Internship: Churches United in Ministries (C.H.U.M.), Spring 2011
What is your major?
Political Science and Urban & Regional Studies with a minor in Geography.
Where was your internship placement? (What is the purpose of the organization?)
My internship was with Churches United in Ministries (C.H.U.M) located at 102 West 2nd Street in Duluth. C.H.U.M's programs consist of stabilization and distributive services, outreach and organizing, and also advocacy for area residents.
What did your general duties involve?
I interned as a Community Organizer. My duties during my internship were that of organizing area renters throughout the five neighborhoods in Duluth and establishing new renters associations while strengthening the current renters associations to combat unfair land lord practices (be it difficulty in receiving security deposits back, substandard living conditions, slow repair times, unjust evictions, led paint, unfair fees etc...) and also improve the surrounding communities be it the issue of crime, or a busy road next to a school or park. To do all of this took a lot of one on one conversations with community members and hours of door knocking. We also conducted monthly meetings for area renters to discuss issues they were facing and possible solutions. During these meetings and conversations we would give the means for the community members to take action for themselves to fix the issues they faced.
Has your internship influenced your career path?
This internship has certainly opened up the doors for me into what I would like to do as I embark on my professional career. And also narrowed my focus. I really enjoyed the advocacy part of it; Helping a group that doesn't have nearly as much of a voice in the community gain power and find solutions and apply them to their adverse situations. I would greatly enjoy improving the general publics’ life, while making sure that every community member has the ability to reach their full potential in society.