Expectations Surpassed


By Maya Andelson, Organizing Intern

Toward the end of college graduation, I went through a relatively mild version of the typical liberal arts graduate panic attack: Ohmygosh, where do I go from here? How do I use my degree? Should I work for an NGO? What do I even know about NGO work?

I did the best thing I could think of, and started looking online for organizations that seemed interesting and worth my time interning with. I wanted to go somewhere in the country that I wasn’t familiar with and Seattle was one of my top choices. I also knew I wanted to work with human rights in some way, and I was interested in working with immigrants. 

After a little bit of searching, I came across OneAmerica’s website and immediately got a good feeling about it. OneAmerica's internship program was right up my alley, and I liked the depth and breadth of their work as it was portrayed on their website. I applied for an internship and to my delight, they said yes! Not long after, I packed my bags in Iowa and moved to Seattle for three months to begin a new project and test the waters of the NGO seas. What I expected to find at OneAmerica was a team of hardworking people and a project that was aimed at social justice. What I did not necessarily expect from OneAmerica was for it to completely surpass my expectations!

Without a doubt, the people at OneAmerica are the kindest, most hardworking, and enthusiastic group I have ever met. Each person at OneAmerica struck me as truly dedicated to what they were doing, and everyone truly understood the value of working together and communicating. I felt immediately included and appreciated and truly enjoyed working on different projects as a real part of the team.

Secondly, while the inner-workings of OneAmerica are impressively well-coordinated and carried out by a core of fantastic people, the broader impact of the organization also really amazed me. OneAmerica is the largest immigrant rights advocacy organization in Washington for a reason: the network that it manages to maintain is broad and thorough, its board of directors is strong and active, its membership is large, and it builds relationships not only with hundreds of youth and community leaders with whom it works closely and regularly, but also with a wider community of voters, immigrants, and civically-engaged citizens.

By raising awareness about and improving the face of civic, human, and immigrant rights in Washington, OneAmerica has made a name for itself. I am truly grateful to have had the work experience that my internship with OneAmerica gave me, and I am even more thankful to have had the honor to work with the people behind this wonderful organization.

Thanks Team Teal!


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