Past Interns

spring 2019

I was born and raised in California but moved to Nevada in 2015 for school. I am currently enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno for a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. I am also participating in the university’s Certified Family Life Educator program. Post graduation I hope to apply for a master’s program in social work for adult mental health and wellness. After completing school I would like to find a job working to create community programs that focus on nutrition and mental health and wellness. In my spare time I like to go to the gym, explore food places around Reno with my friends, and watch Japanese films and tv shows.

FALL 2018

Emma is an intern through UNR’s CASAT program. She was born and raised in Sacramento, California and decided to move to Nevada for college. She is currently in her final semester of school and finishing up her degree in psychology with a minor in substance abuse treatment. After she graduates, she plans to continue her education in hopes of becoming a licensed counselor. In her free time Emma enjoys playing video games, reading, and spending time with her two cats.




Fall 2017 and spring 2018

My name is Virginia, A.K.A Ginny, I moved to Northern Nevada from Southern California because I wanted to find a better place to raise a family and I found that here in Carson City. I have a 12 year old daughter and a 6 year old (soon to be) Step daughter, and here I feel safe letting my girls walk to the park and go play with their friends, I finally live in a place where I know all my neighbors and I adore it. I have an AA in Psychology, a minor in Alcohol and Substance Abuse and am currently finishing up my BA in Psychology at UNR. Psychology has been the only subject that ever held my interest since I took my first class at a community college at 16. My life path has taken me in many different directions since then but has always dropped me back on Psychology’s door step. Understanding the mind is the puzzle I can’t stop trying to solve. I am also passionate about moving away simply symptom treating and looking at people holistically. Everything in our life, mind and body interact and you cannot treat one without the other. I plan to pursue a certificate in herbalism after my BA and incorporate that into helping people more naturally. My goal is to teach people how to make life style changes that will lead to them feeling better physically, mentally, and emotionally.

IMG_0080Emilee Wade is a Nevada native raised in Reno. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree in Social Work and has a minor in Alcohol and Substance Abuse. She plans to apply for the MSW program at UNR this winter. She is passionate about advocating for clients in need of services and believes in looking at people holistically. She believes it is critical to work toward decreasing stigma around mental health issues, especially among disenfranchised and marginalized groups. She is super excited to be a part of Community Chest Inc. over the next nine months as an Intern. During her spare time, she enjoys traveling, camping and spending time with family.

Stephanie Vargas is a Social Work intern and will be graduating this spring with a Bachelor’s in Social Work and a minor in Addiction Studies. Her goal is to be a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She chose Social Work because she feels she can be of most benefit to a substantial number of diverse clients with this degree. She had a personal experience being lost and feeling alone, and had a person who never gave up on her. She wants to be the person who will never give up on you.


Hi I’m Emily! I am a native Nevadan, born and raised in Carson City. I’m a student at the University of Nevada, Reno studying Community Health Science with an emphasis in Public Health. After graduation, I would like to pursue a master’s degree in Public Health, focusing on international health and wellness. My ultimate goal is to become a global health specialist in order to create prevention and immunization programs within third world countries. In my free time, I like to hike or walk, listen to music, and spend time with family and friends. I am very excited to be working with the Community Chest this semester and helping those in the Virginia City area!

Fall 2016


Jordan grew up in the Bay Area, California and moved to Reno, Nevada to attend the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall of 2013. She enjoys traveling, spending time with her golden retriever pup, and is a huge sports fan! She is currently pursuing a degree in Psychology and a minor in the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Treatment (CASAT) program at UNR. She hopes to continue her education and enter a master’s program after she graduates from the university.




Ivy Elliott was born in Nebraska and then lived in Texas and South Dakota before moving to Reno at seven years old. She has been in Reno ever since and loves it here! She enjoy the outdoors and being with her family. She and her husband  have two boys, ages three and eleven.

Ivy decided to go back to school in 2013 to pursue her dream of helping people who are struggling with addictions. She transferred from TMCC to UNR in the fall of 2015 and finished her minor in the CASAT program in the summer of 2016. She is a social work major and will finish her bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2017. She has a passion for helping people be the best they can be, no matter where they come from or what their pasts are.

20160805_111706Brian Johnston is a student at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island and hopes to attend grad school once finished with his Bachelor’s degree. He is from Connecticut and is currently studying Psychology and History. He has an interest in Clinical Psychology and hopes to be a private counselor once finished with school. His hobbies include traveling, watching WWE, snowboarding, spending time with his beagles and labrador at home, and hanging out with friends and family.




IMG_1911Taylor Parsons is a Nevada native raised in Virginia City. She currently is attending the University of Nevada, Reno and pursuing a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, graduating in 2017. She enjoys coaching volleyball, camping, and spending time with family and friends.






My name is Emily Ruff.   I’m a student at the University of Nevada, Reno and a native Nevadan. I’m currently pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. I’ll be graduating with my Bachelor’s in a total of 2.5 years and after that plan to attend graduate school to get my Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology. I have a specific interest in counseling and clinical psychology and hope to one day work with criminal populations, as well as aid in ongoing research in the field of mental health.


