My name is Chelsea Davignon and I am here in Washington DC for the semester with The Washington Center. I started my internship at The William Kellibrew Foundation but started working for Becky’s Fund when they needed another intern. My last 6 weeks here at Becky’s Fund has been a life-changing experience. Everyday that I spent at Becky’s Fund was different from the last. I started here the same week as Walk This Way and I was able to just dive right in. Walk This Way was the most extravagant event I have ever been to and I learned so much from this experience. The event was a very fast paced and stressful environment but I was able to handle it. Throughout the night I was so inspired by how gracefully Becky dealt with the stress. I was able to use that as an example for how I should deal with the stress. Walk This Way allowed me to get a first hand experience on how to run a large-scale fundraiser.
After Walk This Way I was able to continue learning from Becky about everything from program building to grant writing. Another important part of Becky’s fund is working with domestic violence survivors. I think having this hands-on experience with survivors will be very transferable to any future career path I decide to take. My favorite program of Becky’s Fund is Men of Code. Men and boys are the future to ending domestic violence and having this program brings awareness of domestic violence to the young men of Friendship High School.
I will be leaving this experience with a solid foundation on the inner workings of a non-profit. Throughout my internship at Becky’s Fund, I have learned a lot professionally but I have also learned a lot about myself. Before this internship I did not know how passionate I am about domestic violence and women’s issues. When I came to DC I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future career. Now, I can confidently say that I want to continue working in nonprofits. I also want my future career to include my passions, which are women’s rights and children. The real life experience I was able to gain through my internship has allowed me to develop a greater understanding of myself and what I want out of life.
Becky’s Fund has also allowed me to concentrate on improving some of my weaknesses. Before this experience I was very anxious and shy. I doubted my abilities and myself. Through support from Becky’s Fund, I am much more confident and proud of what I can bring to the table. I have been able to work on my writing and public speaking skills. Over the last six weeks I have been researching and writing up reports on current issues in the world of domestic violence. I was also able to present about domestic violence at American University. This presentation forced me to step out of my comfort zone and present to an audience. These are skills that can only come with practice and constructive criticism, which is exactly what I was able to get from my internship with Becky’s Fund.
Another important part of Becky’s Fund was working with Becky Lee herself. Becky is an incredibly inspirational woman and I consider her a role model. My contact with strong successful women has been limited throughout my life and I believe I am lucky to have met Becky. Becky has proven to me that I can do anything that I want in this world. Becky’s confidence and drive is contagious and is a motivation to me to follow my dreams. Every time I have doubted myself Becky has convinced me not to. A perfect example of this is when Becky, my fellow intern, and I took a class at a Trapeze school. We took the class as an end of the semester bonding experience for the three of us because none of us had ever taken a trapeze class before. I was absolutely terrified to climb up the ladder. I took the first few steps and then I walked right back down because I was afraid. Becky took the class by storm and to the rest of us it looked like she wasn’t afraid at all. But when I was scared she encouraged me until I was able to get up there. I will never forget this experience. In conclusion, working with Becky and Becky’s Fund has helped me grow both as a professional and a person.