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Meet Our Interns

  June 30, 2024

Every spring, summer, and fall, we welcome a new slate of talented and passionate interns to our team! In this blog post, hear from three of our recent interns from across the organization.

Mika Margalit, Grants Intern, Boston Office | Second Year Student, Tufts University

What are you studying at Tufts and what drew you to those studies?
I am studying International Relations with a focus on Security and doing a minor in History with a focus on Migration. I’ve always been interested in how conflicts happened and peoples’ stories, and that grew into foreign policy, immigration, and history.

What led you to an internship at IINE?
I have done past work with resettlement organizations, and I know I want to be involved in providing tangible services to immigrants and refugees. At IINE, I can see people who are actively raising the money to house people, or driving to the airport to pick people up, or helping them with their legal cases. Being able to intern here is just really special because I’m able to connect with the populations being served.

What did you do as an IINE intern and how did it help prepare you for future work?
I worked on the Grants and Contracts team. I helped find perspective grant makers for the organization. That included looking at which of our programs are most in need of funding and researching which foundations have interest in those funding opportunities.

I also did research for the grant proposals themselves. We’d have to find a way to convey why our organization is important so I would gather information about immigrants in the workforce, for example. I loved this work.

I think it’s prepared me in a lot of different ways. Being able to be in a professional setting, learn about the behind-the-scenes of what it takes to fund a nonprofit, develop my research skills, and work in a collaborative environment—it was all really special.

What was the work environment like at IINE?
I had a really amazing time. I ended up being able to connect with so many staff, and not just on the Grants team, but also in Donations, ESOL, and more (and realized that a lot were only a couple years older than me!). Being able to learn about the different types of opportunities out there was a really valuable part of the internship experience. I’m really sad to be leaving, I’m going to miss it a lot.

Would you recommend this internship to other students?
I would recommend this internship to anyone who is passionate about refugee advocacy. Being able to see what the work looks like on the ground to integrate refugees into the New England area was so valuable in understanding both the impact an individual can have and challenges of the work.

•••

Aeden Kamadolli, Youth Intern, Lowell Office | First Year Student, Columbia University

Aeden Kamadolli
Aeden Kamadolli (center) on a field trip to the New England Quilt Museum with our refugee youth clients

What are you studying at Columbia and what drew you to those studies?
I am a Human Rights major. I was drawn to human rights as a field of study because I think that the world we’re living in currently is one where human rights are not actually human rights because they are tenuous/not guaranteed for far too many people. I think that learning about human rights in an academic setting will help inform my work in solidarity with communities who are currently being deprived of certain rights.

What led you to an internship at IINE?
I was interested in working with an organization that supported recently arrived people in the Greater Boston community (since I was back in Massachusetts over the summer), and my Googling led me to IINE’s internship program. I was particularly drawn to IINE because of the Youth program, as I had previous experience working with youth and it seemed like a great opportunity to learn new skills while doing work I was passionate about.

What did you do as an IINE intern and how did it help prepare you for future work?

I feel like I did so many different things over the summer. The Youth team is a small team, but they do so much to support youth clients, it’s actually incredible! I spent a lot of time doing text outreach to clients, and I also helped make and send out the weekly Youth program newsletter. I helped plan, set-up, clean-up, and generally facilitate different types of programming (workshops, field trips, tutoring, etc.). Over the summer, many of our youth clients were interested in finding jobs, so one of the other things that I did once I established rapport with some of them was help them make resumes. I also had the opportunity to shadow a few intakes that my supervisor was conducting. Finally, I spent a decent chunk of time documenting client interactions.

I learned how to write case notes and got a lot of practice navigating [a client database]. I also really deepened my familiarity with Canva because I had to do a lot of graphic design for flyers, the monthly event calendar, and the newsletter. I generally learned a lot about the city of Lowell and the different services and resources available to refugee and asylee families—and I even picked up a little bit of the Levantine dialect of Arabic.

What was the work environment like at IINE?
First and foremost, my supervisor was an incredible resource. I felt like I had the perfect amount of freedom— I felt very supported, but at the same time, I had a lot of agency when it came to the work that I was completing. I had the opportunity to work with some other Community Services staff, and in addition to making me feel very welcome, they were very approachable, and I felt comfortable asking them questions.

Did you have a greatest success story as an intern?
I don’t know that I can isolate a single greatest success, but I’m really proud of my Arts Afternoons initiative. I came up with the idea to have an afternoon once a week in the Youth space that was entirely dedicated to a specific type of arts and craft, and together with my supervisor, we planned out a unique art activity for almost every Monday afternoon over the summer. I think my favorite Arts Afternoon was a two-part one, where youth clients painted small terracotta pots one week, and then planted herbs and spider plants in their pots the next week. Some of the youth clients brought their younger siblings to the activity, and we had really great turnout both weeks— and I had so much fun sharing my love of plants with everyone! Afterwards, some of the youth chose to keep their plants in the windows in the office and would come in regularly to check in on and water them. I think it really helped the space feel cozier.

•••

Innocent Ndagijimana, Community Services and School Impact Intern, Manchester, NH Office | Senior, University of New Hampshire

Innocent Ndagijimana
Innocent (right) at IINE Manchester’s annual World Refugee Day Celebration

When you interned at IINE, what were you studying at UNH and what drew you to those studies?
When I was interning, I was a senior at UNH, majoring in Business Administration. I chose to major in Business Administration because I am interested in becoming an entrepreneur. I plan on starting a nonprofit organization at some point in the future. The main goal will be to educate an underserved community such as immigrants.

What led you to an internship at IINE?
I knew about IINE because I was their client when I moved to the U.S. from Congo in 2014. I learned about an internship from my school’s career fair.

What did you do as an IINE intern and how did it help prepare you for future work?
My responsibilities included assisting the School Impact Coordinator with the process of registering kids (pre-K-12) in schools. I also helped adults by providing community services support. My internship helped me to prepare for my [current position] as an AmeriCorps volunteer [at IINE] because throughout my internship, I familiarized myself with the programs provided by IINE. I also built relationships with several clients whom I currently work with as a volunteer.

Did you have a favorite success story as intern?
My greatest success is that I improved my understanding of how to better serve immigrants. I learned about several programs that refugees need to succeed in their new country. I knew about these programs from a client perspective; it was very fulfilling to learn about the resettlement process from a server point of view.

Would you recommend this internship to other students?
I would definitely recommend this internship, especially for someone who is interested in helping people, and learning about different cultures around the world.

Love what you do. Every step of the way. Explore internship opportunities at IINE to gain hands-on experience supporting refugees and immigrants in New England. 


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