Abby Ramey is a self-described "mostly vegan" and a senior at Temple University who will graduate next month with her Bachelors of Social Work. She has also been interning at WIT since Summer 2017.
Abby first found out about WIT after attending the 2016 March to End Rape Culture and meeting WIT staff there. She signed up for our monthly e-newsletter, but it wasn't until her senior year field placement fell through that she thought to contact WIT and apply for an internship with us.
"Everyone is so welcoming, kind, and sweet," she says. "I really appreciated being able to communicate my interests to my supervisors and shape the direction of my work."
One of her projects was redeveloping our LifeLine psychoeducational groups. Based on her research, she created and facilitated a 4-week pilot group for WIT clients. In this supportive group, clients learned about and discussed topics such as setting and respecting boundaries, trauma and its effects, managing triggers, and pleasure after trauma.
"I saw clients change in 4 short weeks," Abby says. "Clients became more open and willing to share, their demeanor changed, they entered a space where they were learning from others while also teaching others about their experiences. Clients told me how important having the group space was for them. Counselors told me about breakthroughs their clients had from the group."
"Everything went so well - I couldn't have asked for a better experience," she adds.
Another project Abby worked on was researching restorative justice in a domestic violence framework. Restorative justice, in her words, is "a way of engaging with criminal or negative behavior by focusing on the harm done and how to repair it, rather than on punishment."
"A lot of people in the domestic violence field don't know about restorative justice or don't think it would work," Abby explains. "I did a staff-oriented 'intervention' to talk about the uses of restorative justice for Survivors."
At WIT, she says, "I learned how to facilitate a group. I learned a lot about conducting research and putting a curriculum together, running a pilot version of the program, recruiting and retaining group members, developing assessments and running statistical tests. This internship used skills I already had - but in a different way."
Even just sitting in on WIT's monthly all-staff meetings, she says, was eye-opening. "I got to see how a nonprofit organization actually runs."
To potential WIT interns, Abby has this advice to offer: "Do it! Everyone here is willing to help. No matter what department, everyone is willing to work with you around your experiences and what you want to get out of this."