Marielle Brunelle: Communication and Social Media Intern

 

 My time thus far in this internship position has provided me with experiences and skills that I would not trade for anything. After three months of getting to know the staff and clients I feel as if I am just beginning my time at RISE. When I first got this internship, my ultimate goal was to break outside of the university bubble, expand my horizons, and get hands on experience working with refugees. With the past few months behind me, I can confidently say that I have achieved that goal. I am constantly blown away by the stories these people share and I carry them with me as I study refugee flows in my world of academia. From being able to utilize some of my language skills, to the small moments where helping a client fill out an application could change the game for them and their family, these experiences have shaped my semester into one of the most mutually beneficial times of my life. I may be assisting everyone here, but really, everyone here is assisting me in my personal growth. My favorite accomplishment this semester was bringing in my favorite organization on campus, OrangeSeeds, and watching all of my friends be blown away by RISE and the people it serves. Post-Youth Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Conference, the OrangeSeeds took time out of their weekly meeting to debrief and discuss their experiences. What typically takes about five minutes turned into an 45 minute discussion about how every Seed had walked away with a different perspective and a new connection to people they otherwise would never had been mixed in with. These new perspectives and connections have an often underestimated power to sway opinions and make change, and I believe that our the people from our center have the potential to make a widespread impact if given the platform to do so.