ASCENDtials Logo



Thanks to our 30-plus volunteers and interns, we’ve grown our organization and provided meaningful programming and opportunities for people to turn their focus to our loving and giving planet! Turning our attention to the earth helps protect and preserve it for generations to come. We always want to put our best foot forward and be intentional about moving forward, and we thank you for joining us on this journey! Forward ever, backward never!

In this week’s ASCENDtials Newsletter, we’re thrilled to share the latest developments and insights from our community. Discover innovative projects making a difference, and practical insights on how our team is growing. Let’s have a bright, productive week while acknowledging the incredible efforts of our dedicated volunteers, interns, and supporters.

Together, we can make a lasting impact. Let’s dive in and keep the momentum going!

Upcoming Events

Volunteers will receive letters of appreciation for participation in these events:

  • Climate Cares Highway Cleanup @ Highway 15
  • Climate Cares Beach Cleanup @ Silver Strand Beach
  • Night Sky Star Party @ Oakoasis
  • Kemetic Yoga Sundays @ Worldbeat Cultural Center

New Hires

Simon Camelo Adrian Palomino

Graphic Designer Intern

Emily RayChaudhuri Lana Oquendo

Copywriter Intern

Emily RayChaudhuri Guo Zhou

Event Coordinator & Social Media Marketing Intern

Emily RayChaudhuri Elena Fischer

Copy Editor Intern

Emily RayChaudhuri Mikaela Moran

Editorial/Publishing Intern

Emily RayChaudhuri Rosemary Oleh

Researcher Intern

Emily RayChaudhuri Emma Forney

Copywriter Intern

Emily RayChaudhuri Stephanie Perrone

Editorial/Publishing Intern

Program and Partner Announcements

We will be hosting the Build My Spirit After-school Program with Park Takeover. The program promotes connection to nature, wellness, healthy coping skills, and resiliency. Participants will develop a new understanding of how to protect the earth’s human and natural resources. We equip youth with strategies to help them lead productive, purposeful, healthy, and principled lives.

After a successful initial market, we are hosting the ASCEND to Kemet Fest monthly until the end of summer. This aims to foster community among the African diaspora and share wisdom. Efforts are concentrated on strengthening relationships with existing stakeholders and promoting the fest to attract new participants.

We are also enhancing our partnerships with colleges and collaborating with professors to expand our reach and make more students aware of our Service-Learning platform. A Service-Learning Promotion series will soon be launched on social media to increase awareness and participation in our programs, benefiting more students.

Legal Announcements

The Legal team has engaged with 12 notable attorneys recognized for their pro bono work. We look forward to a meaningful collaboration. Also, the following grants have been identified: 

  • San Diego County Bar Foundation grant which offers grants to organizations that provide legal services and promote understanding of the legal system. It focuses on assisting victims of poverty, abuse, and discrimination, as well as educating children and adults about their rights and responsibilities within the legal system.
  • Social Equity Collaborative Fund by Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties is a pooled grantmaking fund that supports collaborative grassroots efforts to improve the economic, social, and physical well-being of San Diego County residents. It focuses on projects that enhance access to education, public benefits, and civic leadership opportunities; career development; criminal justice reform; workplace rights; and infrastructure, transportation, and housing options.
  • Bravo Foundation Grants provide grants and technical assistance to grassroots or emerging organizations serving underprivileged communities.

Learning Sessions

Learning Sessions serve as mini tutorials about tasks or procedures that teammates need to understand to fulfill their responsibilities. Any staff member may suggest a topic for a Learning Session. Each team is responsible for conducting at least one session a month during their team meeting or an all-staff meeting, whichever is appropriate. Sessions will occur only during regularly scheduled meetings to avoid creating additional time commitments. The sessions should last about five to seven minutes. No more than six sessions a month should be offered.

Featured This Week

“How to edit team notes” by Povrotanak Cheatha during the All Staff meeting at 1:00 p.m. (PDT) on June 10 

“Figma processes and procedures at ASCENDtials” by Sarah Smith during the Web team Meeting at 11:30 a.m. (PDT) on June 13


Introductory Presentations

These presentations are held to welcome and introduce new members joining our organization. It’s an opportunity for them to meet the team and get familiar with our mission and values.

