Samuel at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois


Name: Samuel

Year: Junior

Major(s): Legal Studies

Minor(s): Political Science

CFS Program: Field Studies in Social Justice

When I began thinking about internships in the fall I knew I wanted to work at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) because I really stood by their public advocacy work. After going through the whole process of applying and connecting in October I finally secured an internship there for the spring. I thought things would remain pretty quiet until then. However, this changed a few weeks later as the ACLU began to enter the national spotlight in response to the result of the latest presidential election. After the leaders of this administration were inaugurated and began acting as executive, the ACLU turned into the foremost opponent of the federal government’s immigration operations. All of the sudden everyone knew what the ACLU was and what they did. People would often say to me, “That’s great you decided to work there with everything that is happening politically.” In reality, I had not planned this at all. It was just a series of unforeseen events that would make my internship even more unpredictable.

After a few weeks of my internship though, I can say that the workers at the ACLU are as humble and inviting as any group of people I’ve worked with. The national attention and surge in support certainly could not have changed the employees at the organization because each day I go to work I encounter only positive, embracing, and authentic people. This makes the administrative work I do so much more pleasant as I can approach any staff member with questions or just everyday conversation. For these reasons I can definitively say that my internship experience has been positive. Regardless of what project I end up doing that day, I know that I am helping make the lives of these remarkable people easier. I am proud about this and I hope to continue making a difference in this way for the rest of the quarter.