Preston Public Interest Career Fund Recipient
I grew up in an all-female household—it was my two sisters, my mother, and I; my pediatrician was a woman; up until fourth grade all of my teachers were women; I attended an all girls high school; and I am a woman. This summer, I will have to opportunity to intern for The Representation Project, a non-profit organization that uses media and films to educate about combating gender biases; as a woman of color in today’s world learning about, understanding, and then teaching others about where these gender biases come from and are displayed is very important to me. I will be interning for the Mobilization Department where I will promote the organization’s mission to “ inspire individuals and communities to challenge and overcome limiting stereotypes so that everyone, regardless of gender, race, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, or circumstance, can fulfill their human potential.” This mission statement aligns with my future plans because my career goal for after Bowdoin is to use my skills, knowledge, and strengths to positively affect people’s lives in a field that I am interested in.
I first learned about The Representation Project my sophomore year of high school when we watched the film Miss Representation as a school. The film analyzed how media platforms sexualize and objectify women, without giving them a voice or space to be taken seriously. Years of this socialization in receiving harmful messages about beauty and power (or lack thereof) from the media, two years in high school learning about how and why I should not idly stand by while women are still not treated equally and are actively degraded on screens around the world, and one hour and twenty-nine minutes of this film later, I was finally beginning to gain the language and tools to share my personal experiences in a way that I could teach others about the constant demeaning of women. With films such as The Mask You Live In , which addresses America’s culture of toxic masculinity, and Miss Representation , The Representation Project allows for audiences to be educated about things that they may have never thought about themselves, and assists the people who are aware of these issues to gain the rhetoric in order to teach others.
This summer within the Mobilization Department, I will be able to personally engage with the youth committees, assist with the coordination and planning for the Global Youth Summit, and learn about Customer Relationship software, as well as learn about grant writing. I value and am excited to be directly engaged with the youth committees because for me it is important to get to know the people I am directly affecting in the work that I do.
Overall, I believe that this internship will help me gain an understanding of the nonprofit world and will allow me to both contribute and learn about the work that goes behind mobilizing people and ideas, and pushing important causes towards the forefront of our agenda. During my second interview, I was asked about how I would go about having a difficult conversation about a social justice issue that I am passionate about. I easily answered about an experience I had with a dear friend of mine, who identifies as white and upper-class, in which I needed to explain to her the harms of gentrification. After giving that answer, I knew that I wanted to surround myself with people who are just as passionate as I am to engage with people of opposing views and learning together how to progress as a human race harmoniously, despite our many difference; our differences, in fact, should be both recognized and celebrated. I look forward to be challenged and met with responsibilities and work that will further my commitment in empowering people and positively affecting their lives be it through programs, social media platforms, and personal connections.
- Date October 18, 2017
- Tags 2017, Communications, Preston, Sophomore, USA