NRL News

Interning to Defend the Voiceless: An Unexpected Internship at NRLC Changed My Life

by | Nov 8, 2023

By Eleni Mastronardi, Assistant to State OD and Conventions Inc

Editor’s  note. This appears in the November issue of National Right to Life News. Please share this and the entire 40-page edition with your pro-life family and friends.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a college student in search of employment after graduating must be seeking an internship—preferably paid. In the spring of 2019, I was finishing up my junior year at Virginia Tech studying Russian Languages & Literatures and International Relations. I knew the route I wanted to go in foreign relations, government-related work, and I had to find an internship to get me there. However, internship after internship didn’t work out, and I was ready to settle for just about any internship that would get me to Washington, D.C.

That’s when a friend of a friend mentioned that he had interned at National Right to Life and that I—being very pro-life—might really enjoy it. I was discouraged after all of the rejection from internships in my desired field but figured, well, it will get the job done and get me to D.C.

Needless to say, I thought I would work the summer as an intern at National Right to Life, go back to school in the fall, and continue applying for more “suitable” positions in the foreign relations sphere.

How wrong I was!

I was scheduled to work in the Federal and State Legislative Departments that summer. The internship director at the time was very flexible.  He let me start interning early beginning in May, so I got to start off the summer helping in the Conventions Department, planning the annual summer Convention that was in early July.

Working for the Conventions Director and her assistant, gearing up for the Convention that was held in Charleston, South Carolina, and then flying down to Charleston to help behind the scenes and attend the convention was so thrilling. I loved running around the event center tackling task after task. Getting speakers to where they needed to go, exhibitors set up, and making sure attendees had all they needed ensured that I got thousands of extra steps in over that weekend!

After flying back to D.C. and finishing up some post-Convention tasks, I was able to start assisting in the Federal Legislative and State Legislative Departments. I tracked legislation through all 50 states that could impact a variety of life issues, researched court cases on different life issues (including some with which I was not yet familiar), edited congressional questionnaires, and attended pro-life coalition meetings both inside and outside Congress.

I learned so much that summer about legal and legislative processes and planning huge events. But what I was most grateful to learn was what it looked like to have a true cause to defend—innocent life—and to put everything you’ve got into defending the little ones.

That is why I applied to work for National Right to Life.  I knew that I would never regret working toward a goal I truly believed in—the protection of life in America. I feel honored to work alongside others who had been doing the same for much of their lifetime.

Learn more about our internship program here and apply for our rotating opportunities.

Categories: NRLC