One of the nine spring interns at Citizen Potawatomi Nation secured a full-time position because of her six-week internship. Darian Towner, who received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in psychology from Texas A&M University, moved to Oklahoma after she graduated to pursue an internship at House of Hope.

“I’m really thankful for this opportunity,” Towner said with a smile. “My director– Tiffany Barrett – is amazing; I’m grateful she saw potential in me and offered me this position. As I get more comfortable with my job, I simultaneously fall more in love with it, and House of Hope, and CPN.” 

While completing her degree in College Station, Texas, Towner got many hands-on opportunities that helped prepare her for her current position, including internships with Texas Child Protective Services and a local nonprofit that assists single mothers and their children. 

Towner heard of CPN from mutual friends and spoke to CPN Internship Coordinator Mindee Duffell about her career interests. After she applied, Duffell put her in contact with House of Hope staff so she could assist with the organization’s goal of providing victims of domestic violence with crisis intervention, safety planning, emergency shelter, emotional support and other resources.

“Our hope is that the internship experience at CPN is much more than a short-term learning experience,” Duffell said. “In Darian’s case, she was able to utilize her passion and her educational experience within the domestic violence program. This is a best case scenario, both for the intern and the department. We are confident that through thoughtful placements and bright interns there will be more opportunities for interns to be placed into full- or part-time positions at the end of the program. We are ecstatic for Darian and happy to welcome her to the CPN family.”

Towner is House of Hope’s new prevention specialist, so her job includes outreach to the community, including giving weekly presentations about services, leading free eight-week parenting classes and support groups, and coordinating most marketing and social media.

“I’m thankful to be able to do something that directly aligns with my passion of helping people because all of my friends had specific career goals like becoming a doctor or lawyer; my goal was to help people,” said the new tribal employee.

“I knew I had a passion for helping people but I didn’t know what that looked like. To be in a full-time position where I get to do that every day is really exciting.”

As soon as Towner started, she noticed the positive work environment with the director and three full time advocates. She is appreciative of how coworker Ashlee May has “taken her under her wing” and allowed her to shadow court advocacy in tribal and state court, new client in-take and the way she interacts with clients. In a field that is known for burnout and being emotionally draining, Towner believes that House of Hope staff is inspiring.

“As a new person in this career field it is encouraging to see how much passion my coworkers still have to help others after so many years of working,” she said. “I’ve only been here for two months and I’ve already fallen in love with the tribe and seen why people say it’s so great to work here. That’s not just something that people say – it’s something that they mean.”

If you are interested in participating in the CPN Internship Program this fall, please contact Duffell at The deadline to apply for a fall internship is June 1.