John P. Schlegel, S.J. CCSJ Summer Faith-Justice Internships

We are excited to announce that we will have six students working with and learning from great partners including the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Bread for the World, the Jesuit Conference, and the Ignatian Solidarity Network!

Students participating in these internships will:
• Become faith justice leaders among their Jesuit/Catholic University peers
• Lead others in engaging the legislative system to change structures with and on behalf of the poor and marginalized
• Gain connections for personal and professional development in social justice areas of research and policy
• Reflect on their own gifts, the needs of our world and their vocation

2015 students and placements:

Becca Green – Bread for the World

Senior       Nursing student
Omaha NE

Becca Green

Becca will be working with, Kristin A. Ostrom, JD who is a Regional Organizer with Bread for the World, covering the states of Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska and South Dakota. Becca’s work this summer will focus on Child Nutrition Reauthorization (SNAP, WIC, free and reduced breakfast and lunch). Becca will work with churches that have pantries to help them make the step into advocacy. Book-ending her experience with Creighton’s Institute for Latin American Concern, summer health program, Becca will be working in Omaha for 7 weeks, 20-25 hours a week. Becca will travel to DC June 7-9 for Bread for the World’s national Lobby Day! She will participate in a Hunger Justice Leaders training with others around the country. Becca said about this experience, “I’m really looking forward to this unique experience and so thankful that they’re letting me go!”

Quotes from Becca:
The idea of young adults taking leadership positions to learn and expand awareness and knowledge of social justice issues interests me the most about the Faith Justice Internship Program. I think it is admirable and empowering to see students passionate about working with the internship partners. It is so important for people to be aware of the needs of our world. And this program gives young adults the opportunity to be hyper-aware, which I believe is the motivation and driving force behind any kind of change a person wants to make.

I hope to effectively educate students on campus in conversation about the social justice issues I work with, especially students who I hear talking with judgment