Internship, Co-op or Research Site:Esperanza Center, Catholic Charities in Action
Position Title:Legal Services and Educational Services Intern
Current Class Level:Senior
Work Term: Spring 2021
Tell us about your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day responsibilities.
I'm currently interning virtually for this position. Because I intern for two different branches, I have two different supervisors that I meet on different days. The majority of my work pertains to my legal role. I work closely with my supervisor to gain legal knowledge and practice skills lawyers use for cases, including preparing documents, briefs, and legal research. With supervision, I can also contact clients with regards to cases. In addition, I meet weekly with the other lawyers in the branch to learn about their cases in the past week. This experience has been super insightful in better understanding the work that lawyers do, especially in immigration law.
As an Educational Services intern, I work with my supervisor on projects pertaining to the adult ESOL tutoring program. As a volunteer, it's provided me a lot of perspective on how to better evaluate and improve the program for both students and volunteers!
Describe the process of obtaining your position. When did you hear of the position and submit your application?
In December, I applied for the Shattuck Family Internship Program for Entrepreneurship Innovation and Social Change. Having been to the Career Center multiple times in my college career, I already had everything I needed, such as my resume, to apply for the program. In January, I was accepted into the program, which graciously provided funding for any nonprofit internship of my choice for the semester. I worked with Christine Routzahn from the Career Center to find and contact local nonprofit organizations that aligned with the kind of professional experience I was seeking for in my senior year. I've volunteered through the Shriver Center as an ESOL teacher for the Esperanza Center since the summer, and I was aware that they offered a number of other services to immigrant populations in the Baltimore area. After contacting and interviewing with the staff, I was able to land an intern position in two different branches, Legal Services and Educational Services, both of which I am very passionate about.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization?
I love the values, mission, and vision that our organization has in truly serving and supporting the immigrant community. As someone whose parents are immigrants, I know that having access to safe and compassionate services is really important when coming to the United States. I've also loved working with my supervisors. They've both been super fun, encouraging, and helpful throughout this experience!
How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?
Through my work, I am helping to improve teaching procedures that will enhance learning for children with developmental disabilities, like Autism-spectrum disorder (ASD). Although there are procedures currently in place to treat children with ASD in Applied Behavior Analysis, much research needs to be done to continue to strengthen ways to teach children using empirical data. Some areas of research are the number of stimuli and order of stimuli concurrently taught within a session.
What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?
In any aspect of my work, I am directly and indirectly impacting an immigrant in need of services, whether legal or educational. This purpose makes the work I do so worthwhile and personal knowing that I am helping someone adjust to and build their life here in the United States.
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