Current Social Justice Interns
Learn more about some of our current Social Justice Interns, their work, and what they're learning from the experience.
Name: Andy Greenia
Minor: Urban Studies & Peace Studies
Internship Role: Refugee Self-Sufficiency Program at Catholic Charities
My experience working with Catholic Charities given me valuable experience working in the non-profit sector. Having an opportunity to work with the refugee population in Chicago has challenged me to explore ways I can better advocate for others. Partnering with community organizations, constructing and facilitating workshops, and representing one of the largest non-profit organizations in the U.S. has developed many skills that I will apply toward my career.
My future plans include studying abroad in Uganda anda Rwanda this summer, working with organizations committed to addressing educational inequity through structural change, and pursuing a master's degree.
Name: Wynn Coughlin
Major: Social Work (BSW)
Minor: Women’s Studies & Gender Studies
Internship Role: Social Services Intern
During the 2012-2013 school year, I have been a Social Work Intern at Misericordia Heart of Mercy’s Social Services Department. I acquire this position through the Social Justice Internship Program as a part of the Center for Experiential Learning. During my time working alongside the supportive and friendly staff, I’ve been fortunate to have exposure both to the administrative and the clinical aspects of running a successful social service agency. As I begin the process of securing my first level field placement in my BSW degree, I am comforted to find that my time at Misericordia has helped prepare me for the next step in my academic and professional career. By observing and interacting with professional social workers and direct support staff, the values of responsibility, integrity, and social justice that will definitely stay with me into my next placement. After I complete my BSW next spring, I will continue on to my Master in Social Work (MSW).
Name: Hannah Helbert
Major: International Studies
Minor(s): Photography and Peace Studies
Internship Role: Misericordia – Ministry Intern
My internship has allowed me to get a different perspective on nonprofit work than my past internships at nonprofits, one was a cultural organization and one was a humanitarian aid organization. Misericordia is very different from both of these groups, but I have gotten to see a wide spectrum of what work in the nonprofit and justice field looks like. I know that in the future I will be able to apply the experiences I have had at Misericordia to understand how organizations function to fulfill the needsof those they serve.
My placement has helped me observe what working in a large nonprofit organization with specific duties actually means. Instead of knowing theoretically what this kind of career would consist of, I have now seen it in person. My placement has helped me shape my ideas of what kind of role I would like to play in a future career, as well as given me a venue to evaluate my skills and where they lie.
I will graduate in May and am currently pursuing a position with long-term service programs both within the US and abroad.
Name: Josh Stephani
Majors: Political Science and Theology
Minors: English and Catholic Studies
Internship Role: Hunger Awareness Intern
Throughout the past academic year, I have spent my time at Catholic Charities working in the area of hunger. While there, I have gained better knowledge of the complexities and inner-workings of a nonprofit. My placement at the organization helped to better understand the problems facing the Chicago-land area as well as the problems and conflicts which continue to happen across the globe. Although I was aware of the issues of hunger, poverty and homelessness, these were nothing more than statistics.
At Catholic Charities, I was able to personalize and put a face on these numbers. In other words, it is one thing to learn about the problems facing our city but it is entirely different to experience – my internship helped me do just that. Overall, my experience at Catholic Charities has opened the door for social justice and broadened both my understanding of these injustices and my passion to combat these said problems.
After graduation in May, I hipe to pursue a graduate degree while doing some form of long-term service. It is because of my experience at Catholic Charities and my social justice internship that I have fostered and grown in a desire to better the world around me and explore the various areas of social justice.