An Office Full of Interns

Written by Plant With Purpose on June 11, 2013 in General

This summer we are blessed to have an office full of interns who are passionate about the work, mission, and vision of Plant With Purpose. Below, they share a little about themselves and what has drawn them to partnering with Plant With Purpose over the next three months. Please help us in welcoming this amazing bunch! 


[left to right]

ANGIE LEE || Grant Writing Intern

Hi everyone, my name is Angeline and I am thrilled to be the new grant writing intern for this summer! I am currently a student at the University of California, San Diego, majoring in Environmental Systems with an emphasis in Environmental Policy.

Prior to learning about Plant With Purpose, I had been struggling to find a way that would allow me to pursue both of my two passions: environmental work and ministry. It was only a few weeks later that Plant With Purpose held a presentation at my church here in San Diego and quite literally answered my prayers. Upon learning about Plant With Purpose’s vision and purpose, I was immediately drawn to their mission and set forth to read Scott Sabin’s Tending to Eden which confirmed my desire to work with this awesome organization.

Outside of my duties as a student, I love to read and learn new things as I strongly believe there is so much to be learned about this vast world that we are blessed to live in and be a part of. I believe that we all hold a responsibility to live respectfully with all of God’s creations, including the people we come across as well as the environment which we impact every single day. I am so grateful to be a part of Plant With Purpose, a team that strives for all of these things.

KATIE JAMES || Development Intern

Hey all! I am so excited to be part of the Development team at Plant With Purpose this summer! I am  blessed to get the opportunity to work with so many amazing people!

I am a home grown Californian, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. I moved down to San Diego four years ago to attend San Diego State University (Go Aztecs!).  My life was flipped upside down as I left a high school graduating class of 70 for an incoming freshman class of 6,000. As I found myself walking across the stage in Viejas Area to receive my diploma just a few weeks ago, I know that I would not have changed a thing. I received my B.A. in Communications, but my real interests are to pursue a career in public relations. Even though public relations is something that I am passionate about, I soon realized through my studies that I wanted my effort to be part of a larger cause; to create relationships to bring support to companies that fight for social change. I am so excited about my internship at Plant With Purpose because it gives me the opportunity to learn how to incorporate PR with working for a nonprofit.

I am an Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) girl at heart. Being a part of this student-led ministry while in school shaped me completely, and ignited the spark in me to want to be on the front lines of what God is doing to bring justice to those who are hurting. With IVCF, I was able to go on the Los Angeles Urban Project, a six-week missions trip to inner city LA and Mexico. This trip was a crazy ride, and I really saw God’s heart for the poor. One lesson that stuck with me is that God does not only want to restore communities spiritually, but also holistically, including the environment. I learned about Plant With Purpose through an Intervarsity staff member, and have been searching for an opportunity to work with them ever since. I am so happy to now be interning with Plant With Purpose, an organization that not only has the same heart for those living in poverty, but also with that same vision of wholly restoring communities around the world.

Beside all of that, I am just a typical (honorary) San Diegan. I love to spend my free time at the beach or hiking, anything outdoors. A well-known fact about me is that I am a self-admitted coffee addict, and I spend a lot of my free time searching for the best coffee houses in San Diego. I also love reading, watching movies, and spending quality time with my six lovely roommates.

CHRISTINA WADSWORTH || Grant Writing Intern

Hi everyone, my name is Christina Wadsworth and I’m thrilled to be one of the new grant writing interns with Plant with Purpose this summer! This internship is coming at a time of great transition for me. After more than a decade of homeschooling my children and a few years of working in payroll from home, I moved with my family to San Diego so the kids could go to high school here.

With the kids in school, I had a lot more time on my hands. Far from the gardens, chickens, and bees I had enjoyed so much, I began to look for a way to live my values in the work I do. I had majored in literature, and when my children were younger I had done some writing and enjoyed working for nonprofits. Grant writing seemed like it would give me an opportunity to put my education to use in areas consistent with my values, so when an opportunity came along to take a grant-writing course, I jumped on it.

After completing the course I figured I needed some experience and began to look for organizations that wanted volunteer grant writers. Plant With Purpose caught my attention because they were implementing so many solutions I was drawn to and had a little experience with—agroforestry, kitchen gardens, small livestock, composting toilets, cisterns, watershed restoration—it was an incredible match!

So far I’ve really enjoyed meeting the Plant With Purpose staff and learning more about what they do around the world. I’m really grateful to be working with them and to be given the opportunity to learn from them and contribute what I can to their life-changing work.

When I’m not exploring the world of grant writing, I enjoy riding my bike, helping with natural building projects, and finding the best local food at farmers’ markets.

