Meet Anna and Maryam, Our 2021 National Summer Interns

Hello! My name is Anna, and I am one of the interns for the Development/Communications team at LIFT. I’m a rising sophomore and am looking to declare a major in public policy and international affairs. As a potential public policy major, it’s really important for me to not only learn how policies are framed from an intellectual perspective, but also see its direct impacts and how they shape the lives real people. There are many issues and barriers in our communities that are in need of attention and support. As a result, I was looking to gain experience in a nonprofit to really see and understand the effects of direct intervention, something that LIFT does so successfully.

During my internship search, LIFT’s mission to empower its members deeply affected to me and so I wanted to be able to contribute to this vision. I think that it’s easy to get out-of-touch with how our laws and policies are felt and experienced by our communities, especially communities of color and of lower-income. I chose LIFT because I was touched by its commitment to the strength of families. I respected the idea of placing parents or caregivers in the “driver’s seat,” so that they are able to exercise a certain control over their situations and ultimately uplift their children and themselves.

Throughout my time here at LIFT, I hope to learn how to navigate the nonprofit space through a Development & Communications lens. I hope that my contributions to the team will be helpful and worthwhile, and that it will provide something to further LIFT’s greater mission. Personally, I also am excited to forge new relationships with people and hear why they chose to work at LIFT!

Hi! I’m Maryam and will be working as an intern with the Development and Communications departments at LIFT this summer! I am currently a rising junior at Princeton University studying Sociology. My journey to LIFT started when I was looking for summer opportunities to explore possible career paths and gain hands-on experience. I was ultimately introduced to the non-profit/ charity sector because of the Princeton Internship in Civic Service program (PICS), which connects students to opportunities to work closely with a non-profit organization. I applied as an intern to PICS. What appealed to me about LIFT was its anti-poverty mission as someone that grew up in a low income household. As I entered Princeton, I knew that I would be in the minority in many ways both racially and socioeconomically. Fortunately, over the years Princeton’s support networks and resources for first generation, low income students (FLI) such as myself has grown immensely. The generosity and hospitality that the Princeton FLI community provided me during my transitional period throughout college is one that I see very much reflected at LIFT.

As a Sociology major who is passionate about social justice and inequality in society as well as how to combat these problems and turn them into real world solutions, LIFT’s mission instantly resonated with me. LIFT collaborates very closely with community members, listening and learning intensely beside one another, which I feel is a very uplifting way to build community and promote the wellbeing of everyone despite the institutional barriers placed in front of those living in poverty. As an intern at LIFT, I’m really looking forward to using some of my past strengths such as writing and improving them for more consistency and clarity. Additionally, I am especially hoping to learn some new more “concrete” skills while working with the development.

While I am undecided about what specific career path I want to take after graduation, I think that one of the most rewarding career paths would be to improve society and the living conditions of the most vulnerable populations within it. As my understanding of how society is built upon inequality and institutionalized discrimination has broadened, the prospects of solving and eradicating these issues feels overwhelming. While we are likely better off dismantling and rebuilding it from the ground up, in the meantime, some efforts towards gradually correcting these inequalities have seen success. Because of this, my hope is to be a part of the effort to build an equal society starting with assisting those already living under this oppressive capitalistic system.