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Internship duties? I translated flyers and pamphlets into Spanish, assisted in research, editing, and compiling information for our Harm-Reduction Alcohol and Mental Health Zines and was in charge of writing a grant for the California Endowment Fund. In addition, I cooked meals, prepared safe sex kits, thank-you cards, kept statistics on our clients, and regulated our drop-in resources including clothing giveaway.
Best thing about internship? This was the type of setting that allowed me to work with an intersection of issues in which I have always been interested, including queer issues and houselessness. Many of our clients were low income street youth. I admit that at the beginning I had no idea what to expect. I finally felt I could put all those academic readings into action. Also, it was a lot of fun to work with an amazingly diverse group of people. Looking back, I enjoyed spending time with our clients and learned how to creatively cook food other people would also eat!
How I found my Internship? I learned about the RAVEN Project through my career counselor who had spoken directly to Anna Thielman, the Program Coordinator. The next step was to contact her myself. It took several months of emails and visits before I was able to find time in my schedule to take the internship.
Advice to current HSU students? Internships are not only for your career in the future but they improve your life as a student in the present. I badly needed an internship that both took me out of my comfort zone and reminded me of the issues I care so deeply about. I now feel refreshed in my studies and have a clearer sense of my goals as a professional in my field. I now know I don't have to compromise my ideals to get to do the type of work I'm passionate about.