International House (Charlotte, NC)
This summer, I interned at International House, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to immigrants and refugees in Charlotte, NC. International House offers education programs as well as legal assistance through their Ginter Immigration Law Clinic, and I was fortunate to work in the law clinic as an intern. I worked alongside the immigration attorneys there and assisted them with legal documents, directly administering client files that were sent to US Immigration offices. I learned how to receive new client intakes and spent a lot of time interacting with immigrants and refugees who came into the office. I also learned a lot about how a nonprofit functions. After graduation, I plan to work in some type of nonprofit or service organization before attending law school, and I’m extremely appreciative that interning at International House allowed me to experience a nonprofit organization as well as a law office. Before my experience at International House, I did not know a lot about the specifics of a lawyer’s job. I ended the summer with a greater understanding of the state of immigration in the US and with more knowledge of the daily life of an immigration attorney, which has made me more confident in my plans for the future. I am so grateful for my experience at International House and I’m especially grateful to the Winston Center for making my time there possible.
Mary Catherine Cremens '21
The Adovates for Human Rights (Minneapolis, MN)
I spent the summer of 2019 as an intern at The Advocates for Human Rights, a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that aims to uphold the principles of human rights laid out in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Advocates does a variety of international human rights work, from lobbying countries during the Universal Periodic Review to evaluating the efficacy of legal systems in responding to violence against women. Specifically, I worked with the Refugee & Immigrant Program, whose work centered on immigration and labor trafficking. The Refugee & Immigrant Program supports asylum seekers from around the world by providing them with volunteer legal representation. As an intern, I was the first point of contact between our organization and immigrants seeking asylum in the United States. Through my interviews with asylum seekers, I was humbled by the persecution and trauma that has brought so many to the US. Even more powerful, though, was the awe I felt at the resilience and persistence of our clients. In addition to supporting our case work, I answered calls to the National Asylum Help Line, an experience that continuously revealed to me the importance of speaking the native language of those you wish to support. I was also able to speak with detainees in Minnesota’s largest ICE detention facility and observe an individual hearing in Federal Immigration Court, staggering experiences that I continue to contemplate. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to work with The Advocates for Human Rights thanks to the support of the Winston Center.
Emma Kane '21
Charles River Watershed Association (Boston, MA)
This past summer I was given the amazing opportunity to intern with the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA), a nonprofit organization with the goal of protecting and enhancing the Charles River through science, advocacy, and the law. The CRWA is one of the oldest and prominent watershed organizations that was, and still is, at the forefront of improving the water quality of the Charles during the mid 20th century and on. This commitment is still seen today, as the organization has helped keep the Charles clean with the collaboration of the surrounding towns in the watershed and the city of Boston. My position with the CRWA was as a watershed science intern. My time with the organization was split between field and office work. My fieldwork consisted of the flagging, cyanobacteria, and water chestnut removal programs. The flagging program was used to determine whether the water was safe to boat or swim in. For field work, I would sometimes join another staff member who runs our water chestnut removal program. This program helps educate about the invasive European water chestnut and its negative impact on the Charles while also providing volunteer groups the chance to kayak on the Charles and remove the invasive species. This internship has provided me invaluable research and field work experience, while also giving me a glimpse into the law and advocacy side of environmental protection and conservation. Although I am more orientated towards the science aspect of the environment, interning with the CRWA has made me realize the importance of public policy and law when involved with conservation.
James Fernandes '20
Office of Senator Patrick O'Connor (Boston, MA)
This summer, thanks to the assistance of the Winston Center, I was able to fulfill a long-standing dream of mine by working in the Massachusetts State Senate. As a resident of Massachusetts my entire life, working for State Senator Patrick O’Connor (Plymouth-Norfolk) has been a dream come true. I’ve been able to interact with constituents from my own town and see their legislative ideas acted upon. This is truly one of the most rewarding aspects of public service because it has given me the opportunity to be involved in the complex dynamics of state politics – something I am eager to pursue going forward. Senator O’Connor has truly become a role model to me. He emulates someone who is fiercely passionate about his community and someone who is willing to work tirelessly to see the interests of his constituents pursued. I’ve loved working for the Commonwealth and am even more passionate for fighting for the needs of my local town, district, and the people who need representation on Beacon Hill. I’ve truly loved my time there and hope to return the following summer or after I graduate.
