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This summer, I will be working as a research and policy intern at the Council for Children’s Rights (CFCR). CFCR is located uptown near the Spectrum Center, which has been very convenient for me transportation-wise. I desired to intern there because its objectives and goals align with my passions for educational and racial justice and child advocacy.
CFCR provides legal services and advocacy for children in areas in mental health, special education, custody advocacy, delinquency, and abuse. It is the only non-profit organization in North Carolina that provides legal teams that are well-experienced in juvenile court and child advocacy. The research and policy team aims to provide systems advocacy by performing research on community-inclusive initiatives that aim to improve community infrastructure.
In the beginning, I was very nervous because it would be my first time working a 9 to 5 job, being in an office, and performing extensive research. I was afraid that my lack of experience would lead to many mistakes in my work. However, I realized that this is what an internship is supposed to be: a place to make mistakes and learn from them! No one is expecting for me to come in with all of the knowledge in the world regarding child advocacy and juvenile justice. When I first met the staff, I immediately felt at home. They are all so kind and interested in getting to know more about me. They are also very lenient, carefree, and a bit informal. I expected it to be the total opposite and isolating because it is an office job; yet, my supervisors were able to prove me wrong.
As for my work plan, I am entering data regarding Raise the Age Legislation finances, summarizing news articles relating to child policy, and writing weekly blog posts for the CFCR website. My main project is on School Environment and possible steps Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools can take to enhance school climate for students, teachers, and parents. I will compose a policy brief and a presentation to present to CFCR staff.
Overall, I am excited to get started on these projects, and hopefully, my experience at CFCR will help me figure out how I can be a better advocate for children.