Summer Interns at Sanctuary

As thermometers hit triple digits a few weeks ago, Sanctuary’s 25 summer interns trekked through the Bronx to visit Sanctuary's Sarah Burke House, the largest transitional shelter in New York State, and the Bronx Family Justice Center. Visiting two locations that are so vital to Sanctuary's clients and their wellbeing was both emotional and educational.

The trip gave reason for the interns to reaffirm their goals and reflect on why they chose to apply for an internship with Sanctuary. They wished for the rare opportunity to become intricately involved in important social justice work. They hoped to immerse themselves in the world of helping professionals and non-profit organizations. They looked for ways to advocate for those who cannot do so for themselves.

Through Sanctuary’s Summer Internship Program, all of these opportunities have become realities. Our passionate interns not only contribute substantially to Sanctuary’s work, but they gain priceless experience, knowledge, and understanding of domestic violence and other injustices. 

The three interns in Sanctuary's development department have completed tasks in three very different fields within the department: volunteer management, communications, and institutional giving. They have been trusted with substantive and important projects throughout their time here at Sanctuary.

The volunteer program intern spends her time speaking with and recruiting prospective volunteers as well as drafting new volunteer orientation materials. Sanctuary’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts are consistently updated by our communications intern who also focuses on article writing.The intern working with institutional giving researches different funding foundations and grant makers, and also drafts proposals.

Throughout the summer, the development interns have had many opportunities to attend exciting events. Kicking things off with the Zero Tolerance Benefit, these interns got a hands-on look into how much work it takes to host and produce a large fundraising event. Weeks later, along with Sanctuary staff, the development interns were invited to ring the NASDAQ closing bell in the middle of Times Square. They were thrilled to have their faces broadcast six stories high in the heart of New York City. Sanctuary’s nomination at the New York Times Nonprofit Excellence Awards also gave these interns the opportunity to sit in an audience of 300 nonprofit and philanthropic leaders at TimesCenter auditorium to learn about best practices in the field of non-profits. Here, Sanctuary was recognized for its outstanding management practices. Throughout the summer, interns are presented with plenty of opportunities at Sanctuary to really take advantage of their time with the organization.

The 19 interns in the legal department started off their summer with a week-long orientation training seminar that detailed all aspects of Sanctuary. They were appreciative of this elaborate introduction, which would have otherwise been brief at a corporate firm. Each legal interns is paired with a direct supervisor with whom they collaborate. Legal supervisors, themselves, rely on the interns to contribute in many aspects of case work. The direct, one-on-one contact they experience through relationships with clients is truly invaluable. Along with their daily work, the legal interns, through Sanctuary’s corporate partners, are invited to many enjoyable networking events. For example, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP hosted a progressive dinner in Little Italy for the legal interns during which they were treated to classic New York Italian food. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP brought them to Yankee Stadium to watch the Bronx Bombers beat the Seattle Mariners, 4-1. Not only are these outings exciting, but they also allow Sanctuary interns to gain exposure to a number of different areas and professionals within the legal field. This structured program at Sanctuary creates an environment of both personal and professional growth.

Every Thursday, interns from all departments convene in a conference room for weekly Brown Bag Lunch discussions. Topics of mutual interest, such as feminist principles and religious responses, economic empowerment, and sex trafficking in NYC, are passionately discussed. The intense, intellectual conversation challenges interns to think more deeply about their beliefs and possible career paths. Sanctuary is pleased to have had all of these fabulous interns on board for the summer, and could not have asked for a more motivated and passionate intern class to partner with them this year.