Clockwise from top Left: Jewel Crouch, Abby Tacker, Lauryn Durrah, Catherine Schwenk
Written By: Rin-rin Yu
Every summer, AG Bell welcomes four interns to work alongside its staff to experience how a nonprofit works, to learn about the AG Bell community, and to provide support for its functions and events. Each intern is assigned a specific area to support, including communications, understanding our audience, symposium activities, and database management. Highlights typically include the symposium and the Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT) program. AG Bell works with the Fund for American Studies (TFAS), a program that pairs college students looking for summer opportunities in Washington, D.C. with internships in the area. TFAS brings students from around the world for an eight-week academic program that includes the internship and academic courses, guest lectures, professional development, and mentorship. Typically, students would also have the opportunity to spend the summer in Washington. This summer, each of the interns is working remotely due to coronavirus. Though they are unable to join the team at the Volta Bureau, AG Bell has worked to build them into a team and make their experience as similar as possible to an internship in the office.
Texas A&M University, College Station ‘21
History and Philosophy
Hometown: Austin, Texas
I learned American Sign Language in high school and college and interacted with individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing for four years. I have interpreted in a variety of settings. I have not had any experience working with those who choose Listening and Spoken Language, and I would love to learn more about how the challenges differ depending on the communication path chosen.
While I have had experience interacting with individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, I am still surprised at the amount of work there is to be done to ensure equal opportunities and access for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. This summer, I hope to learn more about how a nonprofit operates and have an overall positive experience.
While I would have loved to experience D.C. this summer, I am excited to still be building relationships and developing contacts in the area virtually. AG Bell and TFAS have both expressed that if any of the students end up in D.C. to come by their office to finally meet face to face.
Florida A&M University ‘23
Hometown: Titusville, Florida
I accepted this internship with hopes of learning new skills, becoming more versatile, and learning more about a community people often overlook. Since officially starting my internship in June, I have done that, and so much more. From organizing Excel worksheets, to working with the communications department on photos from past conventions and galas, AG Bell has definitely taken me out of my place of comfort and familiarity, in the best way. Although the other interns and I are only able to interact virtually, the office, and more specifically Ms. Trenita Dickey, have done an exceptional job keeping us informed and motivated with their positive energy. Our twice a week group video calls have done a great job, considering the pandemic we are living through, keeping everyone in contact and answering questions. Although I am on a pre-law track in my studies, I see this internship as a character builder and another opportunity to explore different avenues available to me in my college years.
Florida A&M University ‘21
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Prior to my internship with AG Bell, I had worked for many years with individuals who were differently abled. One of those abilities was the ability to hear and using American Sign Language or a cochlear implant. AG Bell’s focus on communicating without the use of an alternative language has opened my mind. While working on projects, I have seen the facets of a nonprofit organization from the business side. I have been working on organizing and researching potential donors and observing the importance of my work. I hope that my internship with AG Bell will not only give me more insight to the background workings of a nonprofit, but also leave me with life-long connections. I plan to one day work for or create my own nonprofit. The knowledge I gain at AG Bell will set me up for success.
University of Dallas ‘22
Hometown: Croton-on-Hudson, New York
Interning at AG Bell has been a great experience. I entered this internship with the goal of learning to work in a professional environment and seeing what it’s like to work for a nonprofit. The staff at AG Bell have been so supportive and encouraging. It’s been great to work in an environment where everyone wants you to succeed and grow. In my time as an intern, I have worked on registering participants for AG Bell’s annual symposium and helped to conduct donor research. I really enjoy the chance to help the people for whom AG Bell advocates. Working for AG Bell has taught me about how to form connections between an organization and its members. I know this is a skill that will be valuable throughout my whole professional career. I’m so glad I decided to spend my summer interning with AG Bell and my only regret is that we couldn’t be in DC together!
Don’t miss out on great experiences like the Global LSL Symposium, LOFT programs, scholarships and more. Become an AG Bell member today! For more information and resources, please visit www.agbell.org.