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CEA CAPA Internship Coaches Directory

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Internship Coaches Team

Keona Gardner
Senior Career Development & Internship Specialist

As a NACE-Certified Career Coach, Keona works towards ensuring that students are heard, supported by meeting them where they are, and empowered as they work on their career readiness journey. Keona is originally from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. As a first-generation college student, she had the pleasure of leading service learning experiences in various states and was granted the opportunity to study abroad in South Africa. That experience is what changed Keona’s trajectory — passion-wise — to make it a point to continue to immerse herself in various cultures respectfully and serve historically marginalized communities — connecting them to more significant opportunities. Shortly after receiving her undergraduate degree, Keona served as a Community and Youth Development Specialist in the Peace Corps in Morocco. She has also worked in the mental health field, educational non-profits, and workforce development to help strengthen partnerships for overall sustainable programming. Keona enjoys traveling, exploring the outdoors, cooking, learning, picking up various creative projects, practicing and teaching yoga as a Registered Yoga Teacher, watching psychological thrillers, and overall being in intentional community.

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Layla Franco
Senior Career Development & Internship Specialist

As a NACE-Certified Career Coach, Layla works to help students grow both professionally and personally while supporting them through the placement process. Layla’s coaching style is a combination of a holistic and “big picture” approach. She encourages her students to explore all of their past experiences with their current passions to think creatively about the possibilities of their internship abroad. This approach ensures that students feel empowered to explore different areas of interest and broaden their idea of a career post-graduation. Being a Phoenix native, Layla attended Arizona State University and graduated with a B.S. in Tourism Development and Management and Event Planning. After college, she had the incredible opportunity to work with musicians and students; planning their concerts and events all over the world which sparked her love of working with students in all areas of education. When Layla is not working or traveling, she loves to explore Arizona and all it has to offer. This includes attending local Phoenix events, hiking amazing trails, and going on walks with her two dogs - Emmy and Moose.

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Elle Bowman, M.Ed.
Senior Career Development & Internship Specialist

As a NACE-Certified Career Coach, Elle uses an appreciative advising style to support students through the internship placement process and career development. Her approach to student success revolves around empowerment, resource navigation, and meaningful relationship building. Elle aims to support growth toward new perspectives, intercultural competence, and the responsibility of global citizenship. Elle is a first-generation graduate, receiving her Master’s Degree in Higher Education from Grand Valley State University. Her experience advising in the world of student affairs included career services, admissions, financial services, and housing and residence life. She received her BS degree from GVSU in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Elle’s own study abroad immersed her in 11 different countries and cultures across four continents. This experience was so impactful that it inspired her to pursue a career path in promoting equitable pathways to educational and professional abroad experiences. Elle is originally from Michigan, calling both Sturgis and Grand Rapids home, and is now based in Phoenix, Arizona. Elle is passionate about serving her communities, specifically engaging with Kids Food Basket and Dekpor School Development Organization. As an avid hiker, she can often be found on Phoenix's many mountains! She enjoys staying active through yoga, running, tennis, and exploring new fitness classes.


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