Learn more about some of our current Social Justice Interns, their work, and what they're learning from the experience.
My name is Anna Alexander and I am a current senior at Loyola. I have a major in Advocacy and Social Change with minors in Political Science and Black World Studies. Through the Social Justice Internship, I was paired with ONE Northside. Some of my other duties making reminder calls for events my organization has and listening in on meetings regarding the city council. During my internship, I have been doing a lot of behind the scenes work such as creating zoom meetings, taking notes, conducting spreadsheets, and data entry work. Through this position, I have had the opportunity to work hands-on with the organization with their campaigning, which has allowed me to get a lot of political experience. This internship has also allowed me to use a lot of the tools that I have learned through my communications classes and apply them to real-world experiences. Additionally, I have the opportunity to work with the ONS Police Accountability program.
As the education intern at GirlForward I am learning how the tutoring program works and preparing for GirlForward's summer camp. I've learned how to facilitate group zoom sessions, tutor girls. participate in all-staff meetings, the logistics of organizing a tutoring program and summer camp curriculum, and how to support my supervisor, coworkers, and fellow interns. This internship has greatly improved my professional teamwork and communication skills and expanded my worldview. I especially love the culture of GirlForwards' space, because it is a women-led organization where everyone is encouraged to advocate for themselves, to share their ideas, to prioritize their health, and to feel supported by the rest of the team. This is my first internship and I feel so lucky to be a part of an organization that, in my opinion, supports some of the most important and incredible people in our community: young refugee/immigrant women. I want to continue learning from my supervisor and coworkers about how to be a supportive and valuable team member, and learning from the girls about their unique perspectives as immigrant women in Chicago and how to be a good ally.
I have had the opportunity to join the communications team at Catholic Charities where I am able to provide help and support with different projects such as social media campaigns, external communications resources, webpages, photos, and brochures. In addition, I help manage the social media accounts of Catholic Charities and work on promoting events and distributing information to increase our social outreach. Working at Catholic Charities has been an amazing experience that has helped me grow in my personal and professional career. I love working in a place where people’s passion for helping others is their sole motivation. Being at Catholic Charities has shown me the importance of kindness, empathy, and service. The communications team has guided and taught me with patience and compassion, inspiring me to sway my actions with that same motivation to help others.
I’m currently a sophomore majoring in Psychology and Film & Media Production. I am Communications Intern at GirlForward where I do create graphics on Canva and do research for the educational post on GirlForward’s Instagram. My personal project at GirlForward is to create YouTube Channel for the non-profit so they can expand their social network and influence. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being an intern at GirlForward as all the staff and board there are women and are very welcoming to me. I love getting to learn from everyone there and see how non-profits are run especially by predominantly women. The office space is very unique and comforting, so I always look forward to working in person. Working at GirlForward has really enlightened me to the experiences of refugees and immigrant women. I’ve learned ways I can support and be a good ally to refugees so they can have equal access to opportunities Americans do. Overall, I’m very pleased to have had GirlForward be the first place I interned at as it’s made me feel comfortable with working with others and learn how to build community with people of different backgrounds than me.
I am incredibly lucky to be working with GirlForward in the Mentoring Program. The Mentoring Program pairs a high school girl with an adult woman, forming a friendship and support system. Through this program, GirlForward looks to discuss and improve what they call the mentees’ 4 W's: wellness, wisdom, wallet, and world. Currently, I am working on updating databases with accurate information, ensuring that there is clear and easy communication between mentors and mentees. This information also helps GirlForward to empathically and equitably assess how to enhance these mentor/mentee relationships, considering and valuing each part of their identity and background. I also have had the opportunity to tutor at GirlForward, helping the girls with their assignments and promoting their academic confidence and journey. I am proud to be a part of GirlForward as they serve girls who identify as refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers.
I work at FORA as a data management and family school partnership (FSPP) intern is to work with administrative staff to input grades for student weekly grade checks and use academic platforms like Casebook and STAR assessments to organize student logistics onto excel sheets. As a member of the family school partnership program, I translate heavily on school documentation for FORA families which includes their child’s grades, ongoing school matters, and parent portal concerns. In addition to these tasks, I tutor one-on-one once a week. Each student is given iPads and individualized learning plans. IPads provide access to built-in educational apps like Kindle, Newsela, and Aleks. These applications help guide tutors and students to focus on work that is not only school oriented but master weak subject areas outside of classroom. At FORA, the students are the spotlight, and I can say that I feel honored to see children who are proactively excited to learn even during afterschool hours. I have enjoyed connecting with staff members who are always giving me career advice and have become a gateway for me to form professional connections.
As a personal effectiveness program (PEP) intern at Misericordia, I have had the opportunity to design and implement engaging programs that foster leisure and communication skill development. I have shadowed behavior analysts to understand how applied behavior analysis (ABA) can provide insight into the residents’ needs and determine support program placement. I have also assisted in running a morning coffee club program for a group of residents during which I implement a wide variety of leisure activities such as board games, reading, music, and breakfast preparations. Finally, I have worked with individual residents in implementing creative leisure activities such as creating short films and writing short stories that help residents learn soft skills necessary to engage in society. Through this internship, I have developed meaningful relationships with residents, as well as understand and learn how to dismantle the social injustices and prejudices that individuals with disabilities face