Supporting the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders Introducing the 2023 Nonprofit Internship Program participants


Photo caption: The 2023 Nonprofit Internship Program participants gathered in Greensboro on May 24, 2023, to kick off their summer experience.


This summer, you can find Neyda Juarez, a rising senior at UNC-Greensboro, capturing photos and videos to build out a digital marketing program for Centro Unido Latino-Americano, a nonprofit based in the mountain town of Marion, NC.  

On the other side of the state, Morgan Rigsbee, an environmental engineering major at UNC-Wilmington, will be working to protect and restore the coast as an intern with the NC Coastal Federation.  

Neyda and Morgan — along with 41 other college students — are part of the 2023 cohort of the Nonprofit Internship Program, or NPIP. 

These outstanding students will spend their summers working for positive change across North Carolina, addressing issues from public education to health equity to conservation, and honing skills in research, digital communications, public policy and more.  

Each year, NPIP partners with North Carolina nonprofits to offer paid internships to Pell grant-eligible college students. Summer internships offer a crucial pathway to future employment for the next generation of nonprofit leaders. But too often, these internships are unpaid, which prevents many students from pursuing them. For students with financial responsibilities — who do not have financial backing from their schools, families or other institutions — unpaid summer internships simply are not feasible. And because of the racial wealth gap in the United States, this inequity disproportionately affects students of color.  

NPIP aims to expand paid opportunities for students to explore the nonprofit field, with the goal of diversifying the pool of young nonprofit professionals in North Carolina over time. The nonprofit sector is a critical player in North Carolina: it creates one in 10 non-government jobs in the state and has an economic impact of $51.2 billion.  

The potential impact of NPIP is huge, both on the statewide nonprofit ecosystem and on individuals who participate in the program.  

ZSR Fellow Joanna Martinez, who co-manages NPIP, says it is energizing to see this group of motivated and inspired young people come together. “These paid opportunities are so valuable,” Martinez says. “NPIP allows students to gain firsthand experiences of nonprofit impact while applying their unique perspectives to the work. Students will carry these learnings with them for the rest of their professional lives.” 

Here are the participating nonprofits and their 2023 summer interns: 

  • Activate Good: Diana Ortiz, (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • Asociacion de Mexicanos en Carolina Norte, Inc.: Laila Mines (NC A&T)  
  • BackPack Beginnings: Melanie Andrades (North Carolina State University)  
  • Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture: Abigail Carpenter (Yale University)  
  • Book Harvest: Kaitlyn Chicas, (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • Care Share Health Alliance: Jada Harris (NC A&T)  
  • Carolina Migrant Network: Marlon Arteaga, (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • CASA: Mia Mackie (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • Centro Unido Latino-Americano: Neyda Juarez (UNC Greensboro)  
  • Charlotte Bilingual Preschool: Jose Martinez Quiroz (Davidson College)  
  • Church World Service: Kimberly Ramirez-Williams (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • Communities in Schools of High Point: Kyra Williams (Winston-Salem State University)  
  • Dudley Flood Center (Public School Forum of NC): Evelin Ortiz-Munoz (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • Educational Equity Institute: Angela Elgawli (UNC Greensboro)  
  • Environmental Justice Community Action Network: Macy Floyd (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Men and Women United for Youth and Families: Kenneth Armstrong Jr (Winston-Salem State University)  
  • Mina’s Place: Asieh Ward (UNC Charlotte)  
  • Mountain BizWorks: Lauren Sermersheim (Mars Hill University)  
  • NC Asian Americans Together: Daniel Uk (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • NC Center for Nonprofit Organizations: Selena Yang (UNC Charlotte)  
  • NC Child: Nylia Jeffreys (Eastern Carolina University)  
  • NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Paola Rivero (North Carolina State University)  
  • NC Coastal Federation: Morgan Rigsbee (UNC Wilmington)  
  • NC Community Health Center Association: Lizbeth De La Fuente Gonzalez (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • NC Early Education Coalition: Emmanuel de Jesus Mendez Aquino (UNC Greensboro)  
  • NCGrowth at UNC-Chapel Hill: Nyia Wright (UNC Pembroke) 
  • NC Institute for Child Development Professionals: Chloe Pate-Lacy (UNC Charlotte)  
  • NC Justice Center – Education & Law Project: Amairani Perez-Flores (UNC Greensboro)  
  • NC Rural Center: Xiomara Alcantara Ocampo (North Carolina State University)  
  • North Carolina Healthcare Foundation: Alexa Valenzuela (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • Note in the Pocket: Maya Otero-Alvarez (UNC Pembroke)  
  • Operation Xcel: Thomas Pickett (Winston-Salem State University)  
  • Pink Butterfly Foundation: Wendy Castellanos-Olivares (UNC Charlotte)  
  • Pisgah Legal Services: Lydia Silverstone (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • Positive Direction for Youth and Families: Alexis Singleton-Robinson (NC A&T)  
  • Public School Forum of NC: Zakia Smith (UNC Charlotte)  
  • Public Schools First NC: Mariah Manley (UNC Charlotte)  
  • Sustainable Sandhills: Ja'Vonna Mazyck (UNC Pembroke)  
  • The Nature Conservancy NC: Emmy Dasanaike (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • WinstonNet: Shirin Alhroob (UNC Greensboro)   
  • Working Films: Imani Russell (UNC Chapel Hill)  
  • YMCA Greensboro: Alon Palmer (UNC Greensboro)  
  • YWCA of High Point: Julian Ortega (UNC Greensboro) 

We’re grateful to the following funders, whose support, in addition to ZSR’s, make NPIP possible: 

  • A.J. Fletcher Foundation 
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC Foundation 
  • Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust 
  • Foundation for a Healthy High Point 
  • Reidsville Area Foundation 
  • Weaver Foundation   

We at ZSR are excited to follow the NPIP participants’ experience this summer, and we are eager to see what they do in their careers.  

If you’re interested in learning more about NPIP or participating as a funder or a placement site, please reach out to