Children Now Insider: Meet Our Summer Fellows

Meet our Summer Fellows!

Children Now® Insider: Stories, News, And Insights On Children’s Advocacy

For more information on our blog, contact Adrienne Bell at [email protected]

The Children Now team has grown this summer with the addition of seven fellows – five are in the Oakland office, and two are working in Los Angeles – and we are thrilled to have them on board!

We have two additional Children Now fellows in Oakland this year: Laura Maule, a molecular and cell biology major at UC Berkeley who will graduate in December, is working with the Research team; and Colleen Kinstler, who recently graduated from UC Berkeley after spending her final semester abroad, is returning to The Children’s Movement team as a senior fellow.

Children Now Insider sat down with the summer fellows to learn a bit more about each of them – here’s what they had to say.

What do you hope to learn this summer?

Kiley Barton, a recent graduate from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in political science:

This summer, I hope to learn more about the non-profit sector and hopefully leave here with a more clear idea of where I want to go next! 

Reilly Bloomer, a recent graduate from Georgetown University where he majored in government and Spanish:

This summer, I hope to learn more about the policymaking process and how particular actors – such as businesses, interest groups, and politicians – impact that process and its outcome. Additionally, I’m interested in learning about the different approaches to supporting children and their health, education, and livelihood. Many people and organizations seem to have different opinions on how to best help children, and I’m interested in learning about those perspectives.

Anna Cheal, a public and community health education major from Utah Valley University who will graduate in December:

I hope to gain transferable office skills that will make me a more marketable employee in the future. I’m excited to learn Airtable, mail merge, and more about public policy within the non-profit sector. I also hope to gain more confidence within advocacy and public policy, especially because I come from the public health field.  

Sofie Fier, a recent graduate from UC Berkeley, where she double-majored in peace and conflict studies and public policy:

This summer I hope to learn about the intricacies of various policy sectors, specifically healthcare and child welfare, and about the intersection between policy and politics. At UC Berkeley I learned about the general mechanisms of researching and forming policy; but I have yet to explore the nitty-gritty of specific forms of policy.

Annie Price, a sophomore at UC Berkeley, where she is studying political science and English:

This summer, I hope to learn about how non-profits operate in current California political climate. I’d like to use this to further my understanding of what it means to be politically active and how that goal can be approached from many different angles. I’m also really looking forward to learning more about specific policy areas so I can develop a more well-rounded, informed perspective on children’s issues and advocacy.  

Arlete Reyes, a junior at UC Berkeley, where she is studying intended psychology and economics:

This summer, I hope to develop better communication skills and learn more about outreach and policy. I also want to learn about individual departments within Children Now, and how they each play an important role in achieving the organization’s goals.

 Claire Smith, a senior at UC Berkeley, where she is studying political economy:

This summer I hope to learn a lot more about advocacy for kids, as well as general policy change and reform. Additionally, I’m very interested in learning how non-profits truly run and operate and how this distinguishes them from private companies.


What surprised you the most about your college experience?

Annie: I was surprised to find out how many people were just like me in terms of not having their career ambitions figured out. I had a completely false perception of Berkeley students as being driven toward one particular area and working solely toward that goal, which intimidated me as someone with no clear idea of what I wanted to do. I love that, in reality, college has been a place for self-discovery and constant reorientation of goals based on evolving interests.

Sophie: In high school, the musical theater community in which I was involved in was very close-knit. I did not expect the magic and joy I felt on my high school stage to continue at Cal. However, my expectations were wildly exceeded; at UC Berkeley I found even more joy and, more importantly, I found a family with Barestage, the student-led theater company on campus.

Arlete: The relationships I have built in college have been the best and most surprising part of my experience. I did not expect to feel so comfortable and at home with people from completely different backgrounds and experiences. However, the friends I made have helped me become more open and extroverted and changed my perspective in many ways.


If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do? And how would it change your future plans?

Anna: I would spend some time exploring Europe. I’ve always wanted to see European landmarks and also experience the rural countryside, and I know I would enjoy backpacking my way through parts of Spain, France, Switzerland, and Italy. I believe the best way to truly experience a new place is to immerse yourself in its culture and customs, and I would enjoy the opportunity to do that throughout Eastern Europe for at least two months. While abroad, I’d want to get involved in meaningful projects that give back to communities through charity and service. After returning home, I would pay for graduate school and buy my own set of wheels.

Kiley: I would pay off my student loan debt. I’d then pay off my parents’ house, buy myself a car, donate a portion of the money, and save the rest. I would also probably take a trip out of the country since I never have before. I don’t really think it would change my plans for the future at all. I’m not the type of person to just sit at home, so I’d still like to pursue a masters or law degree. If anything, winning the lottery would make those things easier!


Where would you go on an all-expenses paid, two-week trip, and why?

Claire: I would go anywhere tropical – leaning towards Turks and Caicos – so that I could enjoy some nice warm weather and time laying out on the beach. Other than that crazy heat wave recently, the Bay has been very cloudy, overcast and relatively cold. If someone else was going to pay for it, I would go somewhere that is the exact opposite!

Reilly: I would go to Chile because of its geographic diversity. I love cities, but as an Oregonian, I also love the outdoors and enjoy natural space a lot. Luckily, Chile offers the opportunity to visit both. Also, I would love to practice and improve my Spanish, and speaking with native Chileans would be a great way to do that.

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