Who We Are

Pay Our Interns is bipartisan, non-profit organization that advocates for an increase in the amount of paid internships within our government, for-profit, and nonprofit sector. POI serves as a research platform, advocacy guide, and internship database for students across the country. Paid internships should be available to all students in every sector, whether private or public. A student’s socioeconomic status should not be a barrier to getting real-world work experience.

Donation: Donations allow us to amplify our voices and maximize our influence as change makers. We appreciate your support!

Carlos Mark Vera, Founder

Carlos Mark Vera is the founder and current executive director of Pay Our Interns. Having been an unpaid intern at the White House, European Parliament and the House of Representatives, he has known firsthand the struggles of trying to survive while interning for free. Last year The Atlantic profiled Carlos for their mentorship titled “On the Shoulders of Giants.”  His efforts on the Hill also led NBC Latino to name him one of the top 20 changemakers for 2017. He recently was named an Aspen Scholar for the Aspen Ideas Festival. Before POI, Carlos worked for Van Jones at Megaphone Strategies. Vera’s work in advocacy has been highlighted in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, NPR, The Atlantic,  Huffington Post, Marketplace, Fox News, NBC Latino and The Hill to name a few. He has also appeared on CNN, Mic, Telemundo, Fox News and Univision. He’s also written for the Washington Post, USA Today, The Hill on millennial empowerment. Carlos attended American University and currently serves in the Army Reserves as a generator mechanic.

Guillermo Creamer, Chief of Staff

Guillermo Creamer Jr. is the co-founder and current chief of staff of Pay Our Interns. Guillermo was an unpaid intern in the House of Representatives and the Mayor’s Office in Washington, D.C. experiencing firsthand the difficulties of unpaid work. Guillermo was recently profiled by his local paper and has interviewed with NPR, and USA Today discussing the successes of POI. Guillermo firmly believes that providing more paid internships allows for a more diverse workforce and gives students from various backgrounds the opportunity to do more.

Trevor Smith, Outreach Director

Trevor Smith is an Associate at M+R, a public relations and digital communications agency that works with non-profits and foundations.

Originally from Maryland, he lived in New Delhi, India and Seoul, South Korea for much of his life. A graduate of American University, where he received a B.A. in Journalism, he has held various unpaid internships mainly focusing on affordable housing advocacy. He realizes that unpaid internships isolate a certain type of student that can afford to work for free, and only perpetuate the stark economic inequality throughout the country today.

Christina Isnardi, Policy Director

Christina Isnardi currently works as a litigation assistant for Virginia & Ambinder, LLP, a workers’ rights law firm that has represented unpaid interns in over 70 wage violation cases, and that has achieved the largest unpaid internship settlement to date at $7.2 million. She also lobbied legislators to extend civil rights protections against sexual harassment and discrimination to unpaid interns, including a New York City bill that was signed into law in April 2014, and a federal bill that was passed unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2016. She has spoken publicly on the issue, including through panels and talks hosted by the New York City Bar Association, TEDxNYU, The Huffington Post, and other organizations.

Evan Martinez, Communication Coordinator

Evan Martinez is the Communications Associate at the American Iron and Steel Institute, a top tier trade association based in Washington, D.C. Prior to this, Evan attended American University where he held internships at EMILY’s List, United World Colleges International, C.Fox Communications and WilmerHale. He served as the Vice President of Publicity for American University’s PRSSA chapter and is now a member of PRSA’s News Professional’s chapter. He has been published in PRNews Pro, PRSA.org and featured a guest columnist on American University’s PRSSA blog. Evan will be attending Georgetown University’s Public Relations and Corporate Communications Master’s program in the Fall.

BOARD MEMBERS

Jessica Byrd,
Principal of Three Point Strategy

Helga Flores Trejo, National Committeewoman for Latino Victory

Maritza Kelley,
Founder of Realize Strategies, LLC

Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

David Trigaux, Program Director of the Washington Urban Debate League

Jessica Torres,
Communications Strategist

Colin Rogero,
A Partner of “76 Words”

James Kirby, Assistant director,
United States Conference of Mayors