To Richmond and Back Again—an Intern’s Tale

by Kathryn Blass, TFF Summer InternLiberty University

A year ago, I had never even heard of The Family Foundation, let alone that anything like it existed at the state level in any state. I was at Liberty University and I had newly acquired a position as a legal assistant in our Student Government Association. One day my boss and I ran into each other, he asked if I was going to the meeting tonight; he said The Family Foundation coming to speak about their Pro-Life initiatives. I would come if I could, but had a prior commitment.

Well, because God knows what He’s doing, my other commitment fell through, so I was able to go to the meeting. I was introduced to Jessica before the meeting began, and after she started her presentation I kept thinking, “This is really cool!” And I fell in love with the organization. I went up to her afterwards and took the flier about their internship program and found out it was PAID!! On my way back to my dorm I called my mom and told her all about it, I would be applying for their summer internship.

So, I tidied up my resume and typed up a cover letter sent them in and prayed that I would get the internship. After a few emails back and forth, Jessica said she’d be making a decision at the end of March. I kept praying. One cold but sunshiny March afternoon in Michigan I opened up my laptop and began checking emails. I saw I had one from Jessica. My heart stopped. I opened it and saw that they were offering me a job!

The next few months flew by and before I knew it school was over and I was on my way home for just a few weeks before moving in with my fantastic host-family in Richmond. As June 1 drew nearer I started to get a little nervous, “What if, I’m not good at my job? What if they give me a job and I don’t know how to do it?” Well, God has a funny way of giving you just what you need right when you need it; and for me that was Jon Acuff’s book Do Over. In the book Acuff talks about being a tourist as you learn new skills. He discusses how tourists aren’t afraid to ask questions and look stupid, so why is being at a new job or learning a new skill set any different? That’s when I realized, it didn’t matter if I didn’t know something, because I am at this internship to learn and to be a tourist!

My internship was more than I could have ever asked for. Aside from the fantastic work environment (so many pranks, so little time), the great co-workers and fellow interns, I had an absolute blast working. I spent my summer researching laws, and compiling information so it can be found quickly. My personal favorite task was submitting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests—trying to track down the correct place to submit the requests too was probably the best sleuthing experience I have encountered thus far in my lifetime.

But the best part of my summer came from the personal growth that stemmed both from the internship and from being alone in a new city.

I’m not naturally a confrontational person, so I tend to watch debates instead of taking part in them, and I tend to shy away from debates with family or friends because I don’t have the experience to win. But this summer I learned that it is okay to have debates with people and that, as Christians, we are allowed to talk about social issues because they are just as spiritual as they are physical. I learned from my fellow interns that it is okay to lose a debate because that’s how you learn, and you will get better. I still would rather watch the debates than participate, but I am no longer afraid to participate in them.

As I prepare to go back to school, I cannot help but thank God for this awesome opportunity to grow professionally, spiritually, and personally; and to thank The Family Foundation for the opportunity to learn the trade, I have always imagined I would love.