Week One

I’ve only been in DC for a week but I’ve done TONS! As you may have seen on Facebook, I’m writing this blog for two reasons. One, a lot of family was telling me to keep them updated on the things I’m doing and I figured this would be a good way to do so! Two, Clark recommends that, in order to fulfill the requirements for my funding, I keep a blog so that I can remember what I did when it comes time to give my final presentation. So there will be a little bit about the fun things I do and a little about the work I do. Either way, I hope you enjoy!

I guess I should start by explaining exactly what my internship is (as if I haven’t posted about it every day haha). So the organization is called STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities. We focus on a number of conflict areas including Burma, Central African Republic, DR Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, and Syria. We work from DC with the Managing Committee to coordinate various campaigns and actions with our grassroots chapters in about 100 high schools and universities across the US. I personally am Campaigns Coordinator, meaning I work to organize campaigns throughout the school year! I absolutely love working with STAND–from the history of genocide to modern day advocacy, it is everything I hope to do in the future!

Sunday: The Flight
Sunday was SUPER exhausting. I woke up after 2 hours of sleep, hopped on a flight, and landed in DC! My mom flew down with me to help me move into the apartment and shop for food. After miles of walking (on 2 whole hours of sleep), I ended up falling asleep in a Dunkin and then in Lafayette Park. That night I slept really well but was missing home quite a bit. What I really needed was a long nights rest.

Monday: The Fourth in DC
Monday was much better. I took advantage of my day off and slept in (happy fourth!) Being lazy all day felt super great but I needed to get out of the apartment . I decided to go see the legendary DC fireworks but couldn’t decide where. I ultimately decided to take the short 15 minute walk to the Lincoln Memorial where I sat on the steps for hours despite the on-and-off rain. The fireworks were incredible and a nice family sat next to me, offering me a poncho and an umbrella and wishing me luck at my internship.

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(If you look closely, you can see the Washington Monument)

Tuesday: Work from Home
Monday night my boss messaged me and told me she was sick and wouldn’t be in the office on Tuesday. She gave me a list of things to do which kept me busy for the whole day. I made a STAND Facebook post for Elie Wiesel, created a resource folder for our Regional Organizers to make the transition easier, and began making a slideshow for chapters about how genocide prevention fits into the context of human rights!

Wednesday: First Day in the Office
So the distance from my apartment to the office is about 32 minutes- just over a mile. I decided to take the walk and was simultaneously amazed and sweaty. I ended up walking past the White House, Washington Monument, and Ford’s Theater. However, it was waaaay too long of a walk (especially in the 91 degree heat). At work (in the AC) I  finished the human rights PowerPoint, made a second PowerPoint for chapters to present at their first meeting, edited a document for our Student Director , and helped make a social media post for the Enough Project.

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Thursday: Out and About
Thursday we had 2 DC meetings! (I felt so fancy in my business casual outfit). The first was with PPWG (Prevention and Protection Working Group). One of the major speakers at the meeting was a chief peacekeeping adviser at the State Department :O. I wish I could tell you what we talked about but it’s confidential haha. After the meeting, we went to a Panera to get some work done in between meetings. There, I worked on one of my projects– STAND’s Book and Film List. The next meeting was a little hard to follow (but still p interesting) as it was about mediation in Syria. Next, we went to Front Page restaurant where we brainstormed some ideas for our Managing Committee (MC) retreat and met some STAND alums for dinner. We were there for almost 3 hours and it was tons of fun! I walked home, watched Psych and called it a night.

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Friday: The Bus
Friday I woke up early and attempted to figure out the DC bus system. After tons of research I finally figured it out! I was super busy at work and completed a lot of projects. I started the day writing TONS of social media posts and created an application for our Communication Task Force. Next, I researched senators from certain states, got their contact info, and paired up our MC members to lobby them– it sounds easy enough but let me tell you it was rough! At the end of the work day I created a partner organization list which I will eventually use when organizing campaign strategies. Finally, I edited our Burma one-pager and downloaded Adobe Illustrator to finish the job! My roommate asked me if I was going out for the night and my response was (and I quote) “Definitely not”. There was no doubt I was staying in and watching Big Brother.

Saturday: Museums
Saturday I slept in and decided to take advantage of the free DC museums. First I went to the Anderson House– a mansion built in the early 1900s. Next, I took a walk to the Phillips Collection, a modern and contemporary art gallery, one block over. I was pretty bummed to learn that this was not free like I figured it might be but decided to explore anyways. There were masterpieces by incredibly well-known artists like Monet, Picasso, Matisse, O’Keeffe, and Pollock! My favorite was called Magnolia of the Night by Karel Appel. After Phillips, I grabbed lunch and walked down O Street to see a mansion that I once saw on an HGTV show, snapped some pics, and headed back to the room to rest after my long day!

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Sunday: Laundry

Today is super boring. I slept most of the day, worked out, and am currently doing laundry. Pretty relaxing though after my busy week!

If you read this far, you’re a trooper. I’ll be posting these hopefully weekly so check back next Sunday 🙂

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