Athletes for Hope

AFH Intern Profiles: Graham Gellin, Deirdre Gallo, Robb Dehney and Kamryn Smith

AFH is grateful to have an impressive crop of interns to assist with our work every semester. Our interns are not just providing a service, they are learning valuable skills they can take into the workforce. We invite you to meet our newest interns, Graham Gellin, Deirdre Gallo, Robb Dehney and Kamryn Smith.

What is your name, what school do you attend and what is your major?
My name is Graham Gellin and I am an Honors Laureate Graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Class of 2020 – BA in Psychology with minors in History and Entrepreneurship

What drew you to AFH?
Sports have always been an important part of my life, and coming out of college I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in sports. Whether as a student athlete or as a youth sports coach, I have always felt that sports have a unique way of bringing people together. When I learned about AFH, I was immediately excited to find an opportunity to work for an organization that is able to use the power of sports and the platforms of athletes to effect change in the world for the greater good.

What excites you most about interning with AFH?
For me, the most exciting part about working with AFH is that I have the opportunity to follow my passion for sports in a way that not only gives back to causes and communities, but also helps athletes find their voice and pursue the causes that they are passionate about as well.

Who is your favorite athlete and why?
My favorite athlete is Michael Jordan. A UNC alumnus – like myself – Jordan overcame adversities and pushed himself to his limits in order to become the greatest basketball player in the history of the sport, and one of the greatest athletes of all time. Despite setbacks and challenges, Jordan worked tirelessly on his weaknesses until they became his strengths, and helped push those around him to do the same.

What causes do you care about most?
I have done a lot of work with food insecurity and education inequality in the D.C. metropolitan area, and would say that those are two causes that have been most important to me, but in today’s world, I have been passionate and outspoken about spreading messages of racial equality and public health to try to make a difference in the problems that are currently most pressing and prevalent in our country.

What is your name, what school do you attend and what is your major?
My name is Deirdre Gallo and I am a rising senior at Georgetown University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. I am also a part of the Georgetown University Softball team.

What drew you to AFH?
AFH worked with my team this past fall and I loved how they were able to engage with us. The AFH mission is not only important but imperative to athletes at every level, and I wanted to be a part of spreading and enhancing it.

What excites you most about interning with AFH?
What excites me the most is being able to connect with different athletes around the country. Not only are the staff spread out around the US but AFH also works with multiple different Universities, teams, and athletes.

Who is your favorite athlete and why?
My favorite athlete is Natasha Watley, former UCLA shortstop, All American, National Champion, Hall of Fame Inductee, and 2004 Gold Medalist. Not only is she an amazing softball player, but she is SO cool! I got to meet her when I was little, I found out that if she didn’t become a world-famous softball player, her dream job would have been to become one of Beyonce’s backup dancers!

What causes do you care about most?
The two causes I care most about are racial equality and gender equality. Studying women’s and gender studies in school has allowed me to understand the deep divisions causing these problems. I think both causes are equally as important and cannot be separated due to the fact that they intersect with one another. You cannot support women without supporting women of color, and you cannot support people of color without supporting women.


What is your name, what school do you attend and what is your major?
My name is Robb Dehney. I just graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in Media Studies and a minor in Religious Studies. I am heading to Harvard Law School this fall (virtually) to earn my J.D.

What drew you to AFH?
I attended the AFH Gala in November and was drawn to the opportunity to make a positive impact through sports. As a longtime sports reporter and fan, I understood the potential impact that athletes can have on any given cause, and I knew that this internship was a chance for me to make the world a little bit of a better place.

What excites you most about interning with AFH?
I feel fortunate to be doing meaningful work, especially now. It is so clear that there is a lot of good that needs to be done in this world, and I am excited to be a part of an organization that aids athletes in their philanthropic endeavors.

Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Growing up I was a big fan of Vladimir Guerrero Sr, a perennial All-Star and MVP award winner whose son is now a budding MLB star. Watching Vlad Jr. play makes me feel really old…. As a Phillies fan, my favorite active player is Aaron Nola.

What causes do you care about most?
Environmental causes are of the utmost importance to me, as are those of animal cruelty. I view our climate crisis as the ultimate, all-encompassing ethical issue. No being, human or animal, living or not yet born, will be immune to the effects of climate change. Meanwhile, the injustices committed against voiceless, sentient creatures in a number of contexts are a stain on our species. Fortunately, each and every one of us can combat both of these issues through not-so onerous lifestyle decisions like reducing our plastic usage or lowering our demand for meat.

What is your name, what school do you attend and what is your major?
My name is Kamryn Smith. I graduated from the University of Iowa in May 2020 with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and a B.S. in Sport and Recreation Management. During my three years in college, I worked as a student video assistant for the Iowa football team.

What drew you to intern for AFH?
I was drawn to AFH because of its commitment to encouraging and assisting efforts toward making a positive impact in communities. As a sports fan and someone who has worked in sports in a variety of ways, I’m proud and happy to see all of the ways in which sports can impact the world. When one of my Iowa professors told me that AFH was looking for spring interns, I immediately applied for the opportunity.

What excites you most about interning with AFH?
I was excited to intern with AFH because I wanted to contribute to giving athletes a voice and platform for positive change.

Who is your favorite athlete and why?
My favorite athlete is Minnesota Vikings’ running back Dalvin Cook. He played for my favorite college team, and I’m grateful that he now plays for my favorite NFL team. But I’m also a huge fan because he uses his platform for positive change. His nickname is ‘The Chef’ and he put it to use by partnering with the Minnesota Vikings on the Vikings Table food truck, which is dedicated to fighting youth food insecurity in the Twin Cities.

What causes do you care about most?
The cause that I’m most passionate about is social justice in the form of equitable access to housing, food, healthcare, education, opportunities, sports, and so much more. It’s a broad cause, but it’s an important one.