The summer of 2020 was filled with uncertainty, fear and stress, as the world attempted to follow the ever changing trajectory of COVID-19. After being sent home from college and spending upwards of four months in my childhood bedroom, I was unsure of what opportunities would await me in the summer. As a junior going into my senior year at Boston University, I was hopeful that I could still find a summer internship that would allow me to pursue my dreams of working for a non-profit organization, but hiring freezes and lack of funding caused me to feel doubtful.
However, one June morning I received a call from Monica LaBiche Brown, director of Africa Development Promise, telling me that she was ready to hire me as their Social Media and Marketing intern and I was ecstatic.
Although I was a dual major in International Relations and Spanish and had little background in marketing, I was ready to take on the challenge and knew that this was an incredible opportunity to learn more about non-profit work. Additionally, I have always been passionate about working with women in the global sphere, and ADP’s mission of empowering women perfectly aligned with my personal values.
Immediately after I was hired, I began brainstorming ideas to best market ADP to a wider audience via social media, and loved the chance to explore and understand the world of digital marketing as both a consumer and seller. I got my feet wet with different campaigns, featuring ADP’s ambassadors, making phone calls to our in-field staff in Uganda and Rwanda, and promoting our GwD program. What was so wonderful about this opportunity was that Monica put her full trust in me and encouraged me along the way, demonstrating her embodiment of the organization’s mission of empowering women.
Although COVID-19 attempted to knock Africa Development Promise down and stop our work from happening, Monica and the rest of her team refused to let this happen. It was inspirational to watch as team members from across the country and world persevered to ensure that ADP’s work continued to be done, and the women we had been supporting continued with their business ventures. Whether remote or in our small, socially-distanced office in the Posner Center, Monica led the team with grace and strength, and helped each of us to navigate our roles in this uncertain time. Furthermore, the women working in our cooperatives in Uganda and Rwanda continued to strive, adapting to COVID-19 protocols and moving forward stronger than ever.
I have learned an immense amount of valuable knowledge during my time with ADP, but I think that the most important thing I have gained from this experience was the chance to watch a non-profit organization battle a pandemic and come out on the other side, better than it was before. This is what I love most about this field, as it shows that these organizations and the team members that support them are astonishingly important and play a much bigger role in global society than they are given credit for. As I now sadly have to leave my post at ADP, I am sure that this organization will continue to thrive for many years to come, and I am very excited to see where the path leads in the near future. I know that I leave my post in great hands with our new Social Media and Marketing coordinator Amanda, and wish all the best for the ADP staff and community!