Steven LeGere '21
Office of the New Jersey Attorney General, Financial Crimes Unit (Whippany, NJ)
As an intern for the Financial Crimes unit within the Division of Criminal Justice at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, I worked closely with several detectives and deputy attorney generals. I was granted the opportunity to look through several cases that the Financial Crimes unit had completed in the past in order to see what methods they used to reach a conviction. After reading some case examples my advisor and I collectively chose which cases the unit would be working on for the upcoming months. I also got to work through some of the evidence for a money laundering case that the unit was working on, which consisted of analyzing bank statements to determine which transactions were suspicious. Not only did I help the detectives from my unit, but I also was granted the opportunity to shadow one of the deputy attorney generals and help her prepare for court. This consisted of writing plea memos and other documents for several facial scrub cases. Additionally, I was able to attend court with her and listen in on a witness prep for a trial. The internship program also organized several field trips and presentations from the Director of the Criminal Justice Department and the Attorney General himself for further learning and experience. Some of the field trips consisted of a tour of the Regional Operations Intelligence Center, a Firearms Simulator Training, and a tour of the New Jersey State Police DNA Laboratories and Ballistics Unit. Overall my internship taught me how important teamwork is in order to have the best shot at a conviction for a criminal case. All of the detectives and attorneys would work together to gather evidence and bounce ideas off of one another in order to reach the best verdict possible. Due to this I learned how important it is to never be afraid to ask questions or for help when you need it. My summer experience at the Attorney General’s Office also helped to develop my passion for working towards justice while making sure that everyone is given the opportunity to be innocent until proven guilty.
Brittany Shortall '20
Big Brothers Big Sisters (Boston, MA)
This summer I was granted the opportunity to work as an enrollment intern at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, a non-profit organization that pairs children in the greater Boston area with a positive adult mentor. The program uses the outline of positive youth development researcher pioneered by Dr. Jacqueline Lerner of the Lynch School of Education- to increase the Little’s confidence, compassion, curiosity, caring, character, and social and emotional competence. This was an especially salient part of the organization for me, as I have studied these concepts from Dr. Lerner as an applied psychology student in the Lynch School and felt incredibly fortunate to be able to implement them in a real life context. In my work as an enrollment intern, I conducted hour and a half long interviews with potential Big’s, eventually taking ownership over the whole interview which explored different aspects of the potential Big’s life and communication styles. I was also able to accompany my supervisor on home visits, where we interviewed potential Little’s and their families to ascertain whether or not they were a good fit for the program, which was an incredibly humbling experience where I was privileged enough to hear the stories and adversities of families living all over the Greater Boston area. This summer gave me the idea that it is possible to impart change in ways that might not alter overarching systems of inequality, but that will still make a difference in the lives of individuals, which is surely a step in the right direction. I am so incredibly fortunate that I was granted this learning opportunity through the generosity of the Winston Center.
Sheridan Miller '20
Sakhi for South Asian Women (New York, NY)
This summer I had the privilege of joining the team at Sakhi for South Asian Women, a non-profit organization based in Manhattan that supports survivors of gender-based violence from the South Asian diaspora. I worked primarily in the realm of mental health, with a hand in both the behind-the-scenes operations of the organization and direct interactions with survivors. I was placed in the Direct Services department, which branches into Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Counseling. My work was project-based under my supervisor, a counselor at Sakhi, but also varied depending on her day-to-day needs. My largest project was making a comprehensive and culturally competent mental health resource guide, which I created as a ~20 page book with South Asian-specific resources ranging from health providers to social media accounts. I worked on this resource guide essentially for the entire span of the internship–with several smaller projects in between–and established partnerships with many of the organizations listed as resources. One of my other projects was creating new intake forms, which need to be filled out whenever Sakhi has a new client or internally refers a client to a different department. After going through trauma training, my focus was on making these forms trauma-informed, such that the questions would be thorough but not triggering. I was also able to form relationships with clients while working together on applications for higher education and access to ESL classes. I hope to pursue a career in medicine, and my internship has led to my growing interest in women’s health, primarily with immigrant and first generation women. Many thanks to the Winston Center for supporting my internship and allowing me the opportunity to explore non-profit work.
