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    Past Internship Experiences

    During the 2012 Fall Semester, the Department of Women's and Gender Studies placed eight student interns in agencies across Chapel Hill and the Triangle. Here is what they have to say about their experiences:


    Julia Da Silva

    copy_of_dasilva.jpgHometown: Johnson City, TN

    Year: Senior

    Majors: Hispanic Linguistics, Women's and Gender Studies

    Plans after graduation: Currently seeking positions at various agencies serving survivors of interpersonal violence in the US and Latin America, plans on pursuing a Master's Degree in Social Work in the future

    Julia interned with the Orange County Sheriff's Department's Crisis Unit.

    “During my internship I was able to have a lot of direct contact with survivors of domestic violence. I worked with clients of all genders, various ethnicities, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds. I was also able to work with others in the office filing reports, issuing gun permits, and discussing homicide cases with investigators. The flexibility of the internship allowed me to have the direct service work with survivors that I wanted and to learn more about things that I never would have considered before…. Additionally, I have gained extensive knowledge of legal processes pertaining to survivors of domestic violence and how to best support survivors through the judicial system. I was also able to expand my Spanish legal vocabulary while working with Spanish-speaking clients.”


    JJ Lang

    Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC

    Year: Senior

    Major: Philosophy

    JJ interned with the Compass Center for Women and Families (formerly The Women's Center and Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County). Prior to his internship, JJ volunteered at the Family Violence Prevention Center where he facilitated classes for Start Strong, a dating violence prevention program for 6th-8th graders. As an intern JJ continued his work with Start Strong by helping to revise the curriculum and training new volunteers.

    ”I enjoyed the opportunity to get more involved with this organization at a deeper level than I previously was. From sharing experiences to working with new volunteers being trained to working with the curriculum for the education program, it felt like I was doing something on a structural level in addition to the great secondary prevention work this agency provides. Working with the middle school students as a part of Start Strong is always a real pleasure, too. Seeing young students grapple with these issues for the first time is a delight, and it’s obvious that something has gone wrong in a lot of people’s social education, so it is nice to play an active role in changing that for future generations.”


    Crystal Randles

    Hometown: Fayetteville, NCrandles.jpg

    Year: Senior

    Major: Women's and Gender Studies

    Minor: Social and Economic Justice

    Plans after graduation: Currently applying to Social Work Master's programs with the hopes of beginning a program in the fall

    Crystal interned with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.

    “Working with survivors of sexual violence has been one of the most positive aspects of my internship. Not only does it align with my future career interest, but I have learned and gained knowledge of how to work with survivors which has given me a better understanding of what services, referrals, and resources are available in our community…. I have also learned what it means to work with a non-profit agency that specifically serves people at the community and individual level. My experiences at OCRCC have also helped me to work with diverse populations."


    Ashton Sommerville

    sommerville.JPGHometown: Cary, NC

    Year: Junior

    Majors: Journalism, Women's and Gender Studies

    Ashton interned with the NC Council for Women. During her internship, the Council for Women announced the findings from the 2012 report on the Status of Women in North Carolina. Among other duties, Ashton was responsible for preparing specialized content for the organization to use when presenting the report to different audiences. She also wrote a guest column for the Council for Women's website.

    “I have gained so much through this experience. I got a glimpse into the real working world. I was able to work beside brilliant, experienced and passionate businesswomen. I became more proficient in using PowerPoint and in understanding grant contracts. Through the release of The Status of Women in North Carolina Report, I now have the vocabulary to more adequately speak of the injustices and victories of North Carolina women. I was able to observe the ways that departments interact, better understand the political side of bureaucratic agencies, and learn how to speak/network with government officials.”

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