by Laura Herring
Laura Herring, Social Science Research Center intern under Dr. Kathleen Ragsdale and Dr. Read-Wahidi, spent the summer in Washington, D.C. as an intern for World Vision, a leading international development non-profit organization. She was selected as one of thirteen interns, and the only undergraduate selected for the program. Herring served as an International Programs intern on the Child Protection & Education team, specifically focused on helping facilitate projects and research focused on World Vision’s projects operating in Latin America. Her internship began with a week-long training on grant management and acquisition for U.S. government grants, specifically focused on USAID grants, and she hopes to use these new skills to also support the SSRC.
Herring used her Spanish skills to work with World Vision offices in Colombia and other parts of Latin America to write comprehensive performance reports of projects. One of her main projects included examining best practices from disability and wheelchair accessibility projects implemented in Guatemala and Columbia to create a synthesized learning brief to be used by USAID for future projects focused on disability. Throughout the summer, she was able to assist with the support of World Vision projects in Colombia, Guatemala, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Honduras.
At the end of the summer, Herring was selected as one of three U.S. students to participate in the Andi Leadership Institute for Young Women, a program which brings young women from the U.S. and the Middle East, Asia, and Africa together in Washington, D.C. for a two-week training on peace-building, conflict transformation, and leadership. After participating in intensive training and meeting with leaders from across D.C., including Ambassador Melanne Verveer, former Ambassador to the United Nations for Global Women’s Issues, Herring worked on a policy proposal. Along with the other participants, which included women from Ethiopia, India, Iraq, and the U.S., she wrote a policy proposal for the support of women’s and girls’ education globally, which the group presented to the U.S. Department of States Bureau of Global Women’s Issues.
Herring feels that the summer was transformative in numerous ways, but most importantly she learned the power of female leadership and scholarship, and she is excited to continue work this year as an intern at the Social Science Research Center.