Wright, Michael Dion, Elijah Cook, Arielle Fishman, Corinne Bunt, Maya van Rosendaal, Farrah Hasnain, and Kobby Bekoe, as well as returning intern Georgine Verano. As an organization we value youth participation and activism, and can’t wait to grow our community with our interns.

Virna Seminario is a Peace Boat US Intern for the summer of 2021 and a rising third-year International Relations major at Pomona College. Growing up in Lima, Peru, and attending an international school allowed her to gain fluency in Spanish and English and early exposure to the international community, and the value of cultural understanding through her peers. She became interested in international relations, the environment, and sustainable development during high school when she had the opportunity to attend COP21 as a delegation member for her school. Since then, she has attended three other COP conferences, worked as a campaign fellow during the 2020 elections, and is currently working as a scriptwriter at Finding Founders, a podcast based out of UCLA. Her main focus is to use her passion for storytelling to help tell the story of others and promote cultural understanding.

Virna is looking forward to interning at Peace Boat US and working on the intersection of social and environmental issues. As she aspires to learn more about the inner workings of NGOs in Consultative Status with the United Nations, she is excited to be working with Peace Boat US over the summer.

Christelle Barakat is a Lebanese Fulbright graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro pursuing a M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies with a concentration on International Peace Development. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs with high distinction from the Lebanese American University where she was also part of the honors program, with 3 minors in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Gender Studies, and Legal Studies. She was selected in 2020 by UNODA in New York as 1 of 10 U.N. Youth Champions for Disarmament. Her areas of interest include conflict analysis and resolution, gender and women’s rights, democratization, disarmament, globalization, migration and refugee studies, and the sustainable development goals, among others. Christelle is excited to be joining the Peace Boat US family as a summer intern, furthering her passion in disarmament and the sustainable development goals, and getting to learn more (and contributing to) Peace Boat’s programs!

Brittany Wright was born and raised in Jamaica before immigrating to the US in the summer of 2017. She is a rising senior International Relations major at Pomona College. While attending Kingsborough Community College, she was a scholar in Cohort 13 of the Kaplan Educational Foundation’s leadership program. The program focuses on the development and assistance of community college students of color. She received leadership development and training, academic advising, transfer admissions support and financial aid. Brittany then went on to intern for the non profit organization providing assistance to the executive director and director of operations which included researching the policies of over 100 colleges for college access publication “Your Guide to College Transfer”.

Brittany knows, first-hand, the issues that plague developing countries. Empowered by her experience growing up in Jamaica, Brittany would like to become an international attorney. She believes that more representation as well as the opinions and contributions of voices from developing countries are important and needed on a broader scale. In addition, she hopes to contribute to the development of more tailored approaches to the problems developing countries face. She looks forward to the interning at Peace Boat as their mission aligns with hers. 

Michael Dion was born in Santiago, Chile to an American father and a Chilean mother. He grew up speaking both Spanish and English due to his schooling at an English private school in Santiago. He moved to the United States when he was ten, after which he graduated highschool and is currently a senior attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor studying International Studies. Michael’s family is deeply involved in the international professional world; his uncle, father and grandfather work and worked for the United Nations for decades each, and his mother worked at the European Union as well as the British Consulate offices in Santiago, Chile. Michael thus cultivated a deep passion for international relations, global issues and intercultural relations throughout most of his life as he was constantly exposed to international content. He is currently passionate about global health, global environmental sustainability and environmental conservation.

Michael is excited to work for Peace Boat US in the summer of 2021, eager to hone his research and reporting skills, as well as expanding his knowledge on his areas of interest. He will bring his rich cultural background as well as bilingual skills to Peace Boat US.

Elijah Cook is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan. He majored in International Studies and minored in Japanese language. His interest in US-Japanese relations began while he studied abroad at Keio University. Currently living in Japan, he is eager to get involved in NGO work and contribute to effective international conflict solving. Current issues he is interested in involving Japan are nuclear disarmament, US military base politics, and mixed-race identity.

Elijah is very excited to be a team member at Peace Boat US where his involvement in the Hibakusha project can lead to not only the archiving of these invaluable testimonies but also contributing to nuclear disarmament worldwide. He is also looking forward to getting his first hands-on experience in an international NGO. He is grateful for the opportunity to get to learn the essential work that goes into working towards achieving a just international community.

