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

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: SARAH ALPERT '21

Sarah Alpert

Sarah Alpert '21 interned at The Borgen Project during the summer of 2020. 

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Sarah Alpert '21 interned at The Borgen Project during the 2020 summer term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report. 

In summer 2020, I interned for a nonprofit organization called The Borgen Project. The mission of The Borgen Project is to end global poverty by advocating for legislation that prioritizes this issue in U.S. foreign policy. The Project accomplishes its goals by meeting with U.S. leaders, mobilizing volunteers and advocates across the country, educating citizens on global poverty and U.S. policy, and raising awareness of poverty-related issues and innovations that elevate the world’s poor. In order to raise awareness, The Borgen Project publishes a blog that covers topics like “Hunger in Uganda” or “New Technologies Aiding Refugees.” My primary role as an intern was to edit content submitted by a national team of writers, and to prepare articles for publication. Each week, I was responsible for editing at least 12 articles. Editing required fact-checking and ensuring that information came from reliable sources; proofreading for accurate grammar and spelling; and using SEO to maximize the visibility of the Project online. In addition to editing, I was tasked with raising a minimum of $500 in support of The Borgen Project. I wrote and sent letters to people across my personal network, posted fundraising content on my social media accounts, and conducted other creative forms of outreach to meet and surpass my $500 goal.

By the end of my internship, I understood how nonprofit organizations raise capital to create change, and I gained practical experience fundraising that will prove useful if I ever launch my own nonprofit or other project. Through my daily editing, I vastly expanded my understanding of global poverty by reading dozens of articles about poverty around the world. I also learned how to advocate for legislation that benefits people in need. Now that I understand the importance of engaging Congressional leaders and raising awareness through SEO-driven information, I feel prepared to pursue a career in social justice activism after college.

I found that the most positive part of my internship was my exposure to The Borgen Project’s content. I enjoyed reading the articles submitted by writers, because they gave me the opportunity to read about international issues to which I am rarely exposed in my daily life. Overall, I came away from the internship much more informed about how the global poor live and what steps are being taken to help. In addition, I liked the actual process of editing. As an English major and an editor for The Dartmouth, editing is a skill I have honed over the years, and a process that I always enjoy. My work for The Borgen Project allowed me to continue improving as an editor, which will greatly benefit my future work for The Dartmouth and my English major, in addition to making me a better writer in all my pursuits. Finally, I enjoyed raising money for The Borgen Project. I experienced immense gratification when I realized that people were more willing to donate than I expected. Going forward, I believe I will be less hesitant to ask others for help — which I imagine will benefit me in both professional and personal realms.

My internship with The Borgen Project thus confirmed my commitment to social justice and activism, while also making me question how I want to build an impactful career. That’s a question I still have not answered, but I am glad that this experience made me think critically about the best ways to make change. Thank you to the Rockefeller Center for making this experience possible.

The Rockefeller Internships Program has funding for Dartmouth undergraduate students to help defray the cost of living expenses associated with a full-time, unpaid, leave-term internships in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and social entrepreneurship.

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