|Aliya Levinstein, Intern|
This truly has been one whirlwind of a semester. Thanksgiving is in a week, my finals are coming up, and unfortunately, my time at PFLAG National is coming to a close. To put it simply, these past few months have been nothing short of inspiring.
To start, the PFLAG National staff have been the best mentors I could have asked for in an internship. They welcomed my many questions in the beginning and made sure that everything was going well throughout the entire process. I loved coming into the office every day because everyone has such a passion for their job; it truly is a pleasure to be surrounded by people who love what they are doing and do it successfully.
While at PFLAG, I had the opportunity to meet some of the champions of the movement. During my very first week, I was lucky enough to spend time with Helen and Bogdan Globa, who are Ukrainian activists for LGBT rights. Listening to their stories and getting to visit Capitol Hill with them was a true treat. They provided a perspective that I hadn’t heard before and showed me right off the bat that this is a global issue. I attended a hearing with Lizzie Velasquez, an anti-bullying champion. Her stories are raw and full of emotion; she has the ability to change people’s hearts and minds. I attended numerous lobby visits advocating for the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, persuading congressmembers to support a bill that would allow so many more children to be adopted. These experiences, along with many more, shaped my experiences at PFLAG into something special.
While at PFLAG, I have been able to write the bimonthly policy memo, Policy Matters. Writing this memo has kept me up to date on everything that had to do with the LGBT movement. There has been a ton activity and change in the LGBT sphere, especially in the last few months; being able to keep track of all of the changes that have been occurring at rapid speed. Working on this memo has been one of the most educational experiences I’ve had while at PFLAG.
I am beyond grateful for all of the opportunities that I have had at my time at PFLAG. I have made some of the most incredible memories and wonderful connections at my time here. As I know it is always difficult to leave something that truly means so much to me, I always have to remind myself that it is not a goodbye, it is a “see you later.” So thank you PFLAG, I look forward to seeing you again soon.