Jacintha Jackson ’17 of London, England, is a history and political studies major and is on the pre-law track. She used the skills and knowledge garnered from her studies at Colby-Sawyer to make a difference through her internship with the Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention (ATOP) Meaningfulworld. The international organization has chapters in three countries and works with the United Nations (U.N.) in an effort to heal trauma experienced by victims of war and natural disasters as well as transgenerational trauma.
As an intern, Jackson worked within the U.N. headquarters in New York City, where she attended high-level meetings and had the chance to discuss topics such as global education, terrorism and nuclear armament. Jackson, who was born in Sierra Leone, said the internship was a huge step toward the career of her dreams in international human rights law.
“I want to work with the U.N. to empower women and enable them to seek an education,” she said, noting that it has been her longtime goal to serve people in countries through humanitarian work.
Colby-Sawyer’s pre-law program is designed to pair well with a variety of majors, including history and political studies. Jackson said all aspects of her major contributed to her success during her internship, noting that she’s learned “laws can produce unintended consequences and cannot always be relied on to tackle social problems.”
Jackson’s courses at Colby-Sawyer taught her to understand and function within a variety of political structures and systems of thought. She also said the history of the U.N., as well as the history of the relationships between the United States, North Korea and South Korea, were discussed in detail in her classes. That information proved vital in enabling her to contextualize the meetings in which she participated.
Through her internship, Jackson worked to make a difference for disenfranchised people around the world. She hopes to help even more people in the future.
“I have gained skills to approach diplomats, do grant research, organize interviews with representatives from different countries, and promote the work of the organization I work with,” said Jackson.
Her internship with ATOP Meaningfulworld was a unique opportunity for her to gain hands-on experience in her field.