21Wilberforce Associates Reflect on Their Winter 2023 Internships

Associates are an integral part of the 21Wilberforce team. Our internships include assisting with research, writing, advocacy, and programming support. Associates are also likely to attend congressional hearings, think-tank briefings or other events as the eyes and ears of 21Wilberforce.

The Winter 2023 Associates, Dim Sian Ngai, Sanjana Sharma and Josh Young, completed their internships the last week in April. What follows is a brief summary of their thoughts about working alongside the team at 21Wilberforce.

Dim Sian Ngai: “I gained new experiences every day during the time spent at 21Wilberforce. Coming from Myanmar and living in a new country and attending a new school is a huge challenge for me. 21Wilberforce opened a new chapter for me through this internship by allowing me to get work experience. This directly aligns with my goal for coming to the United States to learn how US offices are organized and how that supports working at the international level.

The opportunities I was afforded through this internship included visiting offices at the US House of Representatives, attending the annual International Religious Freedom Summit, doing further research on reporting mechanisms in Myanmar, and attending weekly virtual meetings of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable. Thank you 21Wilberforce. I am more equipped and more confident to pursue my future goals.”

Sanjana Sharma: “During the internship, I was able to learn how to navigate a professional work environment, gather the writing devices necessary for a future in research, and, most importantly, narrow down what kind of research I want to continue working with in the future. Overall, it was a very educational semester that expanded my understanding of the human rights advocacy field.

The highlight of my time with 21Wilberforce was definitely the IRF Summit. It was a great educational and networking opportunity. I was especially thrilled about the Corporate Accountability breakout session during the summit. It was an eye-opening and engaging discussion led by very inspiring individuals. Thank you 21Wilberforce for giving me this opportunity. It was a time of great learning and self-contemplation for me.”

Josh Young: “The highlight of my time at 21Wilberforce was the day we spent on Capitol Hill visiting offices to build relationships with staffers and then the IRF Summit which took place over the course of the next two days. During my time spent with 21Wilberforce, I realized that I was working for an organization that was dedicated to action and in affecting positive change.

I would describe my internship experience with 21Wilberforce as life changing. When I started at 21Wilberforce, I was looking at attending law school and working in criminal law as either a prosecutor or defense attorney with little interest in pursuing government advocacy or in working on international issues. However, now with my internship ending, I have completely shifted away from that career path and instead am looking to continue working in government advocacy and in working with trauma victims in psychotherapy.”