Hardy Discovers the Power of Advocacy through Internships at Home and Abroad

By schwartzsa | July 27, 2012

Lucy Hardy ’13, an International Studies major concentrating in Globalization, Development and Human Rights, is a global legislative intern with RESULTS—a non-profit organization in Washington D.C. that creates long-term solutions to poverty by supporting programs that address its root causes. In addition to discovering the importance of advocacy in the United States, she’s adding to a résumé that already includes a solid list of references from around the world.

As a global legislative intern, Hardy helped coordinate the RESULTS Educational Fund International Conference to End Poverty in Washington, D.C., July 21-24. The three-day event included high-level speakers, educational workshops on effective poverty solutions, advocacy skills trainings, and the experience of lobbying on Capitol Hill.

“This internship has shown me the importance of advocacy in American democracy and how individual voices are important, but when they come together for common goals it can change the outcome of legislation,” she says. “I will use this to frame my work in human rights with the intention of empowering individuals to speak out against injustices.”

She began collaborating with RESULTS as an individual activist in September 2011 along with classmates Emily Brown ’13 and Hope Kwiatkowski ’13 following the Millennium Campus Conference at Harvard University. There, Hardy, Brown and Kwiatkowski connectedwith Ken Patterson, Global Grassroots Manager with RESULTS.

“We kept in contact with him and with his help and support we soon began to contact Philadelphia’s congressman, Rep. Chaka Fattah, through letters and phone calls asking him to support anti-poverty legislation,” says Hardy. “It was very fulfilling to actively participate in democracy, which is why I wanted to apply for an internship with the organization.”

Her familiarity with the organization’s mission, objectives and strategies gave her a decisive advantage when she applied for the Internship—as did her networking skills. “Ken recommended me to his colleagues,” she says. “The moral of this story is: network and be sure to follow through with your connections.”

Lessons Learned Interning in Guatemala and India

Prior to her experience with RESULTS, Hardy completed an internship with the Highland Support Project in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, during the summer of 2011. She assisted indigenous women and their children on many projects, including community and political participation, indigenous rights, nutrition and hygiene, translating for mission groups, and conducting a study of the local artisan markets.

“Instead of going into their communities and telling them what we think needs to be changed, we empowered the women to vocalize what issues were most important to them. It was rewarding to be a part of that process because from my understanding, development projects which are from the grassroots are much more effective and accepted by the communities in which they are being placed.”

Hardy also completed an internship through the Alliance’s Contemporary India program during a semester abroad in Pune in 2012. She worked with Human Rights and Law Defenders, a law office specializing in human rights, helping to create an all-inclusive human rights certificate course designed for individuals from all backgrounds, from law students to women who suffer from domestic abuse. The course was also tailored to sensitize those who work in the public sector and deal with human rights abuses including the police, teachers, social workers, and journalists.

“The work I did in India will help promote and protect human rights in an area where human rights are not necessarily standardized or even valued,” she says. “Providing the basic knowledge of what human rights are and sensitizing the community on human rights abuses will help Pune to be more socially conscious.”

Prior to gaining internship experience, Hardy studied at the Arcadia Center for Catalan, Spanish and Mediterranean Studies in Barcelona, Spain, during the 2011 spring semester. She also participated in Spain Preview, which took place in Madrid, Salamanca, Segovia, and Toledo. Hardy chose to become an International Studies major at Arcadia after discovering her passion for peace studies during a high school AP History course. “I wanted my collegiate studies to becomprehensive and interdisciplinary so I chose Globalization, Development, andHuman Rights, which include[s] aspects of development theory, politicalscience, anthropology, public health, and many other topics.”

Though Hardy isn’t exactly sure where she wants to end up in the future, she plans to volunteer with the Peace Corps before moving onto a graduate program in the field of human rights. Hardy is co-president of Arcadia’s Amnesty International club and an Arcadia Ambassador. She hopes to establish a RESULTS club at Arcadia this fall.