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This summer, I am working for GirlForward, a small non-profit that provides teenage refugee girls with mentorships, educational programs, and leadership opportunities.  GirlForward is still very new; we began our programs just last year.  However, it is growing very quickly, so it is definitely an exciting time to be an intern!

As a program intern, my main responsibility is community outreach.  This year, GirlForward launched our first summer program, an educational camp for about 20 students.  Over the past two weeks, I have been reaching out to local businesses to request donations of food for lunch at the camp, and a few have already agreed to contribute.  It’s very rewarding to see tangible (and delicious) results of my efforts, especially because it makes the students so happy!  The other project I am working on is part of GirlForward’s Safe Spaces Project, an effort to partner with local businesses and organizations to ensure that these young refugee girls always have access to necessary resources in their communities.  By agreeing to be a GirlForward Safe Space, these partners put our sticker in their window so that girls know they can safely borrow a phone or ask for help inside.  I have begun drawing up the contract that these partners will sign detailing the requirements of being a Safe Space, as well as a letter to send to potential partners.

I was lucky enough to receive a Summer Internship Grant from Northwestern, a grant specifically for students working at unpaid internships.  Part of what the grant entails is writing a weekly reflection on my internship experience.  This has been extremely helpful, as I am so busy that it can be hard to take a step back and really think about the work I am doing.  By setting aside time every week to reflect on different topics (leadership styles, work environments, etc), I know that I am getting as much out of my internship experience as possible.  These past two weeks have made me so excited for the rest of the summer!

About the NU Intern Blogger Program
This summer, over 50 Northwestern University students will be sharing stories about what they are experiencing at their internships from across the country and internationally. Each week new students will share an inside look at what it means to be an intern. Please contact Betsy Gill, Assistant Director, Internship Services if you have any questions.

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