National NOW Times >> Summer, 2001 >> Article
Empowerment Through Interning
by AnitaMarie Murano, Intern and Volunteer
Where do I go from here? Is there life after college?
Who am I going to be in five years? How will I find a job that is both
enjoyable and means something? Have you heard yourself, your daughter or a
friend asking these questions? The internship program at the National
Action Center may help provide the answers.
Each semester interns
come from all over the world to work with the largest organization of
feminist activists in the United States. The NOW Action Center is a prime
location to learn the issues that shaped the women’s rights movement, to
delve into that history and to work for rights yet to be won. Interns with
the National NOW Action Center are on the front lines of the movement.
Students have traveled from as far off as Japan and South Africa
to spend a semester with NOW. "If you want to work in a political pressure
group that is alive with energy, you should be in America and you should
be in D.C. ...There is a kind of electricity in the air in D.C. Everyone
is tuned into some kind of political consciousness," says Sareta Ashraph,
who came to NOW from Trinidad via London.
Becoming a NOW intern is
a commitment to apply the skills learned during the internship and to
become, or continue to be, an activist leader. Karrie Bowen, an intern
from Northern Pennsylvania, puts it all into perspective: "I was one of
the few interns who left their internship and took the next major life
step not into the career world, but into the world of marriage and a
child. It wasn’t until I gave birth to my daughter three and a half months
ago that I remembered why I did everything I did at NOW, as well as why I
do everything in my life and my work. I do it for her."
attended workshops during her time here. She worked with staff and
officers to learn about the core issues NOW is addressing. "I took what I
learned at my internship and I fight for women’s rights because I want
future women to have what I did not," Bowen says.
Past NOW interns
are everywhere. Their experience prepares them for positions in all sorts
of environments. In fact some have started their own organizations. They
work on Capitol Hill in legislative offices and one has even argued a case
before the Supreme Court.
"Because of my experience at the NOW
Action Center, I am working on a joint degree in Women’s Studies and Law
at the University of Cincinnati. NOW taught me that social change happens
when activists work at all levels. I am convinced that feminists must use
the law as a tool for social justice," says Ellen Eardley, a former intern
from St. Louis.
So, how does one apply for an internship with NOW?
Just go to www.now.org/intern and fill out an application. Send it along
with a resume, cover letter and two letters of recommendation from
professional and/or educational references. Or contact the Intern and
Volunteer Coordinator via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for
fall semester is July 30; for spring semester, November 20; and for summer
semester, March 15.