Pivot's Summer Interns: Too Awesome?

I need to be honest about this. Our interns are better than yours.

Now, I don’t know who you are and I certainly have zero familiarity with either your organization or your interns but ours are better. These are facts.

How do I know? Because they are people like this:

Rosanne Sia has a masters in history from UBC. She works with Carolyn Wong on the Hope in Shadows Project. Think organizing your last Tupperware party was a logistical nightmare? Rosanne helped create a full-on block party and camera handout with over 200 people in attendance and a few dozen volunteers. She didn’t even break a sweat.

"I love Pivot's commitment to the people in the DTES, through legal advocacy or by giving community members a voice in projects like Hope in Shadows. Pivot's work brings out voices we need to hear. I wanted to be part of this process."

Mae Price is going into her 2nd year as a law student at the University of Victoria. She has been working with DJ Larkin and Darcie Bennett to strengthen both our housing campaign and Jane Doe Project. Mae has to turn down her awesomeness so we can hear each other speak at staff meetings.

"I was interested in working at Pivot because I wanted first hand experience using the law as a tool to promote social justice.  I also wanted to gain experience working in the downtown east side - an area that epitomizes what is so right, and so wrong about Vancouver."

Danny Urquhart is going into his 2nd year as a law student at the University of Toronto Law School. He is currently working with Doug King on issues pertaining to policing and use of force, on top of being loaned out to DJ Larkin for Housing campaign work and to Hope in Shadows in support of the photo contest. Danny is so good at multitasking it's practically involuntary.

“I sought out Pivot because I wanted to do legal work that was on the cutting edge of poverty advocacy. I had done a year of clinical work in Toronto which was exciting, but I was looking for something that would help change the social circumstances people were in, not just put a band-aid on whatever legal issue they were facing. Pivot is on a mission to do exactly that. I wanted to be part of that mission."

Sumra Mahmood came to us as a recent graduate of SFU with a joint degree in Criminology and Psychology. She works with both Megaphone and Hope in Shadows because absolutely dominating two things at once is old hat for her. And you can hardly chew gum and walk. Think about that for a second.

“I sought an internship with Pivot this summer in order to see first-hand how social change occurs and to be involved in the process. For years I had followed the different projects and campaigns that have been run by Pivot and kept thinking to myself that I wish I could be as awesome as them.  I decided to stop being a passive supporter and to take action. I am privileged to have the opportunity to be an intern this summer as this experience has thus far been amazing.“

Grace McDonell comes to us from the University of Toronto. She works with our Executive Director Peter Wrinch on our development and communications arm. Fundraising, copy-writing, running logistics, Grace is the supply line keeping our campaigns and our organization in the fight against inequality.

“I sought out Pivot for my Internship because I wanted to contribute my time and energy to somewhere worthwhile.  I felt like it was the perfect time to challenge myself and go beyond what my typical summer would look like.  There is no lack of positive energy and motivation at Pivot, which inspires me to pursue my goals.  Plus, this is way better than studying for the LSAT. “

Brett Zeleznik is a major from SFU. What does Brett do? It might be easier if I listed what Brett doesn’t do. He does not mess around. End of list. Event setup and logistics, research for multiple campaigns, aquatic stewardship (yes, that is a thing in our office), Brett’s catch-phrase could easily be “Yeah, I can do that.”

"I came to Pivot because I wanted to affect real social change. After years of studying, I had yet to truly apply my knowledge of the issues facing people in the DTES and Canada as a whole. Pivot presented an opportunity to finally become involved. Through legal advocacy and other initiatives, Pivot helps marginalized peoples to ‘speak’ for themselves. It was to this effort that I wished to contribute."

To sum up: They are driving all of our campaigns forward, improving our reach and our effectiveness, bringing in much needed funding, and strengthening our relationships with the communities we serve.

What have you done lately?