Intern Program

Our intern program seeks to open the minds of highly motivated students to the realities of incarceration in the U.S. and beyond. Inspired by the compelling stories of people inside, our interns report feeling a lasting motivation to continue advocating for the rights of incarcerated persons long after their time with us.

Our interns correspond with and reach out to our incarcerated writers, manage our social media channels, design and publish content for our website, write grants, fundraise for our organization, create newsletters, and more!

Humans of San Quentin is continually and eagerly recruiting high school and college-aged interns local to Marin County and the greater Bay Area. 

Want to get involved?  Send us your resume and cover letter to get involved!

Contact Us to Apply Now

Meet Our Interns

Lauren Olsen, Intern

Lauren is a current junior at Redwood High School. She is currently in the school journalism program and loves to write. She is an avid sailor, sailing on the Redwood Sailing Team. She loves to explore Marin County, through hiking.

Lauren is also passionate about art, she does the art for the Redwood Bark. She is so happy to be interning at Humans of San Quentin and is very passionate about criminal justice.

Helena Pflaum, Intern

Helena Pflaum is a rising senior at Marin Academy and has worked at Humans of San Quentin since January 2023. Outside of volunteering, she is a columnist for her school newspaper, The 1600, practicing singing with her voice coach, prepping for her independent study next involving the literary genre of magical realism, crafting culinary treats in her kitchen, working on her current creative writing project, and she loves to daydream. 

Fun Facts: She frequently dreams in the third person and likes to get into other characters’ heads. Her middle school obsession was the Sony mixtape she got for her birthday. 


Jennifer Venancio, Intern

Jennifer Venancio, a senior at Tamalpais High School, has been inspired to become more educated on the lives of those incarcerated and support those in our community since her last two years at Humans of San Quentin. She loves reading the stories of those who have reached out to them and is devoted to giving them a voice.

Madison Herrero, Intern

Madison Herrero is a rising senior at Redwood High School. As a junior, through her Student Led Anti Racism Movement (SLARM) class, she was offered the opportunity to tour San Quentin. She heard the stories of four currently incarcerated men. This experience changed her perspective on the current punitive justice system. Madison feels everyone should hear the stories of those silenced behind walls. She has been able to do this with Humans of San Quentin and enjoys every minute of it.

Madison loves to read and hang out with friends. She also volunteers with the Marin Youth Court as an advocate and peer facilitator. She leads the writing and editing team for the Youth Wellness Campaign.


Leila Acevedo, Intern

Leila Acevedo is a rising junior at Redwood High School. Through her Student Led Anti Racism Movement (SLAM) class, she was offered the opportunity to tour San Quentin State Prison. This experience changed her perspective on the justice system and the consequences of it. Leila believes more awareness should be spread about the current system, and she enjoys doing this through Humans of San Quentin. 

Leila enjoys hanging out with her friends, being outdoors and going to the beach. She works at Mighty Pilates at their front desk. She volunteers with Peace Ambassador Leadership Program to help spreading awareness on bullying and suicide prevention. 


Alana Leifer, Intern

Alana Leifer is a Junior at Redwood High School and an avid advocate for fair treatment of incarcerated people. Through her experiences living in countries with contrasting justice systems, Alana has become inspired to lower recidivism rates and improve the stigma surrounding imprisoned individuals. 

Alana’s work as a journalist consists of published printed and online material for her school newspaper, The Redwood Bark. As a fluent Spanish speaker, Alana is The Bark’s Spanish section editor. During the 2023-2024 school year, Alana dedicated herself to recreating the section, giving a voice to the non-English speaking students of the school. 

Emerson Swift, Intern

Emerson Swift is a sophomore at Tamalpais High School. She is interested in journalism, history, politics, and poetry. She is involved in her school newspaper, The Tam News and is the editor of the youth magazine FastForward. Emerson enjoys participating in Model UN and registering and pre-registering students to vote as a Student Elections Ambassador. She loves interning at Humans of San Quentin because she understands the importance of giving everyone the platform to share their voice. She is excited to learn about and get more involved in criminal justice.

In her free time, she reads articles, writes articles, plays soccer and field hockey, and hangs out with her cute golden retriever, Scout.

Colin Parker, Intern

Colin is a recent graduate from the University of California Santa Barbara who has a passion for Digital Marketing and Advertising and has found his calling at Humans of San Quentin. Driven by a deep sense of social responsibility he’s eager to shed light on the often-overlooked stories of individuals behind bars. His commitment to social justice and rehabilitation has fueled his passion to recognize the transformative power of narrative in breaking down stereotypes and fostering empathy.

Aanika Sawhney, Intern

Aanika Sawhney is a senior at Redwood High School. She was reminded of the complexities of local institutions through Humans of San Quentin’s work and is passionate about the intersection of journalism and local impact. She was struck to learn about the zero percent recidivism rate at San Quentin for those who participated in the media center and is inspired by the unique journeys shared by many previously and currently incarcerated people. Aanika believes everyone has a meaningful voice and should be given the opportunity to share their experiences with others. Her work as a journalist has consisted of print, online, and visual media as a news and opinion editor for her high school newspaper, The Redwood Bark. She is also the executive producer for her TV and Media course. She is interested in social justice initiatives and leads the Environmental Action Club and the Black Indigenous Women of Color group at her school. Additionally, Aanika is a member of the Tamalpais Union High School District Racial Justice Youth Advisory task force. 