Leena Rijhwani '20
US Commerical Service (Shanghai, China)
This past summer, I was given the great opportunity to intern for the U.S. Commercial Service in Shanghai, China. The U.S. Commercial Service in China, part of the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, is charged with helping American businesses export goods and services to China. I was able to participate in this internship at a really unique time, in which the U.S. and China were engaged in a trade conflict. Throughout my 10-week internship, my day-to-day duties varied. I had a role in numerous projects, including both independent and collaborative work as well as event management. I assisted with student briefings, assisted officers in attending events such as TOEFL Seminar, served on a panel to share my experience working in the Commercial Service, and attended the CES Asia Trade show and helped represent the office. I also helped create a China Industries News Tracker that was distributed to other government offices throughout China. The highlight for me was representing my office in a meeting between a company and the Consul General. From this experience, I was able to learn a lot about the China market and how foreign companies operate in China and was able to get a firsthand look at international trade and business. I am thankful for the Winston Center’s support in helping me take part in this opportunity and helping me learn more about international business. This was a truly unique experience that I will keep with me throughout my personal and professional career.
Ariana Farsai '20
Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (Cambridge, MA)
Prior to my experience at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (HIRC), I did not fully understand the complex nature of immigration law. I applied for the internship at HIRC because I was drawn to its mission to “advocate for immigrant justice through clinical education, legal representation, litigation, and community outreach.” At HIRC, I was given the unique opportunity to work with law students, distinguished attorneys, social workers, and migrants from a number of different countries and backgrounds. Among other projects, I worked closely on an asylum case that will appear before an immigration judge this fall. I was responsible for interpreting between Spanish and English during interviews, as well as posing some of my own interview questions. I worked directly on the asylum-seeker's affidavit (a personal declaration submitted to the court) and conducted country condition research in English and Spanish for the filing. In addition to learning about the work that goes on at a public interest law office and about immigration law and procedure, I also gained insight about the real-life implications that laws have on the marginalized community of undocumented migrants. Working directly with clients opened my eyes to the particularly traumatizing nature of their experiences and how that trauma is exacerbated here in the U.S. through both societal and legal factors.
Mariana Ferreria '21
Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust (Wellington, New Zealand)
This past summer, I was granted the opportunity to work in and travel throughout New Zealand, an invaluable experience which beyond exceeded my expectations. For three months, I learned how to diagnose, medicate, treat, and care for a variety of sick or injured endemic and domesticated birds as a rehabilitation intern at Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust. I also learned about how the sanctuary interacts with the public and the SPCA to provide the unique and comprehensive care that they are able to provide as a nonprofit organization. My favorite job was the care of the endangered Brown Teal/Pāteke, of which WBRT has a successful captive breeding program. In addition to this work, I conducted research about unprotected and introduced wildlife species to assist in coordinating future releases of wild birds. One of the most interesting things I learned was the importance of good leadership at an environmental charity. Cleanliness was a top priority which ensured the wellbeing of both the animals and people. Additionally, creative and ambitious steps would always be taken to help an injured animal or to find a good home for a rehabilitated bird. My coworkers were utterly compassionate, treating all birds regardless of their “value” to society. It was often the case that an injured gull or rosella (wild birds) which would otherwise be euthanized by the SPCA was brought in to WBRT, where any attempt would be made to save the animal. As a result, WBRT reflects the high value of individual life of wildlife to the public. It was enlightening to be immersed in a culture that realizes the value and beauty of their surroundings, which clearly reflected on the happiness and health of the population. I’m very thankful to the Winston Center for the opportunity to learn so much both in my field and about the environment and culture of New Zealand.
