Reflections from a RESULTS Summer Intern
Passion is my favorite characteristic to find within someone. It is described as a “barely controllable emotion.” Barely controllable, but yet still controllable. And if controlled correctly, this emotion can yield wonderfully productive results. For the past several years I have become more involved in social justice work. However, as a 19 year old, I am still in the process of determining what I am the most passionate about and learning how to reign in, or control, that passion so that I can make a positive impact on the world.
This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to spend six weeks interning for RESULTS on the Global Legislative Team. Through these experiences, I was able to ignite my desire to end poverty and to identify what true passion looks like. This is because RESULTS exemplifies the definition of the word “passion.” They take their experiences, their reasons for joining the fight, and use that as their fire. However, they channel that fire into effective action in a way that truly makes a difference in our world. Looking back, there are several people and moments that helped me identify exactly what passion looks like. These include:
- Having immense amounts of media published throughout the country in support of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) replenishment. I was given the task of compiling all of the media pieces into a 150+ page PDF document to send to USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. After sifting through them, I was truly humbled by the amount of love, dedication, and care that went into each article.
- Flying to Washington, DC from all across the country and all around the world for the International Conference. I will always remember the excitement that filled the room during the opening session when each group proudly stood up as they were called. It was awesome to see individuals with such different backgrounds come together because of one commonality—their commitment towards putting an end to poverty.
- 400+ individuals dressed in their best and ready to visit their members of Congress. Lobby Day was probably my favorite day in DC. As I stood in the church during the Kick-Off, I noticed that most people came in with a mix of nervous jitters and eagerness to begin the action-filled day. Then, throughout our time on the Hill, I ran into them again and I was able see that those nervous jitters had become a new found love for lobbying.
- Each and every personal story detailing why individuals are drawn to this work. During my time with RESULTS, I heard a story about someone fighting to end poverty because they grew up in Kenya and struggled to get to school each day. I heard a story about a teacher who fought because her students did not know where they would sleep or when their next meal would be and this affected their performance in school. I heard numerous stories where individuals went on a study abroad trip, witnessed the extent of the poverty in that country, and felt compelled to join the fight. Each story told was truly unique and inspiring.
- The feeling when walking into RESULTS' office. The first thing each person sees when walking into the office each morning (besides the wonderful Cynthia!) is the sign saying RESULTS: The Power to End Poverty. We all knew that when we walked through those doors, whether we were going to work on education, microfinance, maternal and child health, or a combination of it all, that we had a common mission—to end poverty.
- Each individual RESULTS staffer. As a Global Intern, I was able to assist a bit with the GPE replenishment and the GAVI replenishment campaigns. I loved assisting Allison and Crickett with whatever they needed, seeing the amount of love they put into their work, and learning what true passion and dedication looks like. As an individual who wants to work in the non-profit world in the future, it was such a privilege to work and learn from this enthusiastic, intelligent, and truly passionate team!
I think back to the International Conference when I was working on developing my personal story. At that time, the reason why I wanted to join the fight against poverty was because I wanted children all around the world to have the same opportunities as I do. I joined for the 18,000 children who die each day of preventable diseases, for the girls who fear walking to their poorly funded school each day, and for the women who so badly need financial independence. Upon my arrival, I knew that I wanted to make a difference in whatever way I could. However, I was a bit skeptical about what I, a college student from Missouri, could do to help people across the world. But after interning for RESULTS, I learned that I may just be one person but I have a voice and that when we effectively put our voices together, we can use our passion to influence public opinion and the opinions of the policy makers. I learned that we truly can make the change we want to see in the world, and for that lesson, I cannot thank each one of you enough. Thank you for sharing your stories, your dedication, your time, and most importantly, sharing your passion with a young adult so that she could find what she is passionate about. I look forward to working with you all in the future!