Spring 2016


Robert Barnet was raised in Connecticut, and is a transplant from Northern California. He currently resides in Reno, Nevada. He will be graduating in the spring on 2016 from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Robert is excited to assist the participants in the program earn their High School/ G.E.D. diplomas because he strongly believes education is a gift and a source of empowerment. His hobbies include swimming, gardening, and reading novels.




Lauren Coons was born and raised here in northern Nevada. She is currently attending the University of Nevada finishing up her degree in Community Health Science with a minor in mathematics and will be graduating in the spring of 2016. She enjoys hiking around Lake Tahoe, snowboarding, and spending time with her loved ones.






potential CCI

Clarissa was born in Kansas and grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. She will be graduating in May, 2016 with a Bachelor degree in Community Health Science with an emphasis in Public Health from the University of Nevada, Reno. She enjoys going hiking and camping with her fiancé and dog, and loves the outdoors. Clarissa has worked with adolescents and adults with mental and intellectual disabilities and is passionate about helping to serve medically underserved communities.


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Shannon Nunnemaker is a native Nevadan and social work intern completing her practicum with the Community Chest while finishing her master’s degree at the University of Nevada, Reno. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and has worked with clients suffering from a range of eating disorders and co-occurring disorders for many years in residential, partial and outpatient treatment settings. She enjoys philosophical discussions, playing with her dog and plotting her next adventure with her fiancé.


Fall 2015


Caroline Calkin is from Sacramento, California and is currently studying Community Health Science with an emphasis in Public Health at the University Of Nevada, Reno. She will be graduating in May 2016 with her Bachelor of Sciences in Community Health Science and a minor Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Caroline is passionate about the connection between every element of health and wellness, providing to communities that do not have access to sustainable resources, and traveling the world. On her free time she enjoys hiking through Tahoe, practicing yoga, and spending time with her cat Lavender.



Caryssa Cook was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. She is currently a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno and will be graduating in May, 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health Sciences with a specialty in public health. Caryssa has a passion for helping the rural communities around Nevada and has a special passion for working with the elderly population. Caryssa spends most of her time focusing on school but when she has free time she enjoys hiking around Lake Tahoe and traveling.



Clare Fite moved from the Bay Area to Nevada in 2006. She enjoys riding horses, camping with her husband and three dogs and cooking. She has worked with children and adolescents in a multitude of capacities since 2001. While working as a substitute teacher for Washoe County School District, she discovered that what children and adolescents needed was stronger emotional tools to handle life’s hardships. It was then that she decided to return to school to obtain her master’s degree in Professional Counseling so that she could one day focus on treating both mental health and substance use issues. In 2013, she became a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor Intern and in 2014 she received an Advanced Certificate in Addiction Treatment and Prevention from the University of Nevada, Reno. Clare has worked with both adolescents and adults in residential and outpatient settings as well as has aided in developing adolescent programs for treatment facilities. Clare is currently working as a Professional Counselor student intern at the Community Chest.


Summer 2015


Jacoby was born and raised in Nevada.  He is currently an intern at Community Chest for the Social Work program at UNR.  He will graduate with a Bachelor’s in Social Work in the Spring of 2015.  Jacoby is passionate about the community and has worked with at-risk youth since 2012.  In his free time, Jacoby enjoys traveling, volunteering, music festivals, coaching, sporting activities, and exercising.





Quinn is a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is pursuing a masters degree in public health specializing in Social and Behavioral Health. Quinn grew up in rural Nevada and has a passion for returning to help provide health outreach end education to rural areas of Nevada.





Oliva Avila was born and raised in Jackpot, Nevada. She comes from a big family of six children and is a first generation college student. She received her Bachelors Degree in Community Health Sciences and is now working on my Masters Degree in Public Health with a concentration in Health Administration and Policy, graduating in May 2016.  She hopes with her experience in school and internship to be able to continue to work with under-served populations in the community.



Spring 2015


Born in Texas, Jinan Barghouti has lived in Reno since 2001. She enjoys hiking, art, music, and Lake Tahoe. Jinan is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno. She will be graduating with her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Addiction Treatment Services, May, 2015. Jinan is currently part of a research team that is studying adolescents and their intentions to drive under the influence of drugs. Jinan devotes the majority of her time to school, including her internship at Community Chest where she is co facilitating a substance abuse group for Lyon County Juvenile Probation, as well as other counseling related activities.



Lindsey Mcelfish has a passion for children and helping those who can not always help themselves. She has her associate’s degree for Early Childhood Education. She is a senior at the University of Nevada and will be graduating in May with her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She has five years of experience working with children ages 2-13 both in preschool and the after-school setting. After graduation she hopes to open her own preschool so she can provide quality Early Childhood Education to children and their families within the community.  She is currently coordinating a project with Community Chest’s Youth Program Director to create a business plan, as well as implement skills learned in the HDFS program directly with children in the before and after-school program.

Internship Picture

Maegan Molo is from Antioch, California. She is currently a student at the University of Nevada, Reno majoring in Public Health with a minor in Gerontology and Business. Maegan posses numerous leadership roles within the university and the community as a student ambassador, student athletic trainer, teaching assistant and an active member of church choir at our Lady of Wisdom Parish. She wishes to use these leadership skills within Storey County to help identify the resources that are needed within the aging community.  She is currently working with nursing staff to create and implement a needs assessment, as well as practicing case management skills with the aging population in Storey County.