Student Internship Stories: Courtney Gabaree

Courtney Gabaree (on left) smiles at the signing ceremony for Vermont's first bill against human trafficking.While at JSC I had the opportunity to participate in two internship experiences. Both of my experiences were very unique from one another.  During the summer of 2008 I moved to Washington, DC to participate in Polaris Project's Fellowship Program. Polaris Project is one of the largest anti-human trafficking organizations in the United States. While there I completed an intense 40 hour training on the issue, and then worked directly with survivors of sex trafficking. I helped to provide case management and support. It was an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience.

Through all of my academic, work, volunteer and internship experiences I learned that I may want to someday start a not-for-profit organization. In order to be prepared I wanted to ensure that I made the most out of my college experiences, and be the most well-rounded person that I could be. With this in mind, I secured an internship with the Director of Development at the Women's Rape Crisis Center in the spring of 2010. Until this experience I had been primarily offering direct service with clients, so this internship was vastly different from anything I had ever done before.

Through my development internship I maintained the organization’s donor database, helped organize their largest annual fundraiser (Mardi Gras parade), facilitated outreach with supportive businesses, helped support the application for a federal grant, and worked directly with the Executive Director. I had a very positive experience with the organization, and also learned how important it is for me to be involved with direct service and clients.

JSC provided with me with an array of opportunities to connect all of the pieces of my cumulative college experiences together. Upon returning from Polaris Project I conducted my senior thesis on the importance of each state having its’ own human trafficking laws. This led me into working directly with law makers and helping to pass Vermont's first anti-human trafficking law! This entire process was exhilarating and very intimidating. I received a tremendous amount of support from both staff and faculty alike.
 
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Business and economics class