In Her Own Words: MEDA Intern Johanna Cervantes

“Toward the end of my sophomore year at the University of San Francisco, I realized I wanted to get more serious about what type of field I wanted to work in upon my graduation. Working in a nonprofit has always appealed to me more than working in a corporate office, so I decided to look for an internship with a community-based organization. At this point, I also had a general idea that I wanted to work at an organization that focused on Latinos and their rights or that dealt with some sort of urban injustice. With these three components in mind, I started looking for organizations that I believed hit these marks, and I stumbled upon MEDA.

“Coming off a semester in which I took a course on Sustainable Cities and Green Gentrification, I was very passionate about San Francisco’s Mission District and the ongoing gentrification that has pushed out thousands of Latino immigrants — a topic of special interest to me because I am a first-generation Latina. Reading about MEDA and its mission made me realize what an amazing organization it is because it has truly taken initiative to fight gentrification in the Mission. MEDA also stood out to me because I believed the organization was a leader to other smaller Mission nonprofits, which I find interesting because it was a leader in more than one way. Ultimately, MEDA seemed like the perfect organization for me.

“Working here these past three months has been quite an experience. I gained a better understanding of the function of a nonprofit and how they manage and administer themselves. Additionally, working under the Evaluation team has given me the biggest appreciation for data — and not just thinking of it as data, but as characters in a story that needs to be told. I’ve also learned so many useful skills that I would have never learned without this internship, for example, gathering, analyzing and presenting data, report writing, using analytical software and much more.

“My experience at MEDA was nothing but positive. I will cherish the lessons I was taught at MEDA, as well as the people who were always ready to answer my plethora of questions. What I learned here will not be forgotten, but will continue to be used in my future. Without this experience I would have never realized how much I enjoy the nonprofit sector. I would recommend MEDA as a place to intern because of how many different areas there are to work under, which makes it easy to find one that is appealing. The people, the work, the Mission: MEDA has it all.”

Johanna Cervantes
MEDA Intern

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Are you looking for an internship at a nonprofit doing impactful work? Contact Lucia @ (415) 282-3334 ext. 156; lobregon@medasf.org.

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