Holly Cooke, a senior and student in our Honors Program, is currently in Washington DC, where she’s spending the semester interning for the International Justice Mission. We checked in with Holly to see how her first week in the Capitol went. We are so excited to see what the semester brings for her!
What and where is your internship?
I am working for an organization known as the International Justice Mission whose vision is to “rescue thousands, protect millions, and prove that justice for the poor is possible.” They accomplish this by protecting people from violent forces of injustice through rescue and restoration and ensuring the public justice systems work for the poor. My job within this organization is known as the Constituent Engagement Intern. I communicate over the phone daily with individuals and big corporate donors, send out thank you notes through email and letter, create financial reports so that our constituents know exactly where their money is going, and continually build relationships with men and women who choose to donate to IJM.
Holly and friend at Capitol Hill
Describe your first week:
My first week has been packed with lots of new information. From 8:30 to 5:30 every day I have attended orientation. Yes, our orientation lasts an entire week. However, I am extremely grateful that IJM would take so much time, as well as bestow so much patience, to allow us to truly understand their operational structures, values, goals, mission, and so much more!
How does it feel to be living in Washington?
A first living in Washington D.C. felt very surreal. It looks completely different from Texas and it is a very fast-paced area; it feels as if everyone one is speed walking. Everyone always has some place to be so there is not a lot of casual talking. In other words, southern hospitality is hard to come by. However, adjusting has been very easy and I really enjoy it here. The weather is nice and cool (which I understand will not last much longer) and the people I’ve already come to know are so pleasant. I enjoy walking, as well as riding the metro to work every day. It is about a 45 minutes commute from my place of residence to IJM which gives me plenty of time to read, reflect, and pray about the day ahead.
What has been your favorite experience so far?
My favorite experience so far can be understood through these quotes by Gary Haugen, the CEO of International Justice Mission: “The work of justice is meant to return to God as worship, because God is ultimately working through and in us” and “Violence is a serious issue. We pray every day not as a discipline but in desperation. The forces of evil are willful.” The International Justice Mission is one of the most humble and God-fearing, seeking, glorifying organizations I have had the pleasure in working for. It is only the first week and they instill in us that ultimately God who has commissioned us to justice is the only power and authority by which justice can be accomplished. The passion and anger that arise from social justice are not simply enough, but the sustaining peace and hope that rest in Christ Jesus who has already overcome all things in His death and resurrection. IJM acknowledges that hope in Christ and His authority are the only means by which social justice can be accomplished, especially for the long haul. So to sum up my experience, IJM encourages the pursuit of the God of justice before even beginning to pursue the mission of justice. It is so humbling, and I have already begun to grow so much in my faith.
We are so thankful Holly has the chance to grow through the LCU Washington program. To learn more about LCU Washington, or to see other student testimonials, click here.