Preparing to knock on doors to inform voters about the Save Our Public Schools Campaign.
Two weeks ago I started my internship at Jobs with Justice, a non-profit in Jamaica Plain, and have easily gotten right into the rhythm of the office and the work we do. The organization is centered around workers and union rights, including how they relate to immigrant populations. We also have been working around public education. Every day I get to meet with new people and learn more and more about issues facing Boston and Massachusetts, and by conducting research, designing marketing materials, making phone calls, knocking on doors, and attending protests and rallies, together our group strives towards making positive changes in the community.
After describing this to one of my friends, she remarked, “that has to be the most BC internship there ever was.” I’ve had much preparation for this type of work – the ability to work with people and to feel comfortable speaking up both to offer my views and to ask questions are skills that I have developed in the classroom and extracurriculars at BC. More than that though, BC has championed the commitment to becoming an active participant in the world. We are taught that our education is not for ourselves but for others, because many others have not been dealt the hand that we have and we have no business taking it for granted. The organization I’m at now encourages me to stand up for those who are not making livable wages, who are not being treated fairly, who do not have access to the educational resources that I have, and who have had their voice taken from them. The importance of engaging with those around us to learn about and adjust our perceptions of social systems, and then to act to make change, is, to me, at the core of what I have taken from BC. It is not so much a skill as a mindset, and it is incredibly important to the work I’m doing at my job.
Much of this mindset was instilled in me through the PULSE program, which is probably the most significant experience that has prepared me for this internship. Working at Rosie’s Place, a women’s homeless shelter, helped me to feel comfortable working with populations I hadn’t before, and to listen to and try to understand their stories. It also taught me practical skills necessary for working in an office, such as how to be flexible as an intern, and to both follow directions but also to take initiative and go beyond what I am told to do. In short, it gave me real world experience to put our “men and women for others” motto into practice. Going forward in my internship I’m excited to see what new things I learn and to find the areas that I truly am passionate about!
Written by Megan Flynn, BC Class of 2017