It’s been a wonderful season here at EWI, as we have welcomed new people – interns, fellows and volunteers to join the EWI team. For the last few months, many in our team focused on putting together a spectacular Graduation and Business Showcase. Now that the event has successfully passed (yay!), we’ve had time to ask some of our team about their time at Empowered Women International.

And on top of all that, it’s been a birthday-packed summer! But hey, that means lots of cake so no complaints here!

Farhana, Kim, Hanna, Addie, and Lauren celebrating Hanna’s birthday with tulips!

Addie Gail
Business Development Services Fellow

What encourages you to keep working with EWI? 
The women. Seeing people’s eyes light up when they have hope keeps me going. Even when a business doesn’t make it, we’re empowering women to be more and do more, whether it be in there personal life, in their education, or their business training.


Alex Codrea
Outreach and Operations Associate Intern

Why do you love working for EWI?
What encourages me to come into work smiling everyday are the people: the people I work with and the people we work for, the reason we’re all here.

-Has EWI shifted your views of ’empowerment’?
EWI has not shifted, but rather defined my definition of empowerment.

Surrounding Kim on her special birthday!
(from left to right, Mary, Kim, Hanna, Michelle, Farhana, Lauren, and Bisrat)

Bisrat Kabeta
Grant Writer Volunteer

What do you enjoy most about working at EWI?
I feel like everyone here has unique talents; what I enjoy seeing is how those talents from all people are put together into something that is one.


Farhana Ferdous
Marketing and Events Intern

What’s your favorite aspect of working at EWI?
My favorite part of being in this environment is interacting with so many diverse people all with different attitudes, personalities, and interests, but who unify on the shared value of empowering women. We’re all different enough to keep things exciting, but similar enough to understand and deeply appreciate one another. Plus, quirkiness is encouraged. I like that.

Feeling bittersweet as we celebrate Hilda’s last day.
(top: Hilda, Kim, Idil) (bottom: Alex, Farhana)

Idil Ismail
Program Associate Intern, Wheaton Office

What is your role at EWI?
My responsibilities consist of program administration and support for ETS and GMB classes as well as events like the Graduation & Business Showcase.

What’s one aspect of EWI that you like?
I really appreciate is how compassionate we all are to each other and can relate & share the same passion for EWI’s mission.


Lauren Spengler
Program Associate Intern, Alexandria Office

Describe one of your projects while at EWI?
I greatly enjoyed working on the online art auction for the Spring2Action fundraising campaign. It was wonderful to reach out to the talented EWI entrepreneurs and the community and to witness the collective support and generosity through the donation of amazing and unique arts and services.

How has EWI shifted your definition of empowerment?
I have always been a big proponent of women’s empowerment, however, EWI has shown me the multitude of ways empowerment can be implemented as a consistent practice, not just a theory.

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Warm wishes at Marga’s surprise birthday picnic in the park!
(left to right: Lauren, Mary, Marga, Kim, Alex, Idil)

Michelle Massi
Graphic Design Volunteer

What do you do for EWI?
I volunteer my graphic and web design skills, designing their various marketing and promotional materials for print or web.

Describe one aspect of EWI as an organization that you really appreciate?
I really appreciate everything that EWI does for women. As an immigrant myself, and knowing how challenging it is to start a stable life in a different place where you don’t know anyone and nobody knows you or can vouch for you, it is immensely helpful to have a place like EWI where you can form connections, get to know people, learn and better yourself. I love that EWI helps women be independent and successful.

 “EWI has made me realize that everyone can be empowered. Some people just need someone to guide them more than others and that’s why EWI is here to help.”

-Michelle Massi

We hate to see you go Hilda!
(left to right: Farhana, Hilda, Kim, Alex, Idil)

We also want to give a special thank you and goodbye to Hilda Owusu, who served as the program coordinator for the last 4 months. You were an incredible light in the office, Hilda! We will miss you dearly.


“One component of EWI that I continuously appreciate is being a part of the positive energy that is raised and perpetuated by staff, volunteers and clients alike; the core value and practice of empowering women is contagious and felt by all”

-Lauren Spengler

We love EWI! (Lauren, Farhana, Michelle, and Idil)
A look into inspired EWI interns, volunteers, and fellows!
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