Lived Leadership Internship Program

Our Lived Leadership Intern Program is for individuals who seek to learn and build advocacy and policy skills and have a passion for the importance of housing in ending the HIV epidemic. Over the course of 6 months, our interns will attend four educational and advocacy training and travel to Washington, D.C. twice to meet with Congressional staff and federal officials.

NHAHC 2024 Lived Leadership Council

Michelle Anderson

Lived Leadership Intern

Michelle Anderson is a remarkable individual who has dedicated her life to advocating for important causes. She has been a voice for the HIV/AIDS community, LGBTQ+ rights, Trans Equality, Decriminalization of HIV, and Housing since 2014. Michelle has an impressive background as a Medical Case Manager, where she assisted people who needed help getting linked to care. She has been living with HIV since 2007 and uses her personal experiences to inspire others to overcome the challenges associated with the condition. Michelle’s passion for helping others has led her to work with the National HIV/AIDS Housing Coalition, where she advocates for better housing opportunities for PLWHA. She has also expressed interest in starting her non-profit organization to assist individuals living with HIV. Her dream is to create a safe and supportive learning space for advocacy, housing, and other resources. Michelle’s story is truly inspirational, and she is a shining example of how one person can make a significant impact on the lives of others.

Michelle is an Early Intervention Specialist assisting newly diagnosed and out-of-care individuals by assisting and linking them to resources that reduces the barriers keeping them from reaching viral suppression.

LeRonald Reid Jr. (Junior)

Lived Leadership Intern

Junior recently completed a Master of Arts degree in Communications & Marketing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

He is the CEO and Founder of Living HAPI. A nonprofit organization that currently serves individuals in the Charlotte metropolitan area by bridging gaps between those in need and available resources. He enjoys advocating for adequate access to services and is passionate about educating individuals on available resources.

He currently serves on Duke University’s Collaborative Community Council (D3C), the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Community Action Group, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Ryan White Planning Body, and various collaborations with other HIV agencies and programs. 

DeKeitra Griffin

Lived Leadership Intern

DeKeitra Griffin, licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), started as an advocate for HIV/AIDS as a senior in high school by taking friends to their appointments and becoming informed about HIV. He volunteered with local organizations in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, and continued the service while attending school in Pittsburgh, PA. DeKeitra experienced a traumatic event that led to him being diagnosed with HIV May 12, 2011. DeKeitra decided to move home to Dallas and finish school while changing majors from neuroscience to psychology. He studied at the University of Texas at Arlington by completing an undergraduate degree in psychology, master of social work program, and recently the master of public administration program . During his studies, DeKeitra used his lived experiences including living with HIV, survivor of rape, and survivor of intimate partner violence to become a stronger advocate. He serves as a board member for the Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV/AIDS. DeKeitra is currently attending Louisiana State University as a PhD student within their social work department. DeKeitra’s goal in life involves being an advocate and researcher for the LGBTQIA+ community by focusing on intimate partner violence, sex work, mental health, substance use, and HIV.

Dorothy Touchberry

Lived Leadership Intern

Dorothy is a resilient individual who has overcome adversity to find her true calling in life. After experiencing poverty, homelessness, and substance use disorder, Dorothy discovered her strength and determination in 2018, embarking on a journey to create a new life for herself. Motivated by her own experiences, she began working with others facing similar challenges, finding purpose in helping them navigate their paths to recovery. Dorothy recently graduated from phlebotomy school and is now dedicated to making a difference in her community. With a focus on HIV outreach and harm reduction, she is actively involved in the Mississippi Harm Reduction Initiative, where she serves as the HIV Outreach and program coordinator. Through her passion for advocacy and her commitment to supporting those in need, Dorothy is making a meaningful impact and inspiring positive change. 

Ari Hampton

Lived Leadership Intern

Ari Hampton has been an employee of Wayne State University (WSU) School of Medicine since 2012. Mr. Hampton is a health educator by training and an international HIV activist whose passion for community-based advocacy fuels his service as the Manager of Prevention Services for Wayne State University Prevention team, also known as (W’SUP) and he is the Current lead for the Michigan HIV/AIDS Council with MDHHS. Ari is a proud mixed gay man from Detroit, MI and has been lending his voice and experience of Living fabulously with HIV for the last 14 years since his start in public health in 2012. He is always encouraging a message of hope and determination to everyone he meets, no matter what life may throw at you, always remember to press on.

Mary Jane Maestas (MJ)

Lived Leadership Intern

Mary Jane Maestas has 12 years of both personal and professional experience in the HIV advocacy realm at the legislative level since she was diagnosed with HIV in 2011. She has been a member of Positive Women’s Network since 2016 and has been a co-chair of the Colorado chapter since 2022 and works diligently to provide support to other women living with HIV and pushes hard for policy change and equity for everybody living with HIV. 

 As a certified peer recovery specialist with Promotores de Esperanza MJ is a solid harm reductionist in all of Colorado’s communities providing peer recovery support, overdose awareness, prevention and aftercare as well as Naloxone and Fentanyl/Xylazine test strip distribution. She educates our most vulnerable communities about overdose and how to successfully navigate various systems in Colorado.

Joshua Williams

Lived Leadership Intern

Joshua Williams is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and has been volunteering in advocacy since he was diagnosed in 2017 after his mother’s death. He is excited to be part of this internship to hopefully help better the current housing issues we have for people living with HIV. He looks forward to learning everything needed to help rectify some of the housing issues he has experienced over the years. He is a certified recovery coach and has attended the Lead Academy for people living with HIV.