The primary purpose of the Intern Scholarship Fund is to provide four-month paid internships with Justice For All. The goal is to remove as many barriers and overcome as many of the hurdles (discussed below) as possible, making it easier for more eligible young people (aged 18-30) to experience JFA’s work and to consider it as a viable career.
If JFA accomplishes its mission by creating life-changing conversations with pro-choice advocates and mentoring pro-life advocates in the art of creating those conversations, then the numbers of people we can influence are directly related to the number of trainers working full-time to accomplish JFA’s mission.
In JFA’s Flagship Training Program, we aim for a 10-1 volunteer to mentor ratio, resulting in pro-life advocates becoming skilled at defending the unborn in a short amount of time. Because of this, the number of trainers on staff is even more critical for JFA than some organizations. In short, JFA needs more workers. Not only does this directly impact the number of events we can create. It also directly impacts how many we’re able to reach through those events.
JFA is aiming to hire two interns for one semester each in 2016, paying them a reasonable internship salary from our Intern Scholarship Fund. We need to raise $8,000 to employ one intern for four months. This will enable us to walk an interested potential intern through the application process in a short time, and they could be in the office working immediately. (With our staff, the support-raising process creates a delay in the ability to work. Once a person is accepted to work for JFA, he/she then must raise support, which may mean that he/she is not able to work on JFA’s events for a full year or more.)
During this four-month internship, JFA and the intern can evaluate interest in further employment, and the intern can begin raising money, either to fund his/her own future salary (after the four-month internship) or to help replace the funds used for his/her internship so that others can experience JFA and consider full-time work.
Challenges to Hiring Full-Time, Long-Term Staff
JFA, like many pro-life organizations, faces numerous hurdles in finding full-time workers, but we are also working actively to overcome these hurdles:
- “Get a Real Job”: Pro-life work appears to many people to not be a “real job” or a “respectable occupation.” We work to overcome this hurdle by being professional and excellent in all of our activities, from dialogue with pro-choice advocates to mentoring pro-life advocates, from our large-scale college campus outreach events to our seminars to our platform speaking events. We also continually strive to clarify for people that JFA is a respectable employer, that full-time pro-life work is a much-needed occupation, and that working full-time to make abortion unthinkable does a great good in the world. Working full-time for JFA is personally fulfilling and helps the worker gain skills which will help him/her in many other fields. These include public speaking, analysis, conflict resolution, communication, writing, fundraising.
- “Don’t Waste Time on Dead-End Jobs”: Young people want to build their resume and not waste their time on “dead-end” jobs. This is one reason working for JFA is attractive. We are an organization that is animated by a passion for mentoring and individual flourishing. So, we give some of our highest levels of responsibility to some of our youngest staff when they show aptitude or competence for the work. For example, we see every intern as capable of participating on our training teams, so they are initiated into our trainer certification program and begin shouldering speaking, mentoring, and dialogue duties immediately. Sure, they may learn to seal envelopes or do clerical tasks while they are interning as well, but the thinking, writing, speaking, dialogue with pro-choice advocates, and mentoring pro-life advocates that consumes our training team consumes the life of our interns from the beginning.
- “I Want to Get Paid Without Having to Raise Support”: The prospect of raising support to be paid a salary remains the single biggest hurdle for many young people to consider working for JFA. Few are willing to consider spending some of their working years at the task of making abortion unthinkable, but even fewer are willing to do so if they must engage their whole network of friends and family personally in the process by asking them to financially support their work at JFA.
- “Pro-Life Work Is a Waste of Time at Best…Or It May Even Be Evil”: Since abortion is legal and early elective legal abortion enjoys broad support even from those who say they “personally oppose abortion,” there is at least a perception among many young people that there is a stigma attached to those who spend their professional work on making abortion unthinkable. This is a hurdle which we must simply acknowledge as a cost of doing the worthwhile work of changing hearts and saving lives.
- “I’m Not Sure What I Want to Do with My Life, So I Want to Explore Lots of Work Options”: The propensity many young people have towards getting many different kinds of experiences in high school and college causes them to be reluctant to commit long-term to a work like Justice For All’s work, but this can actually benefit JFA’s staff recruitment. If we invite people to “come and see” so that they can experience working with JFA during a short-term internship, some will see that it is a good fit for their professional goals and personalities. This is why JFA structures its internships to enable the short-term intern to get to know the training work of JFA first-hand and to get to know the staff. It also gives the JFA team a chance to get to know the short-term intern. Time in the JFA office and on the road with the JFA team gives these interns a chance to see that many of their preconceived ideas about pro-life work in general, and work for JFA in specific, were mistaken.
Dec. 2017-Dec. 2018 Goal: $51,342
Note: This section is updated periodically. The last update was made on Dec. 1, 2017. Please fill out our Contact Form to request to be notified of our progress in fundraising.
- 2018 Goal: $51,342
- $28,342 for two interns working in spring 2018 (See "Three Miracles in One Conversation" for a reflection from one 2017 intern who is raising support to work as a 2018 intern: Susanna Buckley.)
- $23,000 for two interns working in fall 2018
- 2018 Progress: 1 additional family has committed recently to give monthly to this fund to support 2018 internships.