The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Class of 2021 First-Year Fellow: Bruna Decerega

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As a First-Year Fellow, Bruna Decerega ’21 interned at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) under the mentorship of Jeff Kelley ’69.

bruna decerega uscri

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) is a non-profit institution committed to serving refugees, immigrants, unaccompanied minors, and survivors of human trafficking.

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As a First-Year Fellow, Bruna Decerega ’21 interned at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) under the mentorship of Jeff Kelley ’69. Here is an excerpt from her final report.

This summer, I interned at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). USCRI is a non-profit institution committed to serving refugees, immigrants, unaccompanied minors, and survivors of human trafficking who fled their home country by force or by choice. The organization continuously advocates for these courageous individuals who left it all behind in search of a new, safer home in the United States.

At USCRI, I worked directly with the Development team in completing the following tasks: creating and completing a needs assessment report of seven USCRI field offices; writing blog posts to update supporters and followers on the work the organization is doing; analyzing social media data and suggesting ways to improve; analyzing and updating a list of previous donors and determining whether or not their current funding priorities align with USCRI’s mission.

From my first day, the development team gave me the task of compiling and analyzing demographic data from each of our field office’s service areas and ultimately creating takeaway questions that would allow the team to determine the needs in each community. Since the development team at USCRI works substantially with grant and proposal writing, I created eight distinct documents (one for each field office and one national one) with demographic data of the regions USCRI serves, respectfully. This would allow the team to, when writing grants or proposals, use these data to support the cause they are seeking funding for. The takeaway questions I wrote following my analysis served as a way for USCRI to analyze the effectiveness of their programs in each field office.

While the development team put me in charge of the Needs Assessment and the other mentioned projects, they also assigned me to the human trafficking team, who was in need of help writing their application for the federal Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (TVAP) grant. My task, while working with them, was to create a list of potential partners in every state and territory and add their contact information onto an excel sheet. I also helped contacting a few organizations to seek their support and partnership. Finally, I organized the final report of the 130+ organizations that agreed to partner with USCRI in this grant cycle, including their signed contracts and mission statements.

Working at USCRI in a politically-challenging time for refugees and immigrants was especially rewarding as I got to witness the determination of USCRI employees in advancing the rights of these vulnerable populations and giving a voice to the voiceless.

I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center and its staff for supporting me and believing in me throughout this process.

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