I began working at MotherWoman as my service placement for the Citizen Scholars Program in the fall of 2012. Interning at this organization has opened up many opportunities and academic interests that I never knew were available to me and enabled me to make a difference in people's lives. It is through the community I have found at MotherWoman that I have fostered the inspiration for my honors thesis and found my passion for women’s mental health.
MotherWoman, a nonprofit organization located in Hadley, MA, largely works with mothers who are suffering or have suffered from postpartum depression. Women in the United States face a lot of pressure and little support when they become new moms. MotherWoman addresses this problem by creating a community of strong, empowered women who are there to support one another and provide the necessary resources to be a successful parent. They accomplish this goal by hosting mothers’ support groups run by MotherWoman trained facilitators, developing county Perinatal Support Coalitions, providing trainings for health professionals who come into contact with mothers, and through their advocacy efforts aimed at improving family policy in the state of Massachusetts and in the United States. A major advocacy goal is to pass the Earned Paid Sick Time Act, currently in the state legislature this session, which would establish earned paid sick leave and drastically improve the lives of working parents throughout Massachusetts.
I will continue interning with MotherWoman for the rest of this year as the Perinatal Support Coalition Intern, focusing a lot of my work on a project to update and expand their Resource and Referral Guide. This project’s goal is to ensure that mothers do not fall through the cracks between professionals or loved ones identifying the need for help and the ability one has to access help. It also helps professionals be more prepared and knowledgeable about the resources that are available to mothers. Along with this project, I will continue working on developing and editing the Perintal Support Coaltion Update, a monthly newsletter that keeps all coalition members from the Western Mass counties informed and updated about latest news as well as upcoming events and trainings.
I have been warmly welcomed into MotherWoman’s community and feel lucky to be a part of this amazing organization. I am so passionate about improving mother’s mental health and would not have found this interest if I had not been presented with this opportunity. I have been able to be a part of projects that make mother's lives easier, which has really made me feel like the work I do makes a difference. Internships are such a useful way of finding your talents and interests and to apply what you learn in the classroom to another environment. Whether you have had a positive, negative, or even no experience with an internship, do not forget to keep looking for opportunities to change your perspective and impact the world around you!