Say Hello to Our 2016 Summer Interns
We’ve loved getting to know these five bright, hard working, students this summer during their Sexual Justice Advocate internship with us!
We want to let you get to know them too.
Jean Zhang is a student at Vanderbilt University, studying Women & Gender History and Child Studies and minoring in Spanish. She plans to graduate in 2018. She likes to experience different cultures and loves traveling around. At school, she serves as the Cultural Vice President of Vanderbilt Undergraduate Chinese Association and likes to make Chinese food for friends. She also enjoys dancing and has choreographed a dance for an Asian New Year Festival showcase at Vandy.
Jean came to Washington this summer with Vanderbilt’s Internship Experience in Washington D.C. She knew she was interested in nonprofits regarding either women’s or children’s issue. When she narrowed down her search, she found NCOSE’s internship, “Sexual Justice Advocate” and thought that sounded very appealing to her. “
Jean told us, “I sent in my resume, got a phone interview with Lisa, and got the offer! Working in NCOSE was truly a great learning experience. I have always enjoyed the mini-presentations during weekly intern lunch. It was also fun to work with a group of inspiring and loving people, and share the passion for sexual justice!”
Emily Sopp is currently studying public relations and editing at Brigham Young University and is graduating in December 2016. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading and searching out the best food in a new area. She loves dancing and playing tennis. It is her dream to travel the world and learn about new cultures. She is currently preparing to apply for law school.
Emily randomly found the internship here at NCOSE. She needed a communications internship to graduate and knew that she wanted to come out to DC with BYU’s Washington Seminar program. As she was looking for internships that might interest her, she found NCOSE’s communications internship. She has seen the harmful effects of pornography and sexual exploitation around her in the world and wanted to do something that could make a difference.
“I loved working at NCOSE this summer. While the fight against sexual exploitation is sometimes difficult, the work is rewarding. I got to see so many victories and company policies change to fight sexual exploitation as an effect of NCOSE’s work. I was able to get really good first-hand experience writing and working with media.”
Thaddeus Tague is a rising senior at Liberty University, where he will major in Government with a focus on Public Administration. Thaddeus is a native of Southern California, a surfer, and a politically active citizen. While at college, Thaddeus competes in the World’s league British Parliamentary Debate, as well as basketball and ultimate Frisbee. He hopes one day to live and work in Washington DC.
Several things encouraged Thaddeus to apply to intern with NCOSE. Thaddeus first learned about NOCSE from Josh McDowell’s Set Free Summit, and after talking with a NCOSE representative at the exhibit table they had set up, he knew it would be a great fit. Ever since he broke free of his 5-year long addiction to hardcore porn, he was extremely involved in pushing the anti-porn message through his friend group and community. He even won a national speech contest with a speech about the effects of porn. He couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with NCOSE and change people’s lives for the better.
“An Internship with NCOSE gave me the first opportunity to apply my skill set to an area of work that I was passionate about. I could see the results of the work I was doing, and it all was for an amazing cause.”
Mary Bianculli is currently attending the University of Central Florida, where she is pursuing dual degrees in Philosophy and Religion and Cultural Studies, and a minor degree in Women and Gender Studies. She is the president and founder of the Network of Enlightened Women at UCF, and strives to bring the discussion of conservative feminism to the campus. Mary has a passion for human rights issues, especially those affecting women.
Last fall, while visiting her sister who is the former Executive Director of the Law Center at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Mary was able to join the NCOSE in a peaceful protest against Amnesty International. At this event, she saw how passionate NCOSE is about defending the dignity of those who have been sexually exploited. It inspired her to do more research in this area, and later lead her to apply for an internship. Not only was she interested in learning more about the ties between all forms of sexual exploitation, but she was also interested in being a part of the fight to defend dignity. Interning at NCOSE has allowed her to do both.
“In a society where sexual exploitation and the dehumanization of women, men, and children is common, it is easy to despair. While interning at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, I have been able to view these issues in a more positive light, and see that there are battles being fought and won for those who are sexually exploited. Furthermore, I get to be a part of the fight.”
Leah Oswald is currently a second year law student at Regent University School of Law with a heart for human rights. In her free time, Leah visits her fiancé, volunteers for Virginia Beach Justice Initiative, works as a student staff member for the Center for Global Justice and Rule of Law, is a member of the Moot Court team, and works for a family law firm. With any time left over, Leah enjoys running, rock climbing, hiking, and biking. However, until her law school finishes, she’s spends most of her time studying.
Leah has been interested in human rights work for several years. She began getting actively involved about three or four years ago but never knew exactly how she wanted to be involved. Leah was drawn to NOCSE because of how open and upfront the organization is about combating pornography. She finds is a relief to see an organization actively highlighting how pornography intertwines with trafficking, abuse, etc. She believe that in order to fully comprehend how the law impacts human rights, specifically trafficking, it’s paramount to see the links between all forms of sexual exploitation and NCOSE exposes those links.
“Since arriving at NOCSE, I’ve been working on updating the sexually orientated business (SOB) manual. It’s been rough and tedious at times—there’s no point in denying that—but it’s been incredibly rewarding, too. In updating the SOB manual, I’ve had the opportunity to see how sexual exploitation (be it in the form of strip clubs to sexually explicit signs or posters) can negatively impact the human psyche and be a gateway for trafficking. It’s great work that NOCSE’s Law Center is doing and I’m honored that I was permitted to be a part of that work.”