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Ashleigh Teasley, 2014 recipient of the Audrey J. Harris Summer Internship Award, interned at Lilada's Livingroom.

When I try to describe my internship, I am often at a lost for words. Not because I did not learn anything, but because I have learned so much I don’t even know where to start. I interned with Lilada’s Livingroom, a growing non-profit in Madison. Lilada’s Livingroom is a safe temporary home for homeless teen mothers and their children. The Livingroom also provides a safe place for survivors of sexual abuse to heal. As a summer intern I worked closely with the founder, Lilada Gee. Some of my daily duties included leading team meetings, organizing house meeting and parties to increase awareness of this resource, working with the teen mothers at the home, as well as preparing material for weekly group meetings for sexual abuse survivors in the community.

My experience was so unique because I not only had the opportunity to learn about the needs of those in Madison, but I also learned what I was capable of. In the past, I have been very fearful of what career choice is the best for me. I was afraid of failing. This opportunity allowed me to try something different and I grew as a person. I changed a few lives and hope to have changed my very own. I worked directly with a founder of a non-profit. Some days I shadowed her from meeting to meeting. My passion for the field only grew. I learned how important it is to be effective behind the scenes and how to be effective in front of the camera. Believe it or not Lilada Gee does it all and I was blessed to spend the summer right next to her. This is a great opportunity and I strongly recommend interns to look into Lilada’s Livingroom.