By: Shara Guengerich, Students for Life’s 2012 Missionary for Life
While I see the value of internships, not everyone understands all the reasons what they can benefit from their time while interning. Often internships are treated simply as times where you try your best in the hopes of getting an offer for a full-time position or meeting someone who might offer you a job, meaning that you’ll be employed straight out of college. Other times internships are treated like a summertime extension of a school life full of goofing off and having fun. Of course, sometimes internships are grudgingly accepted because a particular program requires one for graduation.
While SFLA’s internship program does give me academic credit, opportunities to make connections, and some time to just have fun, none of these aspects account for the reason I sought after and accepted the SFLA internship.
The main reason is the knowledge that I must always find ways to integrate my identity as an abortion abolitionist with every other part of my life. This is essential if our side is going to win out. We can never put down the torch of being advocates for life.
It is all too easy to become burned out in the pro-life movement. I’ve seen it in others and in my own life. That’s why shifting focus every once in a while or taking time to recharge is essential. While shifting from a full-time pro-life advocate to college student gave me an opportunity to recharge, it didn’t let me off the hook of continuing to advocate for the preborn. While working on my degree, I’ve been able to start a SFL club on campus that has grown far beyond what I first envisioned it would be.
When I learned that I could literally combine my internship requirement with pro-life ministry, I was more than a little excited. If you are in an undergrad program that offers credits for internships, I would strongly encourage you to find a way in which the degree you are working towards can benefit the pro-life community while you earn academic credit.
Beyond college however, I still will be looking for ways I can integrate pro-life advocacy into my life, no matter which direction it takes. I know that I will do this because I am compelled to do so. Not only because it’s what we must do if we want to see success, but also because I never want to be living a life on the sidelines.
Thoreau’s famous statement that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” refers to the fact that all too often our lives become taken over by a pursuit of success measured by wealth in order to feed our consumerism. This eventually becomes a pursuit devoid of any lasting hope. I refuse to submit to this lie that our culture attempts to feed us. Instead, the success of my life will be measured on how relentlessly I pursue the goal of bringing an end to the mass slaughter of preborn children in America. That will take not just a once a semester event, not simply a summer internship, but 365 days of unrelenting pursuit of the abolition of abortion.