Read About Clarissa’s Experience with Becky’s Fund

August 8, 2016

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My time at Becky’s Fund has given me invaluable skills and experiences that I will be able to take with me as I progress into my professional career. Perhaps my favorite experience from my internship was leading the Becoming Your Own Heroine workshop. When I was a young girl, I had no one to talk to about the questions I had in regards to sex, consent, dating, and sexual assault. Lack of education led to a lot of misinformation and feelings of shame on my part, which shaped my adolescent years. Being able to create open, candid dialogues with these girls meant a lot to me. As I lead the workshop, I saw my younger self in each and everyone of the girls. I am a firm believer that one of the best ways to change our cultural attitudes is through education and outreach. I’m proud to say that I was able to make a difference.

In addition, I also worked on the Take a Stand, Make a Splash swimsuit fashion show fundraiser event. During the summer, I reached out to Lisa Opie of Vizcaya Swimwear, a fellow VCU alum, who agreed to donate her swimwear line to our event. Lisa’s interests intersected with our mission at Becky’s Fund. As a bullying victim, she rose above the negativity and eventually started a women’s empowerment blog. After contacting her, she even decided to feature Becky Lee on her blog. It was truly an honor putting together this event. Unlike other fashion shows, that only show off a certain body type that is often unattainable, this fashion show highlights the strength and diversity of the female body.

I also conducted research about domestic violence. As the daughter of two marines, I grew up in the military brat lifestyle. However, I was unaware of the rampant sexual assault problems and the barriers survivors face. Unlike civilian judicial systems, discretion is given mainly to the commanding officer, who often times are close to the perpetrator. Because of this most cases are not even investigated, and often times the survivor will be charged with misconduct, underage drinking, or even be discharged from the military all together. Survivors in the military seem to be one of the most ignored groups and it’s inspired me to look into becoming a victim support advocate.

All in all my time at Becky’s Fund was amazing. This internship solidified my decision to work in the nonprofit world for the rest of my career. I also felt very blessed to be a part of an awesome group of summer interns. This summer I took a few days off to deal with a personal matter and when I came back I saw two cards on my desk: a birthday card and a “thinking of you” card, signed by all the interns. Thanks to Maya, Emily, Meghana, and Andy for making this summer awesome and thank you to Becky for the amazing opportunity.

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