CALLIE RENNER || Finance & Admin Intern

Hi all! My name is Callie Renner and I’m the new finance and administrative intern at Plant With Purpose. I just wrapped up my junior year as an Economics major and Global Business minor at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. As a stereotypical college student, I am still floundering around when it comes to deciding my exact career path. This being the case, I am really excited about the opportunity to intern at Plant With Purpose as a way to learn the ins-and-outs of a nonprofit organization, which I’m hoping will result in me pinpointing what kind of work I want to pursue post graduation.

As a native San Diegan and lifelong attendee of Solana Beach Presbyterian Church (SBPC), I heard about Plant With Purpose when I was seven years old at SBPC’s annual Alternative Christmas Markets. Even at that age, I was struck by Plant With Purpose’s work and mission, and felt called to spread the word about the organization by writing a short essay to my local newspaper and asking for prayer at my church for the organization. My passion for Plant With Purpose was renewed after my sister (Etienne) interned here in 2011 and told me about her internship experience, which caused me to think of Plant With Purpose when searching for an internship in San Diego this summer. This organization and position ended up being the absolute perfect fit for me as an individual interested in gaining experience within the field of economics and finance and passionate about humanitarian and environmental efforts. I can’t wait to be involved with an organization that transforms lives, homes, and environments in the name of Christ.

Aside from my interest in Plant With Purpose, my other interests and everyday activities include spending time at the beach, visiting local coffee shops, daylong marathons of Arrested Development, and taking walks along the coast in North County. I hope you enjoyed reading this little blurb about me, and I’m excited to see where my internship at Plant With Purpose this summer takes me!

MADDY SWOY || Development Intern

Hi everyone, my name is Maddy Swoy and I will be working with Plant with Purpose as a development intern for the summer. I am very eager and excited to join the team and to learn from the processes that have made Plant with Purpose such a successful and inspiring organization. This summer I hope to develop courage, conviction, and a sense of ownership for my contributions to this nonprofit. For as long as I can remember, I have been deeply passionate about helping others. It breaks my heart to witness lives being dictated by extraneous circumstances, like poverty. I have bared witness to such circumstances throughout my travels, which began at a very young age, but culminated in India last summer. During my time in India I worked for a nonprofit organization that focuses on poverty alleviation by addressing educational outcomes in the country’s public schools. I also had the opportunity to learn from the Centre for Social Initiative and Management throughout the course of my time in Bangalore, India. This training allowed me to delve into the field of social entrepreneurship, which is a rising sector of innovative thinkers looking to find tangible solutions to social woes and sufferings.

I currently attend the College of Wooster, in Ohio, and am a member of the class of 2015. I am studying comparative politics, with an emphasis on theory and environmental studies. I look forward to both building on and restructuring my preconceived notions of nonprofit work (that have been created by past experiences) and also solidifying my role in the community as a humanitarian thinker. After I have completed my studies (at whichever level that ends up being), I hope to continue the type of domestically based, international work that Plant With Purpose achieves; I strive to empower individuals in order to create a more loving and equitable society.

In my spare time, I like to get outside as much as possible. I do so by going for runs and hikes. I also love surfing, and grew up doing so with my mom. I am an avid ultimate frisbee player at The College of Wooster. I also love strolling through Southern California’s many farmers markets, photographing, swimming, and doing all of the above with friends and family.

BRYNDAN STUEVE || Development Intern

Hey there! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be introducing myself as one of Plant With Purpose’s summer interns! As you can tell from this post there are quite a few of us this semester, and I think I can safely speak for everyone in saying we anticipate a productive (and enjoyable!) summer.

When a friend introduced me to Plant With Purpose nearly four years ago, I didn’t understand how planting trees could help combat poverty. I distinctly remember trying to rationalize the connection between healthy forest environments and improved access to clean water, “If trees drink water, wouldn’t more trees drink more water?” As supporters of Plant With Purpose and frequenters of this blog, I’m sure most of you understand this connection well (If you don’t, click here to learn the answer). For my part, a handful of years at UC Davis, a myriad of environmental systems courses, and a degree in International Agricultural Development have combined to help me solve that puzzle and embrace the entirety of Plant With Purpose’s efforts to partner with the rural poor in, as Scott is fond of saying, “providing upstream solutions to downstream problems.” All this is to say, I couldn’t imagine a better organization to be working with.

In the office I’ll be working alongside fellow development interns Maddy and Katie to facilitate the management of our daily operations, including our online communication efforts, planning and attending outreach events, and perhaps helping to kick start some special projects. When not in the office, I can be found seeking out tasty food at the farmer’s market, stealing refreshing naps at the beach, enjoying San Diego’s vibrant music scene, leafing through enlightening books, seeking adventures on the trail, and striking up meaningful conversation with anyone who’ll let me. If you have anything to share pertaining to my adventures either inside the office or out, or if you would simply like to say hello, feel free to contact me at

Thanks for reading! If you’re local to San Diego and happen by one of our upcoming events, feel free to introduce yourself.

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