Training Tomorrow’s Leaders. Each summer, Women Employed invites a group of college students from around the country to participate in an eight-week Summer Leadership Program. Interns learn about issues affecting working women and discover how to transform passion about an issue into impact. They also gain practical experience for a future career in social justice. Alumnae have gone on to work at community based organizations, pursue graduate study in public interest fields, and join Women Employed staff.
Gaining Skills, Making a Difference. An intern’s typical day could include interviewing low-income students to document stories of their financial aid struggles to bring to policymakers, or talking with hotel housekeeping staff about the unfair policies that keep them trapped in poverty. Interns attend career development workshops; meet with civic, policy, and business leaders; create online advocacy campaigns; and learn the ins and outs of nonprofit management.
What We Learned. Hear what the 2010 graduates have to say about their experience.
Class of 2012. This year's interns are a diverse group of young women ready to make change. Meet them and see what inspired them to apply for the program.
“I grew up watching my visually impaired mother work long hours at a factory during the day while trying to pursue her education at night. I promised myself that when I grew up, I would become a leader and help women like my mother.”
- Dana Castillo is an English Language and Literature student at the
University of Chicago. Along with her research and tutoring
experience, Dana is an award-winning slam poet.
“I strongly believe in the need to improve the social and working conditions that affect women throughout the U.S. My career goal is to address the treatment of women and minorities in the areas of healthcare, education and employment.”
- Marla Gutierrez-Patterson is a Political Science student concentrating in
Sustainable Development at Columbia University in New York. She has
extensive research, paralegal and communications experience in
multiple advocacy organizations, and is fluent in Spanish.
“I have realized that collaboration and solidarity are extremely important factors in progress and change. It is important to me to work with other people towards a future with equity and tangible opportunities.”
- Briana Hanny is a Black Studies student at Amherst College, where she is
heavily involved in campus organizations. She recently studied abroad
in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.
“My mother had to work two minimum-wage retail jobs. I often wonder if minimum wage was higher, if work-life balance was promoted at her workplace, and if she received postsecondary education could she have found a job that allowed her to be involved in our lives as well as make enough money for our survival?”
-Samantha Lee is an English Language and Literature student at the University
of Chicago who also directs a community service program that teaches
creative writing to elementary students at Chicago Public Schools.
“My mother’s job as a housekeeper at a hotel is extremely difficult, tiring and very low-paid. Yet her work earns very little respect in society. My desire to engage in advocacy work for women stems from seeing my mother’s struggles to gain fair treatment and equal rights in the workplace.”
- Irene Romulo is a Northwestern University student majoring in Education and
Social Policy with a minor in Latino/a Studies who recently participated in a
leadership enrichment fellowship at the Center for Global Engagement.
“I am passionate and committed to the betterment of our society. I am determined to make the world kinder for all.”
- Simone Bruch is a Sociology and Women’s Studies student at Northeastern
University who has extensive experience in direct service.
“Through this internship, I will grow and develop into a person that I can be proud of. Becoming aware of others’ wellbeing and helping to fight to better their life is most rewarding.”
- Abigail Tiu is working towards an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Studies
at Joliet Junior College, where she’s an active member of WE’s Student
Advocates for Success. She works full-time while attending college.