Month: December 2013

Learn More About Shannon MacLaren’s Experience At Becky’s Fund

578118_10151997861341684_389995314_nMy semester at Becky’s Fund truly exceeded my expectations of an internship. As a psychology major, I chose to work at Becky’s Fund with the hopes of learning more about victims’ services and support systems. What I got out of my time here was that and so much more. I was able to do hands on work while learning a wide variety of skills, I made connections with others working with Becky’s Fund, and I learned an incredible amount about the effort to end and prevent domestic violence that fueled my passion for the cause.

As a Programs and Outreach Intern, I worked with everything from event planning to college presentations to research projects. One of my tasks was handling administrative tasks for events such as the Tough Mudder Race and 2013 Walk This Way Fashion Show. Through this process I learned the importance of organization and clear communication in order to plan a successful event. Getting to see the 2013 Walk This Way unfold in the end was a beautiful experience. My main task at this event was to be a greeter at the front entrance. Becky’s Fund has really helped me to discover new strengths in myself, such as public speaking and a energy I get from working with people.

Another prominent part of this semester was the chance to present to college classes on the issue of dating violence and unhealthy relationships. Along with Becky and two other interns, I would travel to local university classrooms and present the facts of these issues in a clear way. I was nervous before the first presentation, but I quickly learned how much I enjoyed teaching these students the importance of awareness and what they can do to help the cause. Even though I was the one teaching others, this is possibly where I learned the most about statistics and methods for preventing domestic violence.

I was also able to expand my knowledge through multiple research projects that I worked on throughout the semester. I focused on a variety of topics including: how PTSD in military veterans impacts relationships and can lead to domestic violence, how passport laws effect immigrant women and their children when trying to escape an abusive relationship, and the relationship between domestic violence and mental health issues. These research projects were ideal because they allowed me to combine my interests and major with the mission of Becky’s Fund.

In addition to this wide range of responsibilities, I got the chance to work with victims on a personal level. I had the opportunity to interview and create and intake form for one woman, which is later used to determine what resources are most appropriate for Becky’s Fund to provide. Near the end of the semester, I was also fortunate enough to be asked to support woman during her court hearing. I was there in person to provide support after the hearing and I continued to follow up with her regarding the progression of her case and to provide emotional support.

I was genuinely impressed with the variety of responsibilities that Becky gave me this semester, and I cannot wait to take everything I learned here with me into other aspects of life. I learned the art of multitasking, how to remain calm under pressure, how to have fun at work by creating relationships, that I am a better public speaker than I previously thought, that I enjoy planning events, that I am very capable of having a role in stopping the cycle of domestic violence, and that I will continue to contribute to this mission in any way I can. Becky’s Fund is an admirable organization that looks beyond helping victims after an attack by focusing on education as means of prevention and spreading awareness to people of all communities. I now know so much more about the issues and rights of victims, and I am happy to say that my passion for the issue has only expanded while being here at Becky’s Fund. I cannot wait to see all of the accomplishments that Becky’s Fund is sure to achieve, and I am eager to spread awareness on the issue of domestic violence wherever my life takes me.