Carlos Mark Vera is the founder of Pay Our Interns, a bipartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that advocates for more paid internships & workforce development opportunities for millennials. “In just one year, Pay Our Interns successfully persuaded a dozen Members of Congress, several nonprofits and political advocacy groups to offer paid internships including the National Organization of Women Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and many others. In two years, Pay Our Interns made history when its’ efforts motivated Congress to designate nearly $14 million to create over 4 thousand paid internships on Capitol Hill.”
Last year The Atlantic profiled Carlos for their mentorship titled “On the Shoulders of Giants.” His efforts on the Hill also led NBC Latino to name him one of the Top 20 Changemakers for 2017. He recently was named an Aspen Scholar for the Aspen Ideas Festival and previously was a Ricardo Salinas Scholar.
While in school he founded Justice for AU Workers, a student-led labor organization that advocates for service workers of color. His fight for justice led to the creation of a full-ride scholarship program for the children of Aramark workers, one of the first of its kind in the country.
Before starting POI, Carlos spent time working for Van Jones at Megaphone Strategies, at the White House, Latino Victory Project, The U.S. House of Representatives, and the European Parliament.
Vera has been profiled in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, NPR, USA Today, Washington Examiner, Mic and NBC Latino. He writes and comments frequently on millennial empowerment, the Latino community and educational issues in publications such as The Washington Post, USA Today, NBC Latino and The Hill.
Carlos attended American University, currently works as consultant for the National Honors Society, and serves in the Army Reserves as a generator mechanic.