2014 DRF Summer Interns

Joshua Adkins

Joshua Adkins is a native of Danville, VA. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia where he is double majoring in Homeland Security & Political Science and set to graduate in December of 2014. Joshua is a member of many student organizations at VCU; including the NAACP, Black Student Union, and Hall Council for Residential Life. He serves as the Public Relations chair of both the NAACP and Hall Council. He has worked with Richmond City Council in trying to implement a program in Richmond City Jails to better transition recently released offenders back into the community in a positive way.

Before college, Joshua attended George Washington High School in Danville where he graduated with honors and as a Graduate of Distinction. He was active in the music department of the school where he served as Band Lieutenant and was also on the Student Government Association. He is a member of the Vance Street Baptist Church where he is an active youth member and teacher during Children’s Church and Vacation Bible School. After graduation from VCU, Joshua plans to stay near Virginia and begin work with local government. His lifetime career goal is to work as a Civil Service Officer in the US State Department.

Christopher Carter

Raised in Axton, VA, Chris Carter graduated from Tunstall High School with an advanced diploma in 2010. Wishing to stay in the city to save money, he attended Danville Community College on a full scholarship, graduating with a degree in Liberal Arts in 2012. Chris then transferred to The College of William of Mary, where he currently majors in economics. He is scheduled to graduate in May 2015 and plans to attend law school the following fall. Chris hopes to use his research skills and economic background to supplement the Foundation’s goal of increasing economic development in the Dan River Region.

Pursuing numerous interests, Chris attempts to stay busy in his free time. Following a passion for the political process, he has interned for numerous campaigns, including twice for Congressman Robert Hurt and numerous other state and local officials. In 2012, he was elected as Chairman of the Pittsylvania County Republican Committee, the second youngest chairman in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He also enjoys playing numerous sports with friends and was a member of the Danville Community College Golf Team as a student there. An avid fitness buff, he is a personal trainer at William and Mary and will receive his national certification in August.

Chassidy Fitzgerald

From Danville, VA, Chassidy Fitzgerald attended Virginia Tech were she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 2013 with Cum Laude honors. She was a recipient of Virginia Tech’s Presidential Scholar Initiative which annually selects 50 first generation college students from underrepresented populations and provides eight semesters of tuition, room, and board. Chassidy is a member of the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi and the national honor society in psychology, Psi Chi. After being inducted into Virginia Tech’s CommonWEALTH of Scholars, Chassidy served as secretary. She also volunteered as a mentor for new students of the Presidential Scholar Initiative and the Student Support Grant Program. As a member of The Yates Project, she served as an official university ambassador in her hometown to promote college awareness and preparation. Chassidy worked for The Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech.

Currently, Chassidy is pursuing the Master of Science Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Chassidy’s interest in mental health counseling amplified during an internship at Danville Pittsylvania Community Services. She is especially interested in working with individuals who have experienced trauma. After completing the master’s degree program, Chassidy hopes to become a Licensed Professional Counselor and serve as a mental health advocate in her community.  

Zarreen Johnson

Zarreen Johnson is thrilled to join the summer internship program at Danville Regional Foundation. Zarreen recently received her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with a minor in Business Marketing from Virginia State University in historic Petersburg, Virginia. There she graduated Magna Cum Laude and completed the Gloucester Institute Emerging Leaders Program. In the fall, she will continue her studies in Integrated Marketing Communications at California State University, San Bernardino Master’s degree program.

Over the past year, Zarreen has volunteered and joined various organizations throughout the Petersburg area including, The Boys and Girls Club, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Trojan Activities Board, and much more. After completion of the DRF internship, Zarreen plans to pursue her career in marketing management. 

Dakota Koenigsberg

Dakota is originally from Jupiter, Florida, but has lived in Asheville, North Carolina for the last twelve years. He is a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, double majoring in Economics and Environmental Studies. Dakota plans to complete a senior honors thesis project next year and graduate with honors in Environmental Studies. He is also pursuing a minor in Philosophy.  Dakota is a brother of the Alpha Tau chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity where he was VP of General Administration and has worked extensively on the membership and professional development committees. 

In his free time, Dakota enjoys playing guitar, riding his motorcycles, and other outdoor activities. These activities include hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, and rock climbing. He is treasurer of the Carolina Climbing Club where he obtained the club’s first funding appropriation. He has volunteered with the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and the UNC Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling.  At DRF, Dakota will work collaboratively on a number of initiatives to enhance the Dan River Region through promoting economic development, public health, and education. He plans to attend law school after graduating from UNC in 2015.  

Hannah Meadors

Hannah Meadors is a rising senior at Longwood University pursuing a Communication Studies degree and a minor in Creative Writing. A native of Danville, VA, Hannah was an honor graduate at Chatham High School. In high school, Hannah spent a majority of her time playing sports as a member of the varsity softball and volleyball teams. Aside from athletic teams Hannah was also a member of the National Beta Club, the yearbook team, and was named an All-American Scholar athlete during her junior softball season.

Currently, at Longwood Hannah’s love for sports has continued to grow as a member of the Women’s Volleyball team. Aside from the volleyball team, Hannah also stays extremely active in other organizations on campus. She is the founder and Co-President of the Longwood Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). During her off-season, Hannah volunteers with the Athletics Department and assists with game-day operations and marketing. Hannah is also a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the communications honors society, as well as The National Honors Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

When Hannah graduates in May 2015 she hopes to pursue a career in sports marketing or PR. Her dream is to work as the PR director for a professional sports team where she can incorporate her passion for sports and her desire to help others to bring the community together. 

Michael Panciera

Mike Panciera is from Blacksburg, Virginia. He studies Computer Science at the College of William and Mary. He plans to graduate with a B.S. December 2014. He has experience engineering web services and mobile apps on the Android platform. He is particularly interested in assistive software for the disabled.

In his free time Mike enjoys writing fiction and performing poetry. He plans to enter the workforce as a software engineer when he graduates in December.

Jude Swanson

Jude Swanson was born in Tampa, FL and moved to Appomattox, VA at the age of six and has loved being in Appomattox ever since. He is a recent graduate of Averett University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. While at Averett, Jude ran with the Cross Country team and made the 2nd team All Conference in his second season. He was also a part of the leadership team for CSF (Christian Student Fellowship), and held position of Treasurer for the Averett Flight Team in his first year.

In his free time, Jude enjoys going for a run (sometimes) and playing video games with his buddies. He also loves to play soccer and ride the mountain bike trails at Anglers Park. He is just alright on the violin and piano, and plays the occasional game of paintball. While at home, Jude is involved in his church, Appomattox Courthouse Presbyterian, he is a part of the choir, handbell choir and plays in the praise band. Jude is excited to be with the Danville Regional Foundation this summer and is looking forward to help bring positive change to the River District in Danville.