RCAC internship program
RCAC is proud to participate in internship programs through various universities. Internships increase diversity and train students in the environmental, housing and community development fields to meet diverse need of the communities served throughout the rural West.
Cindy La came to RCAC as a participant in the California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH) Rural West Internship Program in 2016. She graduated from the program in May 2017.
“This program provided a deeper understanding on the importance of affordable housing through housing development trainings,” Cindy says.
She interned in RCAC’s Lending and Housing Department. Her responsibilities included loan origination and producing RCAC’s loan committee packets. She handled the entire loan set up process, beginning from the issuance of loan numbers to the time when the loan becomes approved. For RCAC’s bimonthly loan committee meetings, which includes members from RCAC’s board of directors, she gathered loan documents from various sources, ensured a quorum was reached and transcribed minutes for the loan committee packet. She also participated in RCAC’s Development Solutions and Diversity Committee meetings, and CCRH board of directors meetings.
“I’ve learned so much already,” she says, noting that the emphases of her studies are in organizational management and public policy, planning and social services. “I learned in my classes about why certain communities get redlined and targeted,” she says. “So working at RCAC, I’m understanding better what I learned at school.”
Cindy graduated in December 2016 from the University of California, Davis with a bachelor’s degree in Community and Regional Development. In June 2017, Cindy moved to the Bay Area to pursue her career.
Dustin Love was a junior majoring in graphic design at California State University at Sacramento (Sac State) when his professor announced a paid internship with RCAC. He was selected for the paid internship in December 2012, and then for the following two semesters he worked and received college credit. During those 18 months he gained valuable practical skills as he developed brochure layouts, business cards and flyers. He also designed the 2012 annual report, which he displayed at his graduation’s “spring show.”
“It was cool to have a little bit of real work to show,” he said.
He gained valuable, real world experience and a practical understanding of designing for clients.
“It was good to work in the field and learn about real work in design, otherwise I would have had no experience besides school. I learned as I worked and I grew as a professional.”
In 2014, RCAC opened a regular position for a graphic design specialist, for which he was hired. He’s been working with the Communications team ever since. During his tenure with RCAC he has produced many successful designs and logos, including the Self-Help Housing 50 year anniversary logo, and helped develop the RCAC brand guidelines.
Frederik Zavala Lombera came to RCAC as a participant in the California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH) Rural West Internship Program in 2014. In 2015, after graduating from the internship program, Frederick was hired as a full time loan closing specialist.
As a community and regional development major at the University of California, Davis, he saw first-hand what he learned about in school during his employment with the Loan Fund.
“I wanted to be a part of what I was learning about,” he said he was particularly interested in how loans are structured.
On top of this, he saw opportunity to build on what he learned on the job.
“Loan Fund is always growing, adapting, and implementing new programs,” he said.
He was, for the most part, in charge of responding to applications for household well loans, which were in high demand. He worked closely with loan fund staff, loan officers, title companies and borrowers to ensure applications were complete and ready to submit. Frederik left RCAC and moved on to a new employment opportunity in March 2017.
Jazmin Badhan joined RCAC in June 2015 through the California Coalition for Rural Housing internship program. She graduated in December 2015 from the California State University Sacramento, earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
As an intern, she worked in RCAC’s Loan Fund Department where she helped with loan servicing, insurance, financial statements, loan maturity and data entry. She also worked in RCAC’s Finance, Grants & Contracts departments where she helped RCAC transition from Great Plains to Unanet software. Her internship ended in August 2016.
“I learned a lot through the internship program especially about affordable housing, a field I didn’t really know existed. I was introduced to new tasks that helped build professional development, and great communication, organizational and time management skills,” Jazmin says.
In March 2017, Jazmin applied for a position at RCAC as grants and contracts program specialist and was re-hired as a regular full time employee. She helps with reporting functions for our grants and contracts, and system maintenance.
Mariamne (Riamy) Beuscher was a student at UC Davis, majoring in communications with a minor in psychology, when she joined RCAC as an intern.
In addition to interning here in the Communications, Development & Events Department, Riamy volunteered at All Things Right and Relevant, a nonprofit consignment shop in Davis.
She is also an alumni member of Phi Theta Kappa, and served as the board’s director-at-large.
“As an intern, I have gained valuable knowledge in regards to rural issues and advocacy. I am always on the lookout for relevant news stories pertaining to rural matters which I highlight on RCAC’s newsfeed. I receive support and feedback from my peers which has enabled me to greatly improve my writing skills. I am always learning new information including how to use Word Press to assist with updating the website.”
Riamy graduated from U.C. Davis in the fall of 2017, and her internship was completed.
Blivion Xanouvong came to RCAC as a communication and graphic design intern in October 2019 shortly after earning her bachelor’s degree in design at University of California, Davis. She assists the graphic design specialist to develop high-quality marketing and branding materials for the organization. She also supports the communications team with social media outreach and publications.
“As an intern, I’ve learned so much about advocacy and community development,” Blivion says. “RCAC has done a lot to address the economic and environmental issues that affect rural communities. It is rewarding to support this work with skills I acquired in school. I love that I’ve been able grow as a creative professional on the communications team and gain real, practical experience designing materials for a nonprofit organization. “
Blivion’s internship with RCAC is currently ongoing.