Aanika has been a part of her leadership class for three years. As secretary for Redwood’s Film Club, she is a connoisseur of creative media. She loves to spend her free time at the beach or enjoying live music. 

Maren Jones, Intern

Maren Jones is a rising senior at Tamalpais High School. She took a Street Law and Psychology class and became interested in criminology. She has watched many documentaries on incarcerated people, specifically at San Quentin, and wanted to get involved and help their voices be heard. Once hearing of Humans of San Quentin, she knew it was a perfect fit as they valued bringing awareness and humanizing the lives behind bars. 

In her free time, Maren enjoys playing soccer, going to the beach, watching the sunset, reading, doing arts and crafts, and hanging out with friends. She is super excited about this internship and hopes to keep on sharing stories with the outside world.


Renee Kraemling, Intern

Renee Kraemling is a senior at Tamalpais High School. She has interned with us for the last two years, since her sophomore year and she is now a senior. Clearly, she is passionate about the work we do to share the voices of those incarcerated. She has helped us develop our Beyond The Bars program, where we interview people who we have featured inside and are now released back into our communities. She helps share voices on our social media channels and intimately understands how impactful Humans of San Quentin is to those incarcerated.

Fun Facts: Renee is a passionate artist who primarily works with apparel designs. During her free time, you will either find her in an art studio or at her job, working for Peet’s coffee.

Gigi M

Gigi McAllister, Intern

Gigi is a junior at Marin Academy in San Rafael, California. She is a member of her school newspaper and community action leadership board. Through her work at the newspaper she became interested in the intersection of media and criminal justice. Gigi loves to highlight the voices of people who have been isolated from society and she enjoys working in the supportive and encouraging community at Humans of San Quentin. 

In addition to her work with Humans of San Quentin, Gigi is an active member of her school community. She is a member of Model UN Club and Conference on Democracy Club, an afterschool tutor, a varsity swimmer, and a competitive dancer. Her other passions include piano and surfing with friends. Her primary goal is to uplift the voices of others and highlight the experiences of incarcerated people.


Oliver Broek, Intern

Oliver Broek, a senior at Branson High School. He was hooked the moment he set foot in the Humans Of San Quentin office, and learned of the opportunity to witness and support the lives of those living so close yet totally isolated. Oliver’s classroom studies with courses like Soul On Ice: Incarcerated Worlds and Ethics and Justice, further strengthened his interest in understanding marginalized communities. 

Oliver has enjoyed growing the media team at HoSQ and sharing their work with a broader audience through their website and social media channels. He has enjoyed creating marketing campaigns inside prisons to reach additional incarcerated individuals. He has been a liaison with his community for fundraising fundraising events and sharing the message of humanizing people inside. 

Oliver, a passionate Lacrosse player, is a dedicated leader on and off the field. He is actively involved in Branson’s Men’s Leadership Group, Civil Discourse Club, and Poetry Club. Oliver’s outside passions include music of all genres, photography/videography, impromptu sports with friends, and visiting places with aquatic life. He thrives on bringing people together and continuously seeks ways to creatively share the stories of those around him.


Gigi Walravens, Intern

Gigi is a student at Redwood High School, Class of 2026. She is a volunteer with Marin County’s Youth Transforming Justice (YTJ) Peer Solutions Group and is passionate about juvenile justice reform. She is a starting defender on Redwood High School’s Varsity Lacrosse team and plays travel lacrosse with Bay Area Elite (BAE). 

In her free time, Gigi loves spending time at the beach and hiking with friends in the beautiful hills of Marin County. She is thrilled to be working with Humans of San Quentin and the wonderful people. 

Amanda Koeppel, Intern

Amanda is a high school junior at Marin Academy in San Rafael, California. The summer between her sophomore and junior years she worked on a mentored research project on the death penalty. Amanda learned about the political history that backs the justice system. Her work culminated in an op-ed on how and why the death penalty should be abolished. Amanda’s dedication and passion for working with the American political system led her to strongly sympathize with people incarcerated. Working for HoSQ has been an amazing experience for her, as she loves getting to share the perspectives of people who have been denied a voice. HoSQ has also provided Amanda with firsthand perspective of the daily discrimination that inmates experience. She is passionate about helping people incarcerated and supporting them in any way possible.

In her free time, Amanda sings with her chorus and works as an assistant to help elementary school students. She leads her school’s satirical newspaper and Queer Affinity, an LGBTQIA+ community. Amanda is a lawyer on her school’s mock trial team. She swam prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and now spends as much time as possible skiing. During the recent presidential election, Amanda served as an elections ambassador and member of her school’s elections committee, which aimed to motivate students to register and pre-register to vote.

Colin Parker, Intern

Quinn Newlin, a senior at Redwood High School. He discovered Humans of San Quentin through a friend and became captivated by advocating for the humanity of people incarcerated. He is thriving as part of the social media team and relishes in sharing their stories. Through the power of social media he is eager to generate empathy and compassion for people in our communities often overlooked.

Quinn is an aspiring actor and filmmaker with a drive to knock on Hollywood’s doors. He also enjoys crafting fiction and immersing himself in literary classics like Catcher in the Rye. In his free time, he dedicates time to refining his musical abilities, delving into guitar chords and showcasing his proficiency on the piano.

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