Staff Highlights

Meet Riya Jain, America Forward’s Intern

We wanted to take a moment to introduce all of the amazing interns who have joined our team this summer! Meet Riya Jain, a summer intern with America Forward, New Profit's nonpartisan policy arm.

What inspired you to work in the social sector? What about New Profit’s mission inspires you?

I am halfway through undergrad, and I am in the process of exploring the kind of space that best fits my interests and skills. I know that I want to work in a space that values new and inventive ideas for improving the future. The social sector, in my opinion, is just as innovative as the tech sector, but in a much less appreciated way. I am excited by the new programs, tools, and policies being developed to improve societal conditions as informed by past data, mistakes, and successes. New Profit and America Forward fit really well into this environment, and I look forward to working with people who value diversity of background, thought, and opinion. 

What are you most excited about during your summer at New Profit?

While I would have loved to join the America Forward team in person this summer instead of working from home, I am excited to learn about AF’s collective advocacy efforts. Specifically, I hope to see how they engage with federal policymakers and the ways they engage and train their coalition members. 2020 has been a rough year for a lot of people, and I am glad to be spending my energy this summer advocating for important issues and driving equitable reform. Of course, I also greatly look forward to meeting and working with everyone at America Forward. 

Describe a piece of wisdom that you learned in your life, or a piece of wisdom that has been imparted on you by someone who is important to you. How has this idea influenced your life?

We are taught to be humble and down to earth, yet also confident and proud. In trying to find this tricky balance, I am always reminded of a piece of advice a teacher once told me. She said, “You know what you are good at. The accolades and experiences to prove it will come, but until then you need to trust your abilities.” This message was powerful for me because I’ve always struggled to simply trust my gut over something more trustworthy like logic and data. Believing in my ability, however, is a similar leap of faith that I have allowed to guide my decision-making, big and small, for the better. 

What is one experience you want to have in your life?

Among many other things, and this isn’t one: I want to go skydiving, take a cross-country road trip, eat at a Michelin star restaurant, summit a fourteener, and sit next to someone famous on a plane.