Connecting Change-Makers: Cultivating the Inherent Strengths of Young Girls

By: Lanie Cohen, Undergraduate Student, Strategic Communications & Gender and Women’s Studies

My internship this past summer was for Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver (GIMD), a nonprofit organization designed to cultivate the “inherent strengths” young girls need to successfully navigate our society. This can look like education, activities, extra meals, art, mentorship, or even yoga. My position as an Advocacy Intern involved assisting GIMD in their various initiatives to engage with the Denver community and its leaders in spearheading grassroots change. My desire to participate in this internship was not only to advance my career but to take a step forward in the path of social justice that I have been following for as long as I can remember.

My position as Advocacy Intern allowed me to work on projects integral to rolling out GIMD’s new Advocacy Platform. One of my favorite projects for this internship involved using information from the Colorado General Assembly to develop an important resource for GIMD. Through examining the 600 bills introduced in the Colorado General Assembly, I made a judgement on the top legislation GIMD should focus on. I then further examined these bills and ascertained which legislators were the best fit for GIMD’s interests and organized a document that sorted this information. By filtering legislation topics, bills, and legislators into a comprehensive spreadsheet, I created a document that can be used to easily access information needed to advance the Advocacy Platform. Additionally, I created a flyer to advertise GIMD’s new Advocacy Platform in hopes of garnering support for the new program which will hopefully be seen by Colorado’s Senators and Representatives.

Through my internship, I have gained social media skills, graphic design skills, policy literacy, presentation abilities, Zoom facilitation methods, and so much more. However, most importantly, I have confirmed my suspicions that I want to work for a nonprofit organization. Although I am unsure whether it’s unique to GIMD, this workplace environment went so much deeper than being a professional space. There was a deeply rooted culture of kindness and empathy unique to any job I have ever had. Before meetings started there were check-ins to communicate feelings and everyday struggles. Members of GIMD were invested in their coworker’s wellbeing, not just their ability to do their job. Because nonprofits are focused on improving society, there is a baseline of above-average kindness which I believe encourages people to show that kindness even more.

To learn more about Scholar Shop or explore partners and projects you can connect to, visit the DU Scholar Shop website.

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