Beauty From Ashes Videos


Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Internship Experience at Beauty From Ashes™

          I did not know what to expect when I was accepted as a college intern with Beauty From Ashes.  I was excited and nervous all at the same time since I had never interned anywhere before. At the time I was accepted, I had already been an active volunteer with the ministry for about 3 months. I loved volunteering, but knew I wanted to become even more involved- that is why I created the first fundraiser- the FGCU Freedom Project. I began this fundraiser in September 2011 and it continued to November. Christa and Julie, our program manager and founder, respectively, along with my Student Abolitionist Movement club members, helped me to put on a very successful tabling event, film night, and dinner banquet. This fundraiser raised not only money, but a great deal of awareness for BFA and human sex trafficking. At the end of November I applied for the BFA internship, which I began in January 2012. 
                  Due to the fact that I was the first “official” college intern to be accepted, I was put in charge of creating an internship application package to be used in the recruitment of future interns. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of creating this internship program- I knew I would love creating and organizing the different documents, and also talking to friends and classmates in order to try to recruit more interns. Thankfully this recruitment worked and about a week after I began interning Eslande and Michelle came on board!!

                  Eslande, Michelle, and I were given different responsibilities every week to be completed both inside and outside of the office; the fact that the responsibilities changed weekly was important to me because I felt like I learned something new and valuable every time I came to the office. Some of my duties included: helping Julie and Christa facilitate the National Sex Industry OutREACH & AfterCARE Training; participating in weekly Strip Club Outreach Gift Assemblies, filing documents and organizing the filing system; creating Microsoft Office Word and Excel documents; updating the referral database; and performing various other administrative tasks. I was also given the opportunity to attend the Sanibel Community Church’s Mission Social with Christa and one of our volunteers, Kaylee, as well as table for the student-led “Eagles Against Modern Slavery” event held at FGCU last month.

                  I can honestly say I have learned so many valuable lessons and have obtained a great variety of important skills from interning at Beauty From Ashes. Before beginning my internship, I had no clue how to use a Mac computer and had never made important phone calls to non-profit agencies. I did not have very good time management skills, either. Julie and Christa taught me how to run a non-profit- from the paperwork to the counseling of clients. They were patient and understanding and I could tell they really wanted me to succeed at whatever I was trying to accomplish. They taught me the importance of sticking to one’s word and never giving up hope. I also learned more about sex trafficking than I could ever have imagined. I am so very grateful for the opportunity I was given at Beauty From Ashes and know that I will always remember this experience as one of my favorites.

Katie is currently an undergraduate student at FGCU. She will be graduating on April 29, 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. She will begin her Master of Social Work program in August 2012. She enjoys reading, volunteering, and horse-back riding. She was born and raised in Coral Springs, FL, but currently resides in Fort Myers.  

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