My social work field advisor suggested doing my field placement with the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF). Discussing what I was looking for in a macro practice setting and my interests, it seemed to be closely aligned with CWEALF. My advisor usually recommends more than one agency for his students. But in my case––and CWEALF’s reputation as a placement site––he strongly felt it would be a successful match. I distinctly remember him saying “you’re not going to want to go anywhere else.” And he was right.
Every day I feel like an employee; not just someone contributing to CWEALF, but someone who is valued. I am given assignments and tasks that are directly related to CWEALF’s projects. These items are not just handed to me. Rather, I am asked what I would like to do. Further, my supervisor asks me what I want to get out of the internship; a question that has guided me into thinking what I want out of my career and what I want to learn at CWEALF. I think this reflects CWEALF’s dedication in shaping the next generation of future leaders by helping them meet their career aspirations. Additionally, this ethos gives students the opportunity to expand their education in ways the classroom cannot provide. For example, I have participated in forums at the Legislative Office Building and am assisting in the evaluation of a nonprofit. The aforementioned and many other opportunities have confirmed my goals of working at an agency doing policy and research work.
Being at CWEALF has helped me in numerous ways. I am experiencing a nonprofit dedicated to helping women, something I hope to do once I graduate. To be able to be in the field of my interest while giving back to the community is extremely rewarding. Having a variety of tasks increases my responsibilities and new experiences. Strengthening my writing, research, and analysis are imperative skills for entering the job market next year.
To be in the field of my interest while giving back to the community is extremely rewarding. I know I am giving my time to an organization that works tirelessly to better the lives of women. Collaborating with people who are motivated and passionate in working towards their goal is infectious. The same energy that these women exude in their work ethic is what I hope to demonstrate throughout my career.
What I appreciate about CWEALF’s mission is the emphasis on empowering women, girls, and low-income families. As an intern I believe the work environment has strengthened my skills to help my community. Beyond the office, the statewide efforts of CWEALF employees are advancing the opportunities of females. Empowering women with knowledge of the law can inspire her to take action if there is wrongdoing. Empowering women to seek educational or training endeavors leads to self-sufficient career paths. Empowering women by supporting equitable policies or working towards reform to eradicate unjust laws creates a more balanced community. CWEALF’s goals would not be met without the focal point of empowerment. Through education, training, and improving policies, women are receiving crucial support in resisting inequity.
Written by Nikki Seymour (pictured right). Nikki is a first year policy student at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and a policy intern at CWEALF.