As an immigrant, immigration issues strike close to my heart. In this political climate especially, it is so easy to get lost in the whirlwind of news that overwhelm us each week with new heartbreaking stories and frustrations. Because this is an issue that I deeply care about, and because I want to get involved in activism and/or nonprofit work after graduating from Michigan, my internship at the National Immigration Forum seemed like a good fit to me.
And so far, it is. As a communications intern, I sort through different media to keep track of immigration news, compiling them for the communications team for their use in the Forum’s newsletters, blog posts, as well as other communications programs that they have. I work with another intern (also from Michigan, which is a bonus!) and we collaborate on social media as well as finding journalists that the Forum might be interested in contacting. These journalists cover immigration at the intersection of specific issues such as business, so we read and absorb a lot of different content each day.
In the heart of Washington, D.C., the location of this nonprofit certainly drew me, too. Being so close to Capitol Hill is both intimidating and mesmerizing, and interning here makes me feel as if I actually do have some stake in the conversations at hand concerning immigration. I wanted to learn more about how advocates work for immigrants in a non-profit sector, to learn more about what is going on as well as the system at hand, and to get a feel for how a non-profit in D.C. might function on a day-to-day basis.
For these reasons, the National Immigration Forum is one of the best opportunities I could have as a student: working and advocating for an issue I care deeply about, living in the U.S. capitol for the summer, and collaborating with people who care about immigrants just as much as I do.