Hayley Kunkle '20
FAC and HRIP Clinics at Suffolk Law School (Boston, MA)
This summer I was fortunate enough to have worked under the guidance of two lawyers in the FAC and HRIP clinics at Suffolk Law School. In the HRIP clinic, I was able to practice advocacy work on behalf of an indigenous group in Brazil whose land rights, particularly under the principle of “free, prior, and informed consent,” are continuously violated by their president and his agribusiness allies. I co-wrote an update memo to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in which we outlined the necessity for Early Warning Measures and Urgent Action Procedures in relation to Brazil. This experience was valuable because I was able to research international human rights violations and learn how to communicate effectively with international human rights bodies to inform and affect justice. I also was given opportunities in editing self-representation guides for local tribal courts, and learned how to write effective and efficient briefs in order to build a case on behalf of a tribal islander community in Colombia whose voices were ignored in a territorial and maritime dispute decision by the ICJ. In the FAC clinic, my experience was fascinating and frustrating. Our clinic largely tackles domestic violence cases, so I continuously witnessed the legal twilight zone domestic violence survivors face in the court room and realized the need for the family legal system to be re-trained and revised. My experience was nothing short of purposeful and formative, and I extend my deepest gratitude to the Winston Center for affording me this chance. It has affirmed my passion for pursuing a career in human rights law, and I am excited to continue my research with the FAC lawyer this fall. My desire in working towards a publicly demanding exposition of important societal needs and moralities, as prescribed by the law, has never been stronger.
Mckenna Madden ’20
Boston Mayor's Office of Recovery Services (Boston, MA)
This past summer, I had the pleasure of being a part of the Boston Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services as an intern. Over my ten-week internship, I learned so much about the inner workings of government, the logistics of public health implementation and the communication skills necessary for a public-facing office. As an intern with the Office of Recovery Services, I assisted with various tasks including graphic design work for the City of Boston, policy planning meetings with multiple city departments, answering constituent concern letters, and working on a restorative justice initiative Project STEP Renew. Through the initiative Project STEP Renew I was fortunate enough to assist returning citizens in the process of resume creation, navigating city job websites, technology literacy and general needs such as access to Charlie Cards to be able to navigate the City of Boston. I was also fortunate to be able to attend several City meetings about the planning of the groundbreaking Long Island Recovery Campus. I was able to observe how much intense collaboration and coordination is required to get such an initiative off the ground and put into practice. This entire internship experience taught me how critical collaboration, communication, and ingenuity are in the workplace, particularly in the field of social services. The recovery services team I worked with placed an emphasis on strong communication through informal meetings as well as carving out more formal space when necessary to make sure that all of the goals of the Office were aligned. The Office of Recovery Services is much more than just direct service implementation, the Office also works in community overdose prevention, youth prevention strategies, advocacy around an end to stigma around substance use and citywide strategic goals around substance use and recovery.
Clare Ryan '20
Gateway South Asia (Kathmandu, India)
I spent this past summer in both India and Nepal partnering with local organizations and the local church. The communities that I interned with opened my eyes to how central the topics of justice, unity, and restoration are in God’s heart for the world. The opportunity to develop deep relationships with these groups has allowed me to better understand how to serve in a way that is both ethical and sustainable. As part of my internship, I also helped host volunteers as they came to join these organizations and serve alongside us. Leading these individuals was wonderful and stretching. One of my roles was to help introduce the volunteers to the culture and customs of the city that we were in. This was done by heightening their awareness, understanding, communication skills and overall cultural competency. With this foundation, service could be done in an increasingly loving and honoring manner. While consistently growing in my own cultural competency, this process taught me about the importance of humility in service, leadership, and life. This internship has also taught me a significant amount about intercultural and interreligious dialogue, which is of immeasurable importance. As a result of this summer, I have become a more conscious, compassionate, and loving global citizen. I now have a greater vision for pursuing a career advocating for Human Rights. Whether domestic or abroad, I plan to build upon this zeal for justice and for seeing the love of God bring light to places where there was once darkness.
Morgan Schade '21