By Banen Chaney, former intern with AFSC Kansas City
First, I will say that this AFSC internship has been a great experience and I feel that it has really helped me grow as a person. My desire of educating individuals on the potential for peace has dramatically increased, and I plan to continue my work, even without the title of “Peace Studies Intern.”
My internship began February 1, 2010. In these three months, I have been able to encourage Avila University students to participate in multiple campaigns, including: Cost of War, Minute for Peace, Defining Peace, and the Postcard Campaign. All the reactions on campus have been thoroughly positive and all aspects of Student Life have been supportive.
The most rewarding part of my internship was being able to unite student athletes and the people who participate in non-athletic campus activities. Typically, these two groups do not come together, but they did in our peace meetings. We discussed the possibilities of peace and would analyze the literature presented to me from AFSC. It was a great way to inform a variety of people. I had a lot of fun with these meetings and have even been asked by some if they will continue next school year.
The students and staff were very receptive to my utilization of social networking sites. Beyond this, I was able to unintentionally involve other Kansas City citizens. People linked to my Facebook and Twitter accounts responded to my postings even though they were not Avila students. This, to me, demonstrated how easily a college campus can reach out to their community.
I feel like I was given plenty of tools to promote peace to the students. My advice for future interns would be to not be afraid to ask for help. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask various faculty members for assistance on projects and even small things like setting up banners. Many times, I didn’t have to ask, they just offered their help. Keep everyone informed and you will be amazed how much input they are willing to give....
I had an amazing time in this position and intend to continue my involvement with the American Friends Service Committee.