Internship Opportunities Available

(Summer and Fall 2021)

Spectrum Institute offers internship opportunities to college students.  The internships fall into one of the following categories:

  • Legal research and advocacy
  • Social media promotion
  • Podcast production and editing
  • Journalism and investigative reporting
  • Grant seeking and fundraising

Four students have already been accepted for summer internships.  Three are attending Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.  One is attending Washington State University.  One law student will be assisting with an advocacy project that will challenge the failure of the California Judicial Council to set ADA-compliant guidelines for judges to make modifications of policies or to grant accommodations to litigants with known cognitive disabilities even when no request is made. Another law student will assist with research and advocacy designed to make the funding of legal services for conservatees and proposed conservatees more fair.  The third law student will conduct research and write a report on the legal consequences to professionals when they violate their duty to provide prompt and equal access to mental health therapy for adults with developmental disabilities when they need such therapy.  The undergraduate student will use all available social media platforms to promote the activities of Spectrum Institute and its projects.

Summer internships are still available for the podcast, journalism, and grant seeking positions.  Internships for the Fall of 2021 are available for all categories.

To inquire about an internship opportunity, contact:

Thomas F. Coleman
Executive Director

Interns – Summer 2021

Sarah Barlow (WSU) is a student at Washington State University, Everett.  She will receive her bachelor’s degree in Integrated Strategic Communication in August 2021. Sarah has loved storytelling since she was 12 years old. Over the years, Sarah has acquired a variety of skills including public speaking, public relations, marketing, and journalism. Every day she works to refine and enhance these skills even further. Spectrum Institute is giving Sarah the opportunity to intern as a social media manager while also acting as an assistant producer to The Freedom Files podcast. When she is not working on her storytellling skills, Sarah is out traveling and enjoying time with friends. 

María de los Ángeles Reyes Olmedo, a legal summer intern, is a second-year law student attending Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. María was born in Guanajuato, Mexico, and they are a non-binary Mexican immigrant and first-generation higher education student. María attended Cal Poly Pomona for their undergraduate studies, majoring in Gender, Ethnic, and Multicultural Studies, with a focus on Latinx/Chicanx Studies, and minoring in Spanish. They enjoy conducting research and writing, and presented their original research titled “Existimos porque resistimos: Lyrics of Revolution and Resistance in Latin America” at the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Scholars Conference in 2017. Growing up as an undocumented immigrant exposed María to the difficulties experienced by those who live in underserved communities and form part of disenfranchised groups. María is passionate about becoming an active advocate for underserved people and will pursue a policy and advocacy-oriented public interest career post-graduation.

Ben Dishchyan (Loyola): After earning a B.B.A. in finance from Loyola Marymount University, Ben Dishchyan made the decision to attend law school. He currently is a first-year law student graduating in May 2023 from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California. Prior to attending law school, Ben worked in the elder care industry, placing elders in affordable board and care facilities that met thier medical and personal demands. Being a licensed insurance broker, he also has knowledge in the sales and consulting of the insurance market. After law school, Ben’s goal is to serve the public need and be a successful public interest attorney. At Spectrum Institute he will use his work experience and knowledge to provide legal research and advocacy to further the mission of the organization.

Kendall James is a first year law student with the intentions to obtain her Juris Doctor degree in 2023. She graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication Studies, where she served her local community through school-based organizations and conducted research for professors regarding big industries and minority representation. For the past three years, as well as being a student, she has been working as a tutor for student-athletes and with school programming to ensure access to academic resources.  Kendall will be assigned to the Mental Health Project to develop a report on the legal consequences to so-called “gatekeepers” to mental health therapy when they willfully or negligently contribute to the denial of such services to adults with developmental disabilities who need such services.  Gatekeepers include primary care physicians, insurance companies, guardians or conservators, service providers or coordinators, health care agents, and parents who have assumed a caregiving role for their adult children.

Interns – Spring 2021

Emmi Deckard (UCLA), an assistant producer and feature story writer for the podcast, is a third-year student at UCLA.  She is majoring in bioengineering and minoring in disability studies.  Emmi is involved with a campus organization known as Alternative Breaks.  Two years ago, she traveled with the group to New Orleans for week to learn about the widespread impact that Hurricane Katrina had on the area and how they have been rebuilding their community and reforming policy every since.  Emmi is a journalist with the Daily Bruin, the main campus newspaper for students and faculty.  She will use her journalism skills to develop stories for the podcast which will help guide the interviews. Her articles will be published online along with the release of each episode.

Trinity Pierce (WSU), an assistant producer and feature story writer for the podcast, is a third-year student at Washington State University.  She is majoring in multimedia journalism as well as Japanese.  Trinity has experience working as a journalist with The Daily Evergreen, a student newspaper distributed at 200 campus locations and which has 70,000 online readers each month.  Trinity describes herself as a “diligent college student with a passion for storytelling.”  That passion will guide her as she develops stories for the podcast which will be published online with the release of each episode.  Upon graduating, Trinity plans to teach English aboad for a year or two and then find work at a newspaper or news desk at a radio or television station.

Maia Gryskiewicz (WSU), a production/journalism intern for the podcast, is an enthusiastic and ambitious third-year student studying Multimedia Journalism and Digital Technology and Culture at Washington State University. She will graduate in May 2021. Maia is passionate about visual communication and loves combining her writing skills with her design skills to craft beautiful, high quality brand communications and material. Maia records the podcast interviews on Zoom, edits them for distribution on You Tube, and also edits an audio-only version for distribution on the podcast’s website, Facebook page, and through other podcast distributors. She also summarizes the content of the podcast episodes to share them online with potential audiences.