Spanish major advocates for environmental justice and human rights
Cammy Bly ’22 served as an intern at the InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF) organization, which focuses on peace and human rights issues in Central America from an interfaith perspective through an APEX Fellowship at The College of Wooster. Bly completed, researched, and created educational tools, along with helping indigenous groups in immigration and equality.
“I learned to speak with confidence and know the value of my input, to take personal notes and comprehensive notes for the group, facilitate meetings, and communicate effectively.”
—Cammy Bly ‘22
How did you learn about the internship opportunity for your APEX Fellowship? Why was the position a good fit for you?
“I would like to pursue a career in Latinx social work, so when I heard about InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF), I knew it was a great way for me to learn more about the social situations in the countries I have studied through my Spanish major. It is important for me to do my part in learning about these communities as I move forward in a career in social work.”
What interests you most about the work you did? What were some of the things you did each day?
“Through IRTF, I found a true passion in advocating for environmental justice and human rights in Central America. I spent a large part of my time this summer studying human rights abuses in Honduras as one of IRTF’s goals is to create a webinar series discussing these abuses. This work entailed personal research, communicating with national organizations, and collaborating with interns and staff persons at the organization. I had the opportunity to speak with Karen Spring, a human rights defender and the Honduras-based Coordinator for the Honduras Solidarity Network, a national organization in the U.S. and Canada.”
Who was your Fellowship mentor and how did they help you to succeed in this position?
“Professor Leslie Wingard (assistant professor and department chair of English) has been my mentor this summer. We have been in contact throughout the summer, and she has helped me navigate the ups and downs of working for an outside organization while coordinating with Wooster. Her responses to my weekly reflections help me see the big picture of what I am doing and show me the importance of my work.”
What are some skills you have learned that you see yourself carrying forward into your career?
“I have learned communication skills through the meetings I attended throughout the summer. I learned to speak with confidence and know the value of my input, to take personal notes and comprehensive notes for the group, facilitate meetings, and communicate effectively.”
How has the internship helped you to see what’s next for you?
“Working in solidarity with indigenous groups, migrant groups, and minority groups in the U.S., Central America, and Colombia helped confirm my passion for social work and pursuing a career as a social worker.”
Posted in Experiential Learning on November 5, 2021.
Related Areas of Study
Language, histories, literature, and cultures of Spanish-speaking countriesMajor Minor