This summer, I had the pleasure of interning with Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C. Planned Parenthood gave me the opportunity to combine my knowledge of computer coding and statistical analysis with the implementation of public policy to assist them with their daily logistical tasks. This internship simultaneously allowed me to enhance my public speaking and outreach skills by allowing me to go out into the community for various outreach events.
When I was just two weeks into my internship, and I had already marched with Planned Parenthood, attended a conference with various influential politicians with Planned Parenthood, and built relationships with Planned Parenthood. I have helped put together and ship off Birth Control Educator Kits to schools and educational facilities across the country to promote family planning and safe sexual practices.
The thing I love about my internship is that it is a warm, welcoming, and inviting work environment for every single person who walks through the door. I felt immediately accepted by each new face, which made the first few weeks go by in a wonderfully natural way. My supervisors have continuously given me projects of increasing importance, and I have been able to predict what needs to get done and in what order for things to run smoothly. My boss has been so incredible and has turned into an excellent mentor for me. I am thankful every day that I have the pleasure of working with such a fantastic woman.
My concepts of gender and social justice has definitely been reinforced through working for such a positive and encouraging work environment. I always felt accepted and important and never judged. I want to take this as I move forward in my college and professional careers to ensure that I am always treated with the level of respect I was given at Planned Parenthood. I am so thankful that one of my first experiences set such a high standard for my future workplace environments.
I met the CEO and had a delightful interaction with her, which only solidified my love for the internship. She makes it a priority to get to know everyone in the office, even the interns who are only around for the summer like me. I have learned from her that everyone’s job matters and she outwardly appreciates everyone who works for her and treats them with the same respect no matter who they are.
Planned Parenthood has strengthened my leadership skills in ways I could have only imagined. We get new volunteers every week, and I am usually in charge of delegating tasks for them as well as showing them how we do things in our day to day work. These tasks could be building birth control educator kits, tabling at an event, giving out swag, or rallying at the supreme court.
My experience was so positive that I enrolled in a communication course called “Media and Reproductive Rights.” I want to continue growing my knowledge of topics such as equality, the wage gap, and reproductive rights so this class was the perfect next step for me. I loved the experience of working with a nonprofit organization and felt so accomplished leaving work each day knowing that my work would help make someone’s life a little easier.
By working with such an influential organization, I feel empowered every single day and am reminded of how beautiful it is to be a woman. There was a time when women couldn’t vote or work or own anything for themselves, and although we still have a ways to go in our fight toward equality, it has been a beautiful and empowering journey. I can only look back and hope that I can continue the work that the women of the 1920s started so they would be proud of all that women have accomplished.
Overall, I feel I have successfully met, and in some cases surpassed, the expectations and goals I had for this internship. I am so thankful for everyone at NTC who made this happen. Without this funding, I never would have been able to accept this internship and I would have had to pass up on this incredibly eye-opening experience. I very much look forward to working with NTC in the near future.
Written by Victoria Rose, recipient of a Dean’s Grant sponsored by CELT, 2018