Arielle Fishman was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She is currently a senior at Pace University in New York City where she majors in Sociology/Anthropology on the pre-med track. Arielle plans to obtain a master’s degree in Global Medicine before going to medical school. In the future, she wants to be a physician with an organization like Doctors Without Borders, where she can aid individuals all over the world. Arielle served as a peer leader for first year college students to aid in the transition from high school to college life in New York City, as well as a mentor for middle school students through the New York Academy of Science Afterschool Mentoring Program where she taught students and site staff the basics of computer coding by integrating gardening with coding. 

Arielle is a part of the Pre-Professional Health Society, and Global Brigades at Pace University. Arielle advocates for the importance of mental health awareness and is certified as a Mental Health First Aid Responder. She is passionate about women’s rights, climate change, and immigration rights. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with Peace Boat US in their promotion of education and advocacy to connect people from differing cultures around the globe.

Corinne Bunt is a senior majoring in both Language, Culture, and World Trade and Stage Management at Pace University. From New York, Corinne’s passion for diplomacy and research stems from her first love of learning languages. She started speaking French at age 5 and Spanish at age 16, and hopes to expand upon her love of languages and appreciation for other cultures in the coming months with Peace Boat US. Corinne is very excited to begin working with Peace Boat US and learning about the daily operations of an NGO as well as furthering her knowledge in research, writing, and diplomacy.

Farrah Hasnain is a rising second-year Peace Studies Master’s student at International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan through the Rotary Peace Fellowship. Her thesis is on Brazilian-Japanese identities and multicultural education conditions in Japan. Her research interests include advocacy for minority communities in Japan, multicultural identities, intercultural communication, and mental healthcare access for Japanese youth. She has lived in Japan for 7 years and has published articles on minority experiences in Japan with The Japan Times. Her participation in minority and youth advocacy began during her undergrad term in Washington, DC at The George Washington University. Farrah joined Peace Boat US to build upon her advocacy experiences with the Hibakusha Project in order to support atomic bomb survivors with their aspirations to promote peace and disarmament.

Kobby Bekoe was born and chiefly educated in Ghana. He has just completed the graduate program in Media and Communication Arts at Pace University, where his team of three was selected as finalist in the annual Pace Pitch Contest for an innovative attempt in creating an interactive application tailored to alleviate inconveniences endemic to international students. He also has a background in filmmaking (New York Film Academy), and writes short stories as a pastime (his work has appeared in Open Road Review, South Asia’s Leading Magazine of Literature and Culture).

Passionate about forces and affairs impacting global environments, he has joined Peace Boat’s internship program to volunteer his skills in any media-related capacity as needed or demanded.

Maya van Rosendaal is a senior at Tufts University studying International Relations and History with a focus on gender, migration, and globalization. Having grown up in New York and Europe and coming from a mixed Japanese, Syrian, and Dutch family, she has always been surrounded by varied cultures. She hopes to apply her experience with cross-cultural interaction to her work at Peace Boat and beyond. After graduating this upcoming spring, Maya is planning to continue to work with humanitarian and non-profit organizations. In the past, she has also engaged with her other interests through historical archival work, projects utilizing GIS and mapping technology, and coordinating community-oriented volunteer projects for her university.

Through her coursework at Tufts, Maya has gained a passion for human rights, anti-colonialism, and the SDGs. She is very excited to work with Peace Boat US this summer and to contribute to their goals of promoting global connections and sustainable development!

Georgine Verano is a transfer student at Bergen Community College who was born and raised in Singapore. She is currently working towards her degree in Psychology, and is passionate about anthropology and research classes. She worked on projects centered around environmental issues, animal welfare and human rights while in Singapore and in the United States where she is currently based. A horse rider since childhood, she worked with horses and children at RDA Singapore and EQUAL, organizations that provide therapeutic riding and activities – she currently works with GALLOPNYC, a similar program in New York. Previously a writer at Singapore’s Business Times paper among others, she also enjoys both reading and content creation.

Peace Boat US has several projects and goals that align with Georgine’s personal goals, and she hopes to get more hands on projects like Climate Action and the Galapagos Revitalization Project. She is eager to contribute to the organization and gain more experience in a field of her passion.

To learn more about Peace Boat US’ internship opportunities, please find more information here.