Name: Katie Manyin
Class Year: 2023
Minor: Education Studies
Hometown: Bethesda, MD
Internship Organization: I Support The Girls
Job Title: Summer Intern
Location: Rockville, MD
What's happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!
Hi everyone! My name is Katie, and this summer I am interning at I Support The Girls, a non-profit organization that distributes bras, underwear, and menstrual hygiene products to people experiencing homelessness, impoverishment, or distress. The organization essentially serves as a middleman between big corporations with excess products to give away and smaller, more direct-service based non-profits that don’t have the capacity to take huge quantities of products. My jobs as an intern at I Support The Girls vary pretty greatly, and each day I do a combination of administrative tasks, direct work with volunteers, and research for the organization. On the administrative side of things, I help manage the warehouse, which includes counting and tracking incoming donations, preparing for pick-ups from social-service organizations, and packing donations of bras and menstrual products. I spend a part of each day giving direction and assistance to the volunteers who come into the warehouse to help sort and pack products for distribution. Throughout the internship, I have also researched and put together information sheets about the negative health effects of wearing a poorly-fitting bra, and how to find a bra that fits correctly. The goal is to give these flyers out to the non-profits that come to pick up bras, so they can help the people we serve find a bra that fits them well. Recently, I have started helping with the advocacy side of the organization, as I wrote questions about menstrual equity for the organization to ask Maryland Governor Wes Moore in an upcoming town hall meeting.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I applied for this internship because I wanted to gain more experience working in the nonprofit world as I approach my graduation in December. I’m not sure yet what career I want to go into, and I wanted to take this summer to see whether working at a non-profit is something I want to pursue after graduation. I knew I wanted to work with an organization that addresses women-focused issues such as menstrual equity and abortion access, so when I found I Support The Girls, it seemed like a perfect fit!
Was there anything special about how you found this internship?
My favorite part of this internship has been assisting with pick-ups from social-service organizations. I really enjoy being able to talk to the directors of the organizations who we distribute our products, because it allows me to better understand the communities that our bras and menstrual products are going to. This past week, a teacher came to pick up sports bras for the summer soccer team that she coaches, and she was thrilled that all of her players would now have the adequate breast support they need to play to their full potential. This aspect of the internship has helped me realize that I am interested in working at a non-profit that is more based on direct service, or even pursuing social work. Another highlight of the internship was preparing for and walking in the D.C. Pride Parade. I walked in the parade wearing a giant tampon costume! It was such a fun day and an experience that I will never forget.
What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn't expect?
One thing I have learned from the internship that I didn’t expect is just how much excess products clothing, lingerie, and skin care brands have. While I knew before starting this internship that the fashion industry is responsible for producing so much waste, it is a completely different experience actually seeing this excess amount of products first-hand. The brand Honeylove, for example, sent us eight full pallets of shape-wear and bras that were either returned, products that didn’t sell, or had damaged packaging. A skincare brand sent us two or three pallets of products that we couldn’t donate because they were all expired. Seeing this overproduction first-hand has allowed me to better understand and make connections between the sociological theories about capitalism, materialism, and wealth inequality that I have studied at Bryn Mawr.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.