An internship at the California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care provides an opportunity to develop multifaceted skills working for a unique nonprofit project that provides advocacy, training, and leadership to improve publicly funded services for trauma-exposed populations throughout California and nationwide. The internship is for 8–12 weeks and will give an insight into the key skills required to lead and grow a nonprofit organization.

Key Projects

What We Expect From You

Intern Spotlight

We love our interns! ❤️ Look what they are doing now and what they have to say…

Rina Li

Rina Li

2021 Summer Intern

Rina is an undergraduate student at Amherst College (’24) with an interest in psychology, neuroscience, and sociology. After her summer internship at CCETIC, she continues working as the Project Manager, engaging in a variety of ongoing projects including coordinating with different agencies to provide trauma-informed trainings, conducting literary review, writing white paper/policy paper, etc. She has a strong passion for medicine and public health.

Sydney Scanlon

2019 Summer Intern

Sydney (Amherst College 22) is from Miami but has spent time living coast to coast and abroad. She has an interest in mental health with her studies including neuroscience, anthropology, and interdisciplinary courses. She has worked for CCETIC since Summer 2019 on a wide range of projects including the website, the UBI tool, and developing materials. She is hoping to go into therapy.

Sara Kaufman

2018 Summer Intern

Sara Kaufman graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Anthropology. She returned as the part-time Project Coordinator in March 2020. Sara currently works as a Legal Assistant at Berliner Corcoran & Rowe LLP in Washington, DC and plans to go to law school for the 2023–2024 academic year.

Lorena Ukanwa

2017 Summer Intern

Lorena was born and raised in the Bay Area, California, where she grew up in a large, multi-cultural household. She graduated from Amherst College in 2019, where she majored in psychology and completed the pre-med track. After graduating, she worked as a medical assistant for Planned Parenthood during the COVID-19 pandemic in California. She completed a medical post-baccalaureate program at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Buffalo, New York. Since completing the program in May of 2021, she has been accepted into the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Octavia Neal

Octavia Neal

2016 Intern

Octavia Neal is a licensed therapist in private practice and working full time at Kaiser Redwood City in Adult Psychiatry. She is married and has a 2-year-old. Octavia moved to the Bay area in 2010 and hasn’t left!

Sharleen Philips

Sharleen Philips

2012 Summer Intern

Sharleen Phillips is a registered associate marriage and family therapist in San Francisco, with a passion for harm reduction and accessible, client-centered psychotherapy. She is a graduate of Amherst College and the University of San Francisco. She currently is a facilitator for Josie’s Place for Bereaved Youth and Families and the SF SPCA’s Pet Loss Support Group. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walking, and cooking.

Intern Chronology

  • 2021 Summer Intern, Rina Li
  • 2020 Summer Intern, Natacha Fernandez
  • 2019 Summer Intern, Sydney Scanlon
  • 2018 Summer Intern, Sara Kaufman
  • 2017 Summer Intern, Lorena Ukanwa
  • 2016 Intern, Octavia Neal
  • 2015 Summer Intern, Rosy He
  • 2014 Summer Intern, Julia Kagan
  • 2014 Summer Intern, Lauren Friend
  • 2013 Summer Intern, Tabeth Nkangoh
  • 2012 Summer Intern, Sharleen Philips


Located in Santa Cruz, California, the California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care (CCETIC) is committed to helping trauma-exposed people achieve safety, connection, and empowerment. The Center works towards public advocacy and education through white papers that focus on research-based policies and practices, the Stop Trusted Advisor Abuse campaign, and our IRB-approved Unsafe Behaviors Inventory (UBI) pilot study. The Center also works locally with people exposed to trauma by providing groups that specifically address the impact of trauma on the person.

CCETIC • Enter

Trusted advisor abuse occurs when a person in a position of trust—such as a teacher, faith minister, therapist, doctor, nurse, treatment provider, lawyer, coach, yoga instructor, or financial planner—uses that position to abuse and control a patient, client, parishioner, or athlete. The Stop Trusted Advisor Abuse project goals are educating the general public, holding professionals to a higher level of responsibility, ensuring that accountability systems do a better job of policing abuse within their ranks, and protecting those who rely on providers, whether in publicly or privately funded systems.

Stop TA Abuse • Enter
Storefront, GGC

Gabriella Grant Consulting (GGC) works to transform publicly funded programs and systems by strengthening their understanding of the broad effects of trauma and providing education on measures to increase safety in the behavior, lives, and communities of all Californians. GGC provides training on a wide variety of topics relevant to the multi-faceted experiences of trauma-exposed populations. GGC also provides services to agencies wishing to develop a trauma-informed framework, including program design, policies, staff development, and data collection and measures.

GGC • Enter

Stay updated on trauma informed care.

View the ACE Study Preview (3:00) from AVA

See the full Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study “online collaborative learning” collection at


Safety Before Trust Podcast

CCETIC’s inaugural podcast explains the concept of trusted advisor abuse and examines a case study.

Listen now
White Papers and Guides

CCETIC produces white papers, information guides, lists, and bibliographies highlighting specific aspects of trauma informed care.

Learn More

What is trauma informed care?

Trauma informed care is an approach or framework related to delivering services that acknowledges the impact of trauma and attempts to create a sense of safety within the program. Trauma-informed transformation is a cultural shift, a move toward safety-focused, strength-based, consumer-driven, empowerment-rich programming that allows consumers to take charge of their recovery, addresses unsafe behaviors and prioritizes safety as a platform for recovery.

Trauma informed programs train and support staff to understand the effects of trauma broadly on the population being served and over the lifespan. They assess their program design and policies to ensure that safety is at the core and that potential for re-traumatization is reduced. They also approach critical incidents and problems from a trauma informed perspective to see how to change approaches, such as rules or responses, to prevent escalation, drop-outs, removals, seclusion, restraint and other behaviors that traditionally have been understood as single problems in need of punishment or elimination. Trauma informed programs value consumer input, participation, and inclusion in decision making and staffing. Trauma informed programs recognize that information and choice are the key to empowerment, rather than experts telling people what they should be doing and then deciding if people have passed or failed.

All publicly funded programs can be trauma informed. This is especially true for social services, such as programs addressing mental health, substance abuse, child welfare, foster care, domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness and criminal justice, but also schools, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, environmental health and animal control. Where public money is spent, higher rates of trauma and trauma-related behaviors are more likely to compromise safety and behavioral change. Therefore, understanding the impact of trauma improves programming and services and makes them more cost-effective for taxpayers.

Trauma specific services have the primary task of addressing the impact of trauma and facilitating trauma recovery. Any agency can choose to become trauma specific. However, if an agency is conducting trauma specific interventions without assessing itself for trauma informed practice, the likelihood of that intervention working is reduced considerably.

Contact Us

Contact Us

California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care
P.O. Box 5365
Santa Cruz, CA 95063
Phone: (831) 607-9835

To request a training or consultation, please email Gabriella Grant at, put Request for Training in the subject line, and provide the name of your agency and the contact person’s name, email address, and phone number.