By Zoë Eitel
With many organizations moving to remote work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Autumn Tennis was able to meet and make connections with people across the country while interning with PAVE. PAVE, or Promoting Awareness | Victim Empowerment, is a nonprofit that helps support victims of human trafficking, sexual assault and domestic violence. Though the organization is based in Chicago, they opened their virtual internships to anyone in the US.
“I was able to learn so much about nonprofit work through this virtual internship, and I had the opportunity to make connections with people from nearly every state in the US,” Autumn says. “I also greatly enhanced my research, writing, and cross-cultural communication skills through this work.”
Autumn was drawn to intern at the organization because she is passionate about their mission. Her responsibilities were to create awareness campaigns for PAVE’s social media platforms and to do outreach to organizations across the country to join their National Survivor Outreach Coalition.
Outreach Intern at Promoting Awareness | Victim Empowerment
BA International Studies & Economics 2023
“This coalition would allow survivors across the country to find exactly what organization would best support them and their specific needs,” she says. “This way, survivors from different cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds and LGBTQIA+ survivors would know what places to go for mental health, medical, or legal support.”
“I was still able to learn so much about nonprofit work through this virtual internship, and I had the opportunity to make connections with people from nearly every state in the U.S.”
Through this internship, Autumn was able to learn what goes into running a successful nonprofit, and it also showed her the type of work she’d like to do in the future.
“There are many ways to support survivors of sexual violence across different industries, including higher education and corporate America,” Autumn says. “Wherever my future takes me, I know that I can still find ways to support survivors everywhere.”
Along with finding her internship with PAVE on Handshake, Autumn has taken advantage of meeting with a Career Center advisor, having her resume reviewed and attending career fairs. As the peer mentor for the Career Center EDGE Team, she loves utilizing these resources and sharing them with others.
While most of her experience has been in the nonprofit sector, Autumn is also interested in higher education and is happy her experiences with her internships has given her skills that are transferable over multiple industries.
“I am excited to take my passion for uplifting others to whatever path I take next!” she says.