University of Iowa – Sociolgy Dept Interns Speak

· Intern Speak

slaterMitch Slater
“I came to India and ANEW knowing little to nothing about Indian culture. ANEW showed me how accepting and welcoming Indian culture is. I was thoroughly surprised by how kind and accommodating they all were. I also learned much more than I expected to. Not only from sitting in on a few classes but from the students themselves. They have been through some tough times but they come to class and put on the brightest smiles. I think we could all learn from them.”





Madison Traviss
“I am continually amazed by the passionate and genuinely happy environment that ANEW pomadisonssesses. Every day I find it impossible not to smile during the entirety of my day spent there. Two themes that came to light several times during my visits were the complexities of resilience and the eagerness to learn. Despite hardships faced by the women, they did not hold back when it came to answering questions, fighting to be the first to respond. My favorite parts consisted of relationships, whether they contained a language barrier or not. Working with the board members to see their insight into the direction of the organization and funding as well as interacting with the women were by far the best parts of my time at ANEW. I could honestly go on and on about how at home I felt at this organization but I will undoubtedly remain in contact.”



Andreandreaa Huber

“During my time at ANEW I learned several unexpected things from the girls. After speaking with the girls for only a short amount of time it was easy to see that though they have dealt with difficult things in their lives they are not broken, they are in fact very strong and capable women, capable of enjoying life to the fullest and seeing the opportunity and possibilities of future endeavors regardless of situations that had held them back in the past. I will never forget the women I met at ANEW and how amazing their stories and ambitions were.”


carieCarrie Mason

“The women we observed at ANEW were focused, they were engaged during classes, they were eager and attentive. During the first Life Skills class that we attended I literally caught myself having tears well up in my eyes. I was truly taken aback when answers to questions started flying out of the women’s mouths and they were basically competing with each other to answer the instructor’s question first. I can’t emphasize enough that something so small as answering a question asked made such an impact on my heart. 
An overall attitude that I would like to implement in my life is one I have found to be consistent in all of these admirable women – positivity. Their worries are absolutely ten times, if not more, more significant than mine, yet I find myself complaining and stressed and miserable at times about things that are honestly petty. They are positive despite going through things that I literally cannot even imagine. There is so much to learn from these women and I am honored that I had a chance to get to know them in these three weeks in Chennai. It was truly an honor.”
Greta Oldach

“During my time at ANEW I felt unbelievably welcomed and at home. Each morning I was so excited to see everyone’s smiling faces when we all walked in. ANEW is a wonderful place and an ideal opportunity for girls who are looking to get training for a non-traditional job in India. During my time at ANEW I had many interesting conversations with some of the girls about their background, differences in our cultures, and what they want to make of their lives. They were all unanimous with saying they want to be able to have a better future and able to support themselves as well as being educated. The girls at ANEW reminded me how important it is to not give up, even when millions of difficult things come your way. You have to keep trying and working hard. “
Megan Pottenbaum

“I have learned so much from ANEW. They taught me that you have to be strong no matter what you go through. The girls may have gone through some traumatic events but now they have such a positive outlook on their future. No matter how tough their past was they still find a reason to smile and it’s contagious.”


Caitlin Carneykatelyn

” I will never forget my time spent at ANEW. The women there are so determined and relentless in pursuing their dreams that it leaves a lasting impression. Although many of the women have experienced hardships, before talking with them you would never know. They are eager to get up and sing or dance and give the warmest smiles in passing. There is so much to be learned from them and their joy for life. I am eternally thankful for this experience and for having the opportunity to interact with these amazing and inspirational women. Thank you, ANEW!”
Madeline Keleher

“The time spent at ANEW has helped me understand India in the eyes of women’s perspmadelineectives. I’ve loved having the time at ANEW building relationships with the students and even the staff. Every day I enjoyed being able to go to ANEW to ask questions and have questions asked about my life in the states. I truly feel being able to work with an interactive organization is the best way to go. Thankfully, at ANEW we could interact with the students as much as we would like and it was with open arms. I’m really going to miss the students and staff once we go home. I’m so lucky to have been able to learn as much as I did with my time spent in India. “
Caitlin Carney (- suggestions for future internship )

“I truly believe my time spent at ANEW was beneficial and fulfilling. I appreciate how osugg1rganized and willing to help everyone was. I also liked that you had ideas for us on projects that we could work on upon our first day arriving. The only change I might suggest is that the interactive sessions we had with the women that provided us with the opportunity to chat and get to know each other be earlier in the two-week period. That way we can bond with them sooner and be able to converse more throughout the time there. It also might help to provide name tags at these sessions. I know that I personally really want to learn their names but have a hard time understanding or remembering Indian names. But when I see them in writing it really helps to alleviate these issues. I know that it means a lot to me when someone addresses me by name, and I would like to be able to make this connection with the women at ANEW as well.
Again, thank you for everything!”
Greta Oldach (- suggestions for future internship )

“I loved everything at ANEW. There is no possible way you could have a nicer or more efficient staff-they are the best. One thing I would encourage is getting to know the girls on the very first day interns or volunteers come instead of the last days as we did. It was nice to get to know the stories of each girl and form that personal relationship. If this happened on the first day who knows what type of things could have come out of the last two weeks. Possibly having some interns/volunteers work on fundraising. “

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