  • Adrian Palomina- Graphic Designer Intern
  • Lana Oquendo- Copywriter Intern
  • Elena Fischer- Copyeditor Intern
  • Mikaela Moran- Editorial/Publishing Intern
  • Rosemary Oleh- Researcher Intern
  • Emma Forney- Copywriter Intern

Second-Week Presentations

These presentations are conducted to review the progress and experience of interns or volunteers who have been with us for two weeks. It allows us to provide support, gather feedback, and ensure they are settling in well.

  • Syan Maity – June 10, 2024
  • Marcus Burton – June 10, 2024

Goals and Milestones Presentations

These presentations are conducted to review the progress and experience of interns or volunteers who have been with us for three months. It allows us to provide support, gather feedback, and ensure they are settling in well.

  • None Scheduled


Second-Week Check-ins

This section highlights the upcoming check-in meetings scheduled for this week, facilitating communication and support for our new team members.

  • Emily Davis- Editorial/Publishing Intern- June 14,2024

One-Month Check-ins

This section highlights the upcoming check-in meetings for this week. Scheduled with the hiring team, to facilitate communication and support for our existing team.

  • Riya Pujara – Volunteer Support Coordinator – June 11, 2024

New Opportunities











Programs Team

  • Programs Lead and Support
  • Researcher

Fundraising Team

  • Fundraising Interns 
  • Fundraising Support 
  • Fundraising Specialist
  • Researcher
  • Finance Intern

Events Team

  • Public Relations Interns/Volunteers 
  • Event Lead/Social Media 
  • Event Support
  • Editors
  • Videographer
  • Garden Volunteers 
  • Digital Marketing Lead/Intern


Publishing Team

  • No Openings

Interns and Volunteer Recruitment Fair

ASCENDtials, a leading organization in the field of social impact, is hosting a virtual fair to recruit talented individuals for various positions. The event is an excellent opportunity for candidates to gain extensive experience while working in different roles and to obtain letters of appreciation or recommendation. Please check out our Handshake page for internships and volunteer posts!

Current Job Fair: June 11 through June 30, 2024

If interested in an open position, schedule a call with a Sayantani Guha one of our hiring team via Calendly. 

Sayantani Guha

Volunteer Support Coordinator Lead
San Diego, CA


“We would like to specifically thank Raquel Ramirez, Laura Lin, and Karen Edmonds for their outstanding work during the past week. Your hard work and efforts are duly recognized and highly appreciated! We are very grateful to you! Thank you for making ASCENDtials shine!

Each of you has demonstrated remarkable professionalism, skill, and passion for your work, which has significantly contributed to our success. Your commitment to excellence and your ability to consistently deliver high-quality results are truly commendable.

Thank you once again for your exceptional work and unwavering commitment. Your efforts are truly appreciated, and we look forward to continued success with you on our team.”

Our Alumni

“To our dedicated alumni who have contributed to building this non-profit organization, we extend our heartfelt appreciation. Your support has been invaluable.”

Yen Nguyen Intern - Grant Researcher/Writer, Copyeditor
Melissa Prado Intern - Grant Researcher/Writer
Hao Luong Volunteer - Graphic Designer
Anya Kennelly Intern - Editorial/Publishing Assistant
Grace Kim Intern - Graphic Designer
Angela Cheng Volunteer - Social Media Lead Volunteer
Samantha Bates Intern - Publishing/Editorial Intern
Sonia Munoz Intern - Editorial/Publishing Assistant
Reona Bowles Volunteer - Admin/Project Coordinator
Fungai Kahari Volunteer - Volunteer Support Coordinator
Diana Keshavarshi Intern - Fundraising Assistant Intern
Hanyi Wang Volunteer - Book Club and Graphic Artist
Jennifer Chastka Volunteer - Copywriter Lead
Saeko Shinozaki Volunteer - UX Designer Volunteer Lead
Maria Turbi Volunteer - Grant Assistant Volunteer
Lydia Li Intern - Researcher Intern
Elliot Li (OPT) Intern - Researcher
Ashley Arner Volunteer - Program Support

Kindly ensure that you continue recording your hours on TrackItForward, enabling us to accurately acknowledge and credit your contributions.

Again, on behalf of the hiring team here at ASCENDtials, thank you for everything that you do, and enjoy this long weekend!

Bottom HR banner