Summer Internships 2015

Sun-soaked postcards from Bryn Mawr students

A Postcard From: Julie Henrikson ’16

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10301547_10205042264446048_7213738362221157356_nName: Julie Henrikson

Class Year: 2016

Internship Placement: I am working in the External Affairs Department at Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA (PPSP). I will be developing and implementing volunteer programs, as well as observing and working with their sex education programs.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

With this being the second summer I’ve spent working in the External Affairs department at PPSP, I thought everything would be simpler. I now know how the copy machine works, so how bad could it be, eh? Obviously I was wrong—this summer, like last, has proven to be an even greater expansion on my knowledge and passion as an advocate for reproductive justice. This summer I was entrusted with managing our social media sites, giving me the opportunity to highlight issues I see as inspiring and pertinent to RJ work. I’m in the process of starting a “Humans of PPSP” campaign, an effort inspired by similar projects from other affiliates, meant to combat stigma around abortion and sexual healthcare and advocacy. Additionally, I just got back from a national conference in D.C. for Planned Parenthood Generation, Planned Parenthood’s youth-centered advocacy group (the close-up photo was taken at there.) The conference was completely invigorating, full of fire and motivation to keep working towards reproductive justice.Untitled

How I heard about my internship:

I was lucky enough to participate in Summer of Service last year, which put me in contact with Planned Parenthood’s External Affairs department. I have continued interning with them since then, with Praxis courses last year. Now, thanks to having established myself within External Affairs, I get to work with other departments for a fuller experience.

Why I applied for my internship:

My sex education experience was…lacking, to say the least. The only kind of sex education I received was an afternoon abstinence-until-marriage presentation in high school by a sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and exhaustingly earnest man. After an hour of horrifyingly inaccurate and offensive falsehoods, he ended the presentation by giving the “girls” small business cards that we were expected to give to the MAN we marry, proving that we were perfectly pure and oppressed. I was lucky enough to have diligent parents that offered a sane alternative, but without them my only knowledge base would have been the poster boy for patriarchal, religious-assuming propaganda. Once I started college and became more aware of the injustices women, non-binary, and trans* people face in regards to their healthcare, I knew I wanted to commit my life to education and advocacy for reproductive justice and comprehensive, evidence-based sex education. Working with Planned Parenthood seemed to be the next logical step. Their experience, though sometimes flawed, proves their overall commitment to providing necessary healthcare. Their connections expand what they offer to serving the community on a deeper level. Finally, the people who work there are compassionate, wicked smart, and fiercely fantastic.

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