Kembry McNeil-Thompson: Marymount University Senior Pursuing a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Criminal Justice.
I was filled with a strong sense of anxiety upon learning that I needed to complete an internship in order to fulfill the graduation requirements for my university. I didn’t know what to expect as an intern, I didn’t know what companies or organizations to look into, and I was terrified that I would not like the team that I would be working with.
However, interning for The Virginia Coalition Against Human Trafficking has been one of the highlights of my summer. The beginning of my internship started with me registering the internship for my university’s records. In doing so, I had to note different goals and objectives I hoped to achieve while interning. Soon after I noted my expectations/hopes about VCAHT, my internship supervisor and myself solidified my goals and discussed the ways in which my internship would help me fulfill these desires. We talked about the importance of my learning about policy and legislative efforts within a coalition, and we also discussed how I was going to apply some of my research skills by looking into criminal record relief laws in other states—to name a few objectives. After we established my goals for the internship, my supervisor and I came up with a schedule that was very accommodating and that would allow me to have ample time to complete my summer course work as well as manage my summer job responsibilities.
Interning for VCAHT means that I get to help with a myriad of things rather than simply one aspect of the organization. I have been able to join conference calls with a number of different people from other anti-trafficking organizations and to delve into articles that discuss the legal side of human trafficking after a survivor has escaped. I’ve also been able to aid in website editing and the editing of a variety of other documents like the sample documents and bill language posted on VCAHT’s website. Outreach efforts to Virginia delegates are also made by VCAHT as well as informing the public to the best of our ability about the various ways that they can get involved and help human trafficking survivors. There are a number of ways that I am involved with VCAHT, and there are a number of ways that our efforts intend to provide an opportunity to those who have survived trafficking to make their lives happier and healthier. Before my time with VCAHT, I thought I knew the most basic information about human trafficking, but through my intern experience so far, I have learned so much more.
Next week, some things that VCAHT has taught me so far.