The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is a non-profit organization based in Harrisburg that works to prevent sexual and domestic violence. The organization works with rape crisis centers throughout the state to educate communities about sexual violence. Danielle Pavlansky (senior, crime law and justice major, women's studies minor) found a summer internship with PCAR through the Harrisburg Semester Program, which works to match students with internships in government, political advocacy, and community development.
Danielle worked three days a week as a Technical Assistant, logging 150 hours at the Harrisburg PCAR center. Her main duties revolved around creating curriculums for programs called Campus Initiative and the Men Against Sexual Violence Initiative. After conducting extensive research, Danielle created lesson plans for college classrooms and other public forums to teach volunteers and employees about sexual and domestic violence education. Danielle played an important role in the PCAR curriculum development. One of her favorite parts about her internship at PCAR was her involvement with Campus Initiative, because it was directly related to her and her peers. As she was conducting research for her own demographic, Danielle was able to ask her friends for opinions and then incorporate their thoughts into her research.
In addition to her work with curriculum development, Danielle would attend staff meetings and offer her input on ways to effectively educate college students. She even had the opportunity to attend a task force meeting in downtown Harrisburg with the lead DA, lead detective, PCAR and other advocacy groups, who congregated to discuss their recent field experiences. Additionally, Danielle played an important part in the re-design of the PCAR website due to her background in web design.
Danielle's Penn State classes provided her with a strong background for her internship. Her class discussions in her women's studies courses that concentrated on sexual and domestic violence allowed her to create effective curriculums that incorporated various perspectives. Although this was Danielle's first internship devoted to public advocacy, her prior internship experience at the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office and a private law firm helped her develop research skills, which frequently came in handy at PCAR. Danielle also notes the importance of strong communication skills to this internship, as she was responsible for keeping her supervisor and colleagues up-to-date on her findings.
After graduation, Danielle hopes to attend graduate school and then pursue a future in public advocacy. Her summer spent at the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape was an extremely influential experience in helping her settle on her future career path. Danielle recommends this internship for students who are interested in public advocacy and in creating awareness about domestic and sexual violence. Students interested in learning more about Danielle's experience can contact her at Danielle.email@example.com. Students who are interested in pursuing this internship, or other advocacy internships in Harrisburg, should contact Harrisburg Semester Director Dr. Carol Nechemias at firstname.lastname@example.org.