GSA Network Blog

Activism Through Internship!

Throughout the year, GSA Network accepts interns to support GSAs and program staff.  Each summer, interns have the opportunity to work in the San Francisco, Southern California and Central Valley offices learning valuable skills in a fun environment.  This is an exciting opportunity for young people to learn the ins and outs of a non-profit organization and gain hands on experiences working with young people through Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs and GSA Network Activist Summer Camps.

Below are the stories of a few of GSA Network's 2011 Summer Interns.

Interested in being a GSA Network intern? Click here for more info!

Brandon, interning in Los Angeles!
Working with the Gay-Straight Alliance Network has been a rewarding experience. When I started back in early July, I was given two projects to work on over the course of the internship, as well as two ongoing duties. I am making a resource sheet for middle school GSAs that will contain advice and on how to start and run a GSA in a middle school. I am making a resource packet on LGBTQ Latino/a historical figures to add to our BlackedOUT History page. I also keep the GSA Network Southern California Region Facebook page updated with the latest LGBT and education related news. Each day I help out around the office and put my organizational skills to use. I use my strengths to help my community, that’s a win in my book!

Clara, interning in Los Angeles!
When I began my internship at GSA Network I initially didn't know what to expect. I had always been deeply interested in LGBT issues but hadn't quite discovered exactly how I wanted to contribute to the cause. Working at the GSA Network this summer, I truly feel that I have found my niche. The work is interesting, stimulating, and varied, calling on my creative, as well as analytical sides. I leave each day feeling fulfilled and inspired by the work I am doing, excited to take on the next challenge.

Marcus, interning in San Francisco!
Coming into this summer internship, I had very little activist experience and even less in the LGBT realm. Moreover, I would hardly consider myself knowledgeable on queer issues, primarily due to the environment I was brought up in. Nonetheless, I'm extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity. Working with my amazing supervisor, Laura Wadden, I learned a good deal about the different struggles queer youth are going through across the country, and how nonprofit organizations can influence change in these regards. Not only was I able to spend my summer in the US's queerest city, but I also came to realize something very important: the value of educating youth on queer issues. After all, they will be the ones leading the country someday. Maybe the positive atmosphere, enthusiastic team, and hands-on experience I've gained here at GSA Network is making me a bit biased, but I see high school GSAs as being one of the most useful forces in the advancement of the LGBT rights movement.

Watu, interning in San Francisco!
Coming three thousand miles across the country from the east coast was not a small decision. Whether I would like and feel at place at GSA Network was a complete toss up considering that I knew nobody from the organization and only talked to Laura, GSA Network's Deputy Director, and Amanda, the Northern California Program Coordinator, once before on the phone during my interview. I am beyond happy that I made the choice to come to GSA Network. Working with the staff and my fellow interns was more amazing than I could ever imagine. GSA Network deeply helped me in my continuing process of becoming a strong activist. I was so unbelievably grateful to work with Amanda in reaching youth through programs and developing curriculum for activist camp. GSA Network became my family in these two months and I'm sad to go. GSA Network will always have a special place in my heart.

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