Learn more about Natalia Langner’s experience at Becky’s FundNovember 18, 2014
The past two and a half months here at Becky’s Fund have been filled with many wonderful experiences. When I first arrived to DC, I was a little bit skeptical about working for an organization that deals with domestic violence because I did not feel I was prepared enough to handle the seriousness of the issue, emotionally and practically. The only other experience I had in relation to domestic violence is doing research and writing papers in college on Violence Against Women Act, which is a little bit different than dealing directly with clients and providing them with life-changing assistance. However, throughout my internship, I became more confident in my ability to serve the vulnerable and provide help to the survivors.
While at Becky’s Fund, I acquired and utilized a variety set of skills, from critical thinking to client-centered practice to research and event planning, which provided me with a foundation to do well on my assignments. Although doing research is not necessarily an exciting activity, it was helpful in assisting me to comprehend the different facets of domestic violence. Not in a million years would I have guessed that there is a correlation between domestic violence victims and cancer, yet the link is real and because I was asked to do research on this issue I have grown as a future professional. Not only did I expand on my knowledge, but I would not have been able to acquire this piece of information if it was not for Becky’s Fund, simply because I would never have researched this particular topic on my own. Also, I was able to attend a Congressional Briefing on the correlation between domestic violence and international abduction laws. This event was the highlight of my internship with Becky’s Fund because I learned so much in just two hours and I became motivated to continue to learn about the Hague Convention, especially since I am interested in international work.
Beyond the enhancement of my research skills, I was also exposed to variety of other opportunities that contributed to my development as a future social worker. Having the chance to work directly with the survivors made me realize the importance of organizations such as Becky’s Fund and gave me the experience of doing intake and direct intervention. Because domestic violence issue is so sensitive, it is vital to have a detailed intake, yet show sensitivity towards the survivors; therefore, knowing how to work with clients is an important skill that Becky’s Fund allowed me to develop further.
In addition to all the wonderful experiences that I received, I was able to participate in the Men of Code Program, which focused on the mentorship of a high school football team by teaching them about leadership, manhood, and habits of healthy relationships in order to prevent domestic violence in the future. One of the main reasons why I enjoyed being part of this program is because of its proactive approach to ending domestic violence. It was truly interesting to sit in on one of the lessons and hear the enthusiastic discussions that the students had regarding topics such as social media, HipHop, and masculinity in relation to domestic violence. Being able to witness their eager participation and learn from them was a growing experience.
Becky’s Fund allowed me to be part of a team that strives to prevent domestic violence as well as intervene in the moment of distress. Working side-by-side with a team filled with dedication to the cause and a desire to make a difference in their community made this summer that much more impactful. Becky Lee constantly challenged us as well as treated us as crucial members of the team, which made the time with the organization that much more productive and fulfilling. The lessons that I learned and the personal growth that I experienced will be a constant reminder of the wonderful people I had the pleasure of working with at Becky’s Fund!