Meet the New Intern

Written by: Kelly Gettle

Hi guys! My name is Kelly Gettle and I am a second semester senior at East Carolina University studying social work! I am from Goldsboro, NC – roughly an hour South West of Greenville. This is my very first internship so I am really excited to start learning all things new! I chose the career path of social work because I am a firm believer that everyone was put on this Earth to make a difference! I believe that my way of doing this is social work! I am very interested in the community outreach aspect of social work. When I found out that I would be interning here at ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now, I thought it was exactly what I needed to be able to learn more about community outreach, as well as, human trafficking in NC.

My first week of internship in a nut shell – informational. My first day was January 9th and on this day, I just learned the basics of what my internship entails. However, the next two days was when I really started to get the ball rolling. Myself and Mrs. Strickland attended a Wake AHEC Conference in Raleigh. This two-day conference discussed how early onset trauma can affect an individual, in every way, later in life. The second day was about how to recognize and respond to human trafficking in North Carolina. The conference was from 9-4 each day, with included breaks and lunches. The coolest thing happened – I got to eat lunch with WRAL’s David Crabtree on the second day. He came out to the conference and said a few words on how thankful he was for all of us for pushing North Carolina one step forward in ending the fight that is human trafficking.

What I liked most about the conference was being around “my kind of people.” What I mean by this is that for the most part, everyone who attended this conference thought the same way and wanted the same outcomes – hence why they were at this conference. The types of people who attended were social workers, nurses, advocates, law enforcement, and people who just wanted to make their community a better and safer place. The main topic of the conference was human trafficking and what we can do to recognize it and stop it in North Carolina. As I sat around listening to everyone – their concerns and their ideas – it just really felt good. It was nice to finally see what I am going to school for in an actual out-of-school setting.

Another thing that I thought was interesting from this conference was that they got a survivor to tell her story. The keynote speaker’s name was Shamere McKenzie. She told her story on how she was forced into human trafficking. She shared her fears that she experienced and her faith that helped her overcome what she went through. I thought that by starting off the conference with a survivor story was awesome. It really gave me a sense of this is real and it really happens in our everyday life. I was really amazed by her. After everything she was put through she made it out alive and she is using her story to be the voice of our generation when it comes to ending human trafficking.

Friday, I was back in the office feeling like a real intern. Answering emails and editing a PowerPoint presentation that Mrs. Strickland plans on using for a training in a couple of weeks. It was a nice calm day to wind down my first week. As I ended my first week I was excited for all the new information that I had learned and eager for what this semester has in store for me as we go on. Stick around – I’ll be back soon with another update on how I’m managing this semester!  

Kelly Gettle

‘ Be the Change’

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