Manuel Valdez, recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, interned in the CDF-Texas Austin office in Fall 2018. They had this to say about their experience.
he Children’s Defense Fund-Texas was my first real internship. I was nervous about how I would perform and about starting work in policy, which I had also never done before. I quickly learned on my first day that there was nothing that I had to be nervous about. Everyone in the office was so welcoming and friendly. I could really sense that this was a united environment focused on advocating for children. I was given the full rundown of my responsibilities and tips on how to get the job done by my incredible boss at the time, Laura. It was really helpful to have that time to sit down and discuss in detail what was expected of me. I wrote letters to committees, worked on a press release, published some social media content, and collaborated on youth engagement action items.
My favorite project that I worked on was our public comment advocating for upholding the Flores Amendment to keep undocumented children in safer conditions. It was so satisfying to see a project from beginning to end and it was also great to have so much responsibility for the final product. I tabled and wrote emails and engaged in all sorts of other outreach methods to get the word out to people about this issue, why they should submit a public comment, and how they could do it.
Through my time at CDF, I have realized that there is no better career path for me than that of non-profit work. I had the best bosses a person could ask for, teamed up well with the other interns, and worked hard on important work. I had a wonderful experience interning at the Children’s Defense Fund – Texas and greatly value what my time there has given me.
Fall 2018 Intern, CDF-Texas Austin office