Prior to interning at the DataCenter, Rifkin worked with Mills College and KALW radio as a student reporter, most recently producing a series on redevelopment in Oakland. This past summer, she was part of a U.S. youth delegation to Caracas and Mérida, Venezuela, "spending time with youth activists and a diverse bunch of leaders, including a brief internship with a community radio station, building ideas about representative democracy and community organizing in the 21st century".
In her native New York, Sonya Rifkin spent three years organizing queer youth through Center Lane Community Center, and her high school. Sonya Rifkin has "worked with youth since she was one, as a museum educator, tutor, Mills College Upward Bound staff member and community garden volunteer. Sonya was raised up on picket lines and union songs in New York
Rifkin joined the DataCenter in February 2009 as an intern. She is an Urban Studies major at Mills College, focusing on local economic and community development. Through DataCentre, Rifkin has worked with the Right to the City Alliance, as well as community groups in the Southwest, producing corporate profiles on large mining and chemical companies.