Meet our 2021-22 Interns

Camp Fire offers opportunities for students at local schools and universities as well as partner programs to complete internships to help prepare them for careers in social work, education, recreation and work with vulnerable populations. Students engage in the work of Camp Fire and our partner Communities Together Inc. to address needs of youth, families, and senior citizens. Student work during the school year, summers or in block placements to meet academic or program requirements under the supervision of our staff. Interested individuals should contact us at Info@campfirepatuxent.org.

Gail Dickert Advanced Year Intern

Gail Dickert joins Camp Fire with over 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership. Her work spans Youth Leadership Development programs with the American Red Cross and 10 years in nature education/social-emotional learning at the preschool level. She is eager to serve at Camp Fire because of its intersectional vision for youth empowerment. For Gail, “Camp Fire’s legacy shows a commitment to developing youth agency through social-emotional learning and connection to the natural world. This is precisely what I’ve spent the last 20 years promoting, but now in this role I will learn how it can all happen within one vibrant organization!” Gail resides in the Washington, DC, area with her wife, their 4-year-old child, and their forest of friends. In her spare time, Gail is a writer. Her self-published works include resources for complex trauma recovery, coming out, and children’s fiction. After graduating from University of Maryland School of Social Work, Gail anticipates applying her studies in Community Action and Social Policy to writing and leadership opportunities that are explicitly inclusive so that children and youth inherit a regenerative world.

Gail will be working on Capacity Building, Grant Writing, Environmental Education Activities, and Strategic Planning.

Sierra Gholson

I am excited to have the opportunity to intern at Camp Fire and help assist in the lives of others by addressing issues on both a micro level and a macro level. Empowering others regardless of age or stage is one of my greatest interests. I enjoy having new experiences, acquiring more knowledge, and increasing and strengthening my skillsets so that I may grow as a social worker. I look forward to the variety of services that Camp Fire offers. I am particularly interested in working to empower youth and families of color, immigrants, those with different abilities, vulnerable populations, and those who have been knocked down by life and are attempting to get back up. Through advocacy, research, resources, and education, I strive to provide people with the tools they need to thrive and succeed so that they may not only better themselves and their families but also their communities and the nation as well.

Sierra will be working with our families in our apartment programs, afterschool programs and with families living in various shelters providing programs for youth and families.

Tatyana Hughes

I am a graduate student at the University at Shady Grove where I am working on my bachelor’s in psychology. Helping others through hardships in their lives, whether it involves mental health, financial struggles, or relationships with family, peers, or a significant other is something that I want to be passionate about in my career path as a social worker. The reason why I chose the path of social work is because I want to be able to help people that are in my community and to guide people to the right direction when it comes to their issues. Also, I chose social work because I want to focus on clinical work specializing in behavioral health regarding children, teens, and young adults’ mental health. Based on
my research, social work comes with variety of specialization such as community action, health, and aging, however, I chose to focus on mental health because I am interested in helping young people who are going through anxiety and depression, specifically young people who do not have available resources or access to health care.

When I’m not being a student, I love to play the piano and do arts and crafts.

Tatyana will be working with our out of school programs, apartment outreach to families, and immigrant integration project.

Kate Krizan

I live in Great Falls, Virginia, with my daughters, four dogs, and three chickens. I have worked for over 25 years as a graphic designer, but it has always been the interactions with clients and the relationships I’ve nurtured over the years that have kept me engaged with my work and passionate about life. I am currently enrolled in Catholic University’s MSW program with the goal of becoming a therapist so that I can pursue this interest in connecting with others in professionally informed, life changing ways. In my free time you can find me in the kitchen cooking or baking, doing DIY projects around my home, taking walks through the woods, or getting dirty throwing yet another slobbery ball for one of my very needy dogs.

Kate will be working on Agency Capacity Building, Streamlining agency processes, outreach to new populations, and club organization.

Paul Ortiz Advanced Year Intern

Greetings, my name is Paul Ortiz and I am a student at Catholic University of America. As someone who has devotedly served this country as a military service member, I strive to continue serving its citizens as a veteran. I consider my field placement a privilege: I get to experience being a part of an excellent organization that builds, supports, and facilitates communities for the future. I am excited to be a part of Camp Fire because of its compassionate mission, empowerment-oriented core values, and community support record.

Paul will be working with our Senior Citizens, Agency Capacity Building, and Youth programs.

France Robinson

My name is France Robinson. In addition to interning at Camp Fire, I am also a Family Support Worker at Mary’s Center. I attend CUA where I am working on a Master of Social Work degree. I graduated from the University of the District of Columbia with honors with an associate’s degree in early childhood education and Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in human development with a concentration in infants and toddlers. My passions are cooking, music, dancing, as well as arts and crafts. I am happy to have the opportunity to work at Camp Fire Patuxent because of the variety of ways they support the growth and development of children and their families. I cannot wait to see all the things I can accomplish as an intern.

France will be working with youth to deliver programs in the out of school time at apartments and schools in the community. She will also be helping with Camp Fire Club Programs.

Amanda Sipes

My name is Amanda Sipes and I am a student at the University of Maryland Baltimore’s School of Social Work. I have an undergrad degree in psychology, sociology, and Spanish. Throughout college I volunteered with several different organizations that supported underserved youth in the Baltimore area as well as in rural Honduras. I enjoy taking care of my plants, traveling, and being in nature. Camp Fire attracted me because of the wide variety of services the organization provides. I also enjoy that Camp Fire allows young people to set their own goals and foster their spark. This allows an individual’s uniqueness to shine. Camp Fire does not have a rigid line to success, instead it helps youth create their own path. I look forward to putting myself in new situations as well as being an aid in the life of someone who is finding their spark.

Amanda will be working with Latino Families in the Langley Park community and with our out of school time programs. She will also help with immigrant integration.

Charles Yonga

I am open-minded and strongly believe that individuals and societies can be changed for the better with proper guidance, effort, and perseverance. My personal experience as a French-speaking immigrant from Cameroon, as well as my background in the hospitality and social services industries influenced my decision to become a social worker. I was transformed by the seemingly never-ending cycle of neglect, suffering, and despair that I witnessed when working as a treatment aide at an inpatient rehab center. My work there made me realize how interactions between people can lead to positive outcomes. My goal is to earn a MSW and become a clinical social worker, working with children and families. Whenever I am not working, I enjoy revisiting history and relaxing in quiet surroundings and parks.

Charles will be exploring community service and engagement for residents in our communities, outreach to our immigrant population, and community building.

Molly Tucker Advanced Year Intern

I am a advanced students at Catholic University of Maryland studying Social Work. I am married to a man and have three children who are all now all almost on their own. I have a cute little dog named Lucky. I enjoy being back in school and am excited to eventually embark on a new adventure in social work. I appreciate the Camp Fire opportunity and value the thriveology approach they take towards youth development and development of all us with an emphasis on lighting the fire within!
Outside of work I like reading, mountain biking, and hiking.

MOLLY will be working with youth, answering hotline calls, and assisting with out of school programs.

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