The following post comes to us via Jon Brown, a journalism student, aspiring voice actor, and current Planned Parenthood Arizona intern.
My name is Jon Brown. I’m a student at Arizona State University. I chose to intern at Planned Parenthood because, quite simply, I believe in what they do (yes, guys support Planned Parenthood too). From campaigning for women’s rights during the era of suffrage to pushing uncomfortable yet necessary conversations (such as STD testing) into public focus, I have stood by their beliefs and I admire them for having the courage to stand up on controversial issues when no one else will.
I expected more of a passive role when I first started working here. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Planned Parenthood doesn’t only focus on women’s issues, they tackle any social issue that they feel needs addressing. At a recent luncheon called I Stand with Planned Parenthood, they brought on guest speaker Ashley Spillane, who is the president of Rock the Vote, an organization dedicated to increasing the youth involvement in politics.
So, you know I like the organization, but I absolutely love the part of it that I interned with directly. The department head for whom I interned and everyone at the organization I encountered have been wonderful. They made me feel welcome, and instead of handing me a list of responsibilities they asked me what I wanted to get out of this internship. I’m a journalism major and I was looking for public relations experience, so I worked on the social media aspects of this organization.
Nearing the end of my semester and reflecting back on the past few months, I found that the most important parts of my experience interning with Planned Parenthood were that I was given the opportunity to take a direct role in something that really matters to me and that I was able to see what PR work at a nonprofit is like. It turns out that I love doing this, so this experience will also help me with my career path should I choose to continue in PR.
I expected more of a passive role when I first started working here, sitting back and observing how it’s done. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I immediately started writing posts for their social media. They trusted me enough to give me access to their social media! And I was able to help brainstorm and plan out campaigns (especially during the month of April with the Get Yourself Tested campaign).
I even made a video showing how simple it is to get tested for STDs, and it’s now up on their official YouTube channel. Having no prior experience with STD testing, I was shocked at how simple the process was, so I came up with the idea and put it all together by myself. It felt so amazing seeing something that I created being posted up by such a prominent and respected organization.
I could talk about how much I love this organization all day, but I’ll finish off by saying that, coming in, I already stood beside Planned Parenthood, but after my internship I can safely say that Planned Parenthood will always have my support, so much so that I actually plan to keep volunteering even after my semester ends.