During my time at GALEO, I have had the opportunity to grow on a professional and personal level on different elements that I have learned throughout the internship and fellowship. I was able to get out of my comfort zone and network with other community leaders, community members and different nonprofit organizations. Networking was such an important part of the internship because I was able to meet others that had the same goals as GALEO, which included outreach to communities with topics such as getting out to vote and Census information. I was also able to learn more about the importance of civic engagement and policy, whether that be on the federal, state or local level. Before interning with GALEO, I was not as informed as I am now on why it is important to reach out to communities and speak on these types of topics, but now I know that I can use my voice to educate others. In using my voice to educate others, I learned how important different marketing and outreach methods used can reach different people on different social media platforms, such as providing content in Spanish and English so that we are able to educate bigger groups of people on different issues. I know that I will take everything that I learned at GALEO with me in my future choices and paths because it had made me a more confident person.
Towards the beginning of the internship, I was granted the opportunity to go to the State Capitol in Atlanta every week and participate in what was known as Immigrant Thursdays, where I got to sit with other organizations and learn about different bills that were being introduced and pushed for and why some of these bills were harmful or beneficial to our communities. During these meetings, I also learned how to speak to members who would be voting on these bills and learned which points to bring up when speaking about why these bills are important. I was also able to sit in press conferences and committee meetings and be able to see what goes on behind-the-scenes as legislators vote on different bills. This experience was a huge eye-opener for me because I was previously very oblivious to what goes on in my community when it comes to policy or government, but I am now more aware of the type of research to do when I am voting for people who will represent me and my community.
Not only was I able to grow professionally and become more confident in helping my community, I also had the amazing opportunity of working in an environment that allowed me to grow because of the everyone else who works there. I was able to build great friendships with people who push me to grow in different ways and allow me to have a space to voice my ideas and be heard. The environment at GALEO was unmatched, I felt like I was able to express myself and offer ideas when different projects were presented. I truly believe that this played a huge part in my development because it allowed me to be in a comfortable space and have the full support of those who are higher up than me. I will always be grateful for the seven months I spent at GALEO as they were filled with professional development, personal growth, learning, and fun.
For more info on internships with GALEO, please visit www.galeo.org/internship .