Today is Jordyn’s last day as the Justice Projects Intern at IARS. Here is what she had to say about her time at IARS:

As I conclude my internship with The IARS International Institute, I have many thoughts and experiences that I am able to reflect on. Since my first day as a part of the team, I’ve found myself being challenged both academically and professionally in the best ways possible. I was initially intimidated by some of the larger projects that I knew I would be working on, but through every step of the way I always seemed to learn something new and develop not only my skills and abilities, but also my own confidence in my work.

Prior to the start of my internship I had limited amounts of experience with the various tasks I worked on with IARS such as data and policy analysis, as well as different types of writing like academic report writing or constructing blog posts. Although it took me some time to get acquainted with these concepts, I now feel confident in taking on a wide range of projects thanks to being pushed out of my comfort zone. I was given great levels of responsibility when working on different projects, including acting as a representative for the entire organization at an international training event. I never doubted my supervisors’ confidence in me, though, and with their guidance I felt reassured that I could finish any task they threw my way. And I did just that.

I have learned so much during my time with IARS that can now be applied to my future career path. I have always wanted to work within policy reform in the United States, and now having experience with scrutinizing public policy through my internship I am aware of the standards to which legislation should be held when evaluating their levels of efficacy.  This will be especially useful to me because I aim to amend policies that unfairly discriminate against vulnerable populations, which is quite similar to the analysis that I performed during my time with IARS. Additionally, I have been exposed to quite a bit of work surrounding restorative justice which is a concept that I am extremely interested in. In the U.S., the criminal justice system is tragically broken and value is placed on punishment rather than rehabilitation. By using restorative justice techniques and focusing on reintegration, however, I believe that the country’s perspective on crime and offenders could be drastically changed for the better. I have had the opportunity to see how RJ can work in both application and theory, and I will take this knowledge with me in my future endeavours and encounters with the U.S. criminal justice system.

I will never forget the skills that I have learned from working with IARS and for that I am extremely grateful. Being able to get an inside perspective to the advocacy work done by the organization was the opportunity of a lifetime and I will miss it every day. I hope to return some day and continue the amazing and necessary work that is being done by The IARS International Institute.

We are truly grateful for Jordyn’s hard work and contributions at IARS, and we would like to wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours! Thank you Jordyn smileysmiley