Meet the Interns: Fall 2021
Equality Florida has hired a robust cohort of individuals to make up our 2021 Fall Internship program! As the largest statewide LGBTQ+ organization in Florida, it is important to set a precedent of diversity and inclusion, especially uplifting LGBTQ voices in our state. This cohort includes folks from different ethnicities, gender identities, cities, sexual orientations, and languages.
Next year boasts a myriad of opportunities and obstacles - from the legislative session to the 2022 mid-term election. Our cohort is working hard to prepare for this year by researching elections and legislation, protecting comprehensive LGBTQ guidelines in school districts, and strengthening our volunteer program.
Aaron Facio-Cortes (he/him)
My name is Aaron Facio-Cortes and I am currently a senior at the University of South Florida, majoring in International Relations. I was born and raised in Tampa, but my parents are immigrants from Mexico. Prior to interning with Equality Florida, I’ve had the opportunity to work as a field organizer for the Joe Biden campaign and fellow with the Darden Rice campaign. I’m excited for this new role and hope I can contribute to the amazing work being done by Equality Florida.
Field & Advocacy
Cheyenne-Sunsarae Smith (they/them)
Cheyenne is an established champion for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ equality. As a seasoned Field and Advocacy Intern, they are passionate about restructuring the biased mental framework in today’s cis, white, and heteronormative society. For example, they organized the Jacksonville Protect Trans Youth Rally in Summer 2021. In addition to LGBTQ+ Advocacy with Equality Florida, they are also involved as a member of the Nonprofit Center for Northeast Florida's LGBTQIA+ Emerging Leaders 2021 cohort, Florida Rising's Project Power 2021 cohort and as JASMYN'S LGBTQIA+ Housing & Care Coordinator. Outside of the office, Cheyenne plays video games, reads, dances, and gives their cats and partner lots of love!
Emily H (she/they)
My name is Emily H. I usually go by 'Em'. I'm a senior at USF studying Women's and Gender Studies which I hope to pursue, as well as Africana Studies, and eventually become a professor in both fields. I am extremely passionate about education and activism and the crossroads of those two sectors and I hope to contribute to the positive history making that Equality Florida continues to do.
Imani Lowe, she/her
My name is Imani Lowe and I am a Senior in my final semester at Florida International University, obtaining degrees in Sociology and Women’s Studies, and also working towards a Certificate in Queer Studies. I spent the Spring Semester working as the Reproductive Justice Intern for the Miami Workers Center. This semester I am working as a Field Intern for Equality Florida. I am at the beginning of my journey towards my desire to make a difference in others lives. As a proud first generation American and a fat black lesbian my activism and passion for others can not be seperated from my existance.“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. And I am not free as long as one person of Color remains chained. Nor is anyone of you.” Audre Lorde declared in her essay “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism” Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde.
Mailey Nguyen (she/they)
I am a recent graduate from UCF. I majored in Political Science Pre-Law and minored in Diversity and Social Inequality. My passion revolves around the love for humanity and community. One of my favorite quotes is "...Because love is an act of courage, not of fear, love is a commitment to others. No matter where the oppressed are found, the act of love is commitment to their cause--the cause of liberation"- Paulo Freire.
Shaban Mohamed, he/him
Shaban Mohamed is a fourth year student at the University of Central Florida majoring in Public Administration with a minor in Nonprofit Management. He spent his summer interning for Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09), and is excited to intern for Equality Florida this fall! When he’s not working or in class, you can probably find him drinking coffee, baking, and watching Drag Race.
Stefanie Theodoropoulos, she/her
Stefanie is a senior at the University of Tampa studying Applied Sociology. She is a South Florida native but has called Tampa her home for the past 6 years. She is a passionate advocate for equality and strives to make a positive impact in the realm of social change, inclusivity, and justice. In addition to her political and advocacy work, she has done extensive undergraduate research on the effects of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) pertaining to anxiety and aggressive behaviors. In her free time, she enjoys taking her dog, Delta, to the local dog parks and beach.
Genesis Cadle, she/her
Genesis Cadle is a Field and Advocacy Intern for the Fall of 2021. Genesis is 20 years old and is majoring in Political Science at the University of South Florida. Genesis has over 300 hours of community service and is currently working on her bachelors degree. Some fun facts about her is that she is an aries and enjoys art.
Caroline Bennington, she/her
I’m Caroline and I’m from Arkansas. I am a Freshman at Florida Southern College studying Political science on the Pre-Law track to study either civil rights or immigration law. I am super passionate about working with people to create a more inclusive environment, and I hope to do that here at Equality Florida!
Rindala “Rin” Alajaji (she/her/hers)
Rin is Equality Florida’s Public Policy Fellow for the 2022 Legislative Session. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Human Rights Studies Masters program, where much of her work focused on women’s rights in the Middle East and International LGBTQ+ advocacy. Rindala also holds a B.S. in Applied Psychology and Global Public Health. Rindala became involved with Equality Florida as a volunteer, where she helped advocate for pro-LGBTQ+ policy federally and against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the state. Prior to joining Equality Florida, Rindala worked as an advocate at a juvenile justice advocacy program for girls, as well as various research teams studying adolescent gender and sexuality development. A Brooklyn transplant, Rindala now lives in Orlando with her wife, Annie, and their dog, Billie.
Safe & Healthy Schools
Vaidehi Persad (she/her/hers)
Vaidehi is a second-year student at the University of South Florida - Tampa. She is pursuing the disciplines of Chemistry, Public Health, and Women & Gender Studies. Vaidehi is passionate about promoting health equity and justice. She anticipates applying her interdisciplinary studies and intersectional lens to equitable health initiatives, grassroots organizing, and public policy.