• Post category:Communications
  • Reading time:5 min(s) read

Reimagining Internship Opportunities

This summer, Our Children Oregon (OCO) is thrilled to host 5 interns working throughout our organization. Historically, our internships have connected social work students from local colleges and universities with our Oregon Foster Youth Connection (OFYC) program, this past spring our team was asked to reimagine our internship program. 

In April, a request came from Amherst College, the alma mater of an OCO team member, explaining that many students had seen their summer internships canceled in response to COVID-19. We were asked if we were willing to reimagine our internship program in response and create opportunities for these students. The Our Children Oregon team welcomed this chance to develop meaningful internship experiences in support of the organization’s work, all within a remote work environment. In June, we brought on four current Amherst students as Data and Policy interns, alongside a Masters of Social Work (MSW) intern from Columbia University. While three of our interns are located throughout the country, two are right here in Oregon!

Keep scrolling to meet our talented team of interns!

Basma

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Basma is a junior at Amherst College majoring in Political Science with a certificate in International Relations. Following graduation, she plans to work in meaningful ways to help others and eventually attend law school. At OCO, Basma is tracking educational policies and children’s issues, specifically focusing on budget equity.

What excites you the most about OCO’s mission for Oregon’s children?
“What excites me the most about OCO’s mission for Oregon’s children is the emphasis put on “our children”. I love that OCO has a holistic approach because many of the things that children need to thrive are intersectional. The commitment and genuine passion of OCO’s team members to ensure that every child’s needs are met is truly inspiring.”

 

Jessica

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Jessica is a junior at Amherst College double majoring in Statistics and Psychology. Following graduation, she plans to pursue post-graduate work in statistics and possibly work in the non-profit sector. At OCO, Jessica has had the opportunity to interact with data in a way different from her classroom experience as she contributes her skills to data collection and analysis for OCO’s KIDS COUNT data book.

What excites you the most about OCO’s mission for Oregon’s children?
“OCO’s mission to uplift children in all areas has been eye-opening and allowed me to learn so much more about the work that has been done (and that still needs to be done). Also, as someone who is passionate about science communication, OCO’s emphasis on data is also incredibly exciting and will help legislators and leaders make the best decisions for their community.”

What excites you the most about OCO’s mission for Oregon’s children?
“What excites me the most about OCO’s mission for Oregon’s children is the emphasis put on “our children”. I love that OCO has a holistic approach because many of the things that children need to thrive are intersectional. The commitment and genuine passion of OCO’s team members to ensure that every child’s needs are met is truly inspiring.”

 

Kate

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Kate, a member of the class of 2020 at Amherst College, is currently studying literature. Following graduation, Kate would like to travel, leave ‘home’ and experience the world, and come back; to continue to learn and grow her thinking always from a state of wonder. At OCO, Kate is learning about policy frameworks, organization systems, and language, self-summarized as “how do you become a person; how do you relate with people.”

What excites you the most about OCO’s mission for Oregon’s children?
“That maybe we will raise children, and children will raise us. Maybe we will become children again, and children, our soothsayers. I’m excited by the universes we can dream up together.

 

Kenny

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Kenny is a junior at Amherst College double majoring in Statistics and Mathematics. Following graduation, he plans to gain a few years of work experience before returning to graduate school for public health/biostatistics towards a future in the public health sector. At OCO, as a data analyst intern, Kenny has gained insight into how data drives policy/legislation, especially those issues related to the well-being of children. 

What excites you the most about OCO’s mission for Oregon’s children?
“The ubiquitous passion. Everyone at OCO is so passionate about the mission of OCO and that passion is found in every part of OCO from the data side to the policy side to the foster youth side. Though different team members have different focuses, that passion unites us all.”

 

Peggy

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Peggy is a second-year Master of Social Work (MSW) student at the Columbia University School of Social Work focused on Policy Practice (Children and Families). Following graduation, she hopes to continue in the child welfare realm, through a combination of post-graduate research, policy, and advocacy. At OCO, Peggy is gaining first-hand experience to compliment her social work degree through tracking child welfare and foster youth policy activity, both across the state and nationally. 

What excites you the most about OCO’s mission for Oregon’s children?
“I especially like that OCO highlights the voices of people and organizations in the community who support children and families in very different capacities, and then harnesses those voices to create positive change for all kids across the state. I also value the emphasis on using data in OCO’s advocacy work, which I believe is crucial to gaining insight on the effects of certain policies and practices, and prioritizing areas with greater need.”