This summer, ADL welcomed 12 extraordinary high school students to participate in this year’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute Summer Internship Program which ran from July 5 – August 11. The students were selected based on their leadership qualities and experience in ADL’s Peer Training and Peer Leadership Programs, designed to empower students to facilitate conversations about hatred, prejudice and discrimination in their school communities.
“I interned at the ADL this summer, and I can honestly say that this organization changed my life. Through my work, I’ve learned so much about different cultures and how to respect and learn from other people. I’m so grateful for the ADL and everyone that works there,” says Nicole Ninivaggi, 2016 ADL Summer Intern from Wantagh High School in Long Island.
The goal of this year’s Summer Internship Program is to promote social responsibility by creating a forum where interns feel comfortable to explore current social justice issues and develop the critical thinking skills to address an issue of injustice that is important to them.
“ADL has given me the opportunity to be myself and express my opinions. It has taught me so much about the importance of respecting people and their backgrounds,” said Nisuri Kariyakarawana, 2016 ADL Summer Intern from Curtis High School in Staten Island, NY.
Over the course of the 6-week internship, the students developed their leadership skills and gained professional experience by working in a variety of departments throughout the New York Regional Office and the Community Service Center of ADL. Additionally, the interns attended weekly information sessions on topics including college preparation, networking, leadership skills, and wealth management –these workshops were led by lay-leaders and other volunteers.
In the fall, the summer interns will represent the New York Regional Office at the ADL Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission in Washington, DC. The New York delegation will join other student leaders from across the country to explore issues of bias and discrimination and visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to learn about how to apply lessons of the Holocaust to today’s contemporary issues of prejudice and hate.
Founded in 1992 as a way to further the ADL Peer Training program, the New York Regional Office Summer Internship Program is made possible by the generous support of Cynthia and George Marks and the Marx Foundation.