All posts by ktorpie

First Week Update!

My quick one-month internship at the Network for Victim Recovery started last week, and I’ve already learned so much! Here’s my first briefing (some tips and moments):

  1. First things first, don’t choose to break in a new pair of leather shoes on your first day at an internship. I learned this the hard way.
  2. On a lighter note, I’m finishing my project quicker than anyone anticipated. This gives me time to present the virtual privacy guide in multiple formats: presentation, packet, visual handout. Additionally, I’m taking my extra time to do more shadowing.
  3. On my first day, I got to go the the courthouse and watch a sexual assault trial. I’m so grateful this organization is giving me the opportunity to shadow lawyers even though I’m not technically a legal intern.
  4. Today I sat in as one of the staff attorneys prepped a witness with practice questions, granting me insight not only into the formal legal procedures, but the informal ones as well.
  5. While I’m becoming increasingly interested in this area of law and advocacy, I’m also recognizing the emotional impact this kind of job can have on staff. I think if I ever want to follow a career in victim advocacy I would have to stick to a pretty strict self-care regimen. So, naturally, I’ve taken up yoga!
  6. This morning I went to a presentation on an overview of what the Network for Victim Recovery does and learned more about the history of victims’ rights. With a broader understanding of the network my project is contributing to, I’m extremely motivated to create a guide with lasting impact while I’m here. My next challenge: presenting my work and convincing my coworkers of its alleged “lasting impact” at next Friday’s staff meeting. Wish me luck!


Introducing: My Summer at the Network for Victim Recovery D.C.

Hi! My name is Kiera Torpie and I’m a freshman at Tulane studying International Development and Sociology. This summer, starting July 4th, I’ll be doing my internship at the Network for Victim Recovery of D.C.

I found this internship at the PLEN conference this past February for Women Unlocking Nonprofits. Following the conference, I reached out to one of the sexual assault panelists on Linkedin and was offered an intern position for the summer.

The Network for Victim Recovery is a nonprofit that empowers victims of crimes within our nation’s capital by addressing their specific needs, often including legal, mental health, security, and housing support. The staff provides victims with legal services, advocacy, and case management. My project is to create a social media guide for victims so they can take control over their virtual presences and eliminate any vulnerability that might arise due to a lack of virtual privacy.

I’m particularly interested in women’s advocacy. The Network for Victim Recovery has given me a perfect opportunity to advocate for women, as, according to their annual impact report, of 624 clients last year, 530 were female.

Because this is my first internship in a different city, I’m extremely excited to learn what it’s like to act as a professional! Here are my 5 specific learning goals:

  1. Research: I would like to learn more about the kind of research that occurs outside of the Howard Tilton data bases. I hope to be exposed to research that involves interviewing and on-site observations.
  2. Self-Starting: My position is a new and unique one to the organization, meaning that I will be defining it as I go. I’ve found that this experience is quite common within the nonprofit sector, and I think it will be valuable for me to learn how to take ownership of the end goal that has been assigned to me by achieving it in whatever way I see fit.
  3. “Servant” Leadership: Working on my own project within a nonprofit involves recognition that my productivity is for the welfare of others and not for my own personal benefit. I hope to get a better understanding of what this might feel like. Frankly, I’m extremely excited to devote myself selflessly to a cause I’m so passionate about.
  4. Professional Apparel: While this skill might seem simple, it is one that I’m concerned about developing. I’m prone to dress casually and feel comfortable doing so. I think having an internship at an established nonprofit will be the perfect opportunity for me to recognize what it means to dress professionally and why it’s so significant.
  5. Collaboration: While my project is largely independent, it’s extremely important that I develop the skill of collaboration so I can share ideas with and include my internship advisor as I go through my research process. I think this skill of exchanging ideas and brainstorming is extremely important in the nonprofit sector, as these organizations often must rely on their internal creativity to sustain themselves.
Most importantly, however, I look forward to fulfilling Newcomb’s mission of empowering women through education! A mission which I couldn’t have taken on without the wonderful programs and opportunities they’ve offered all year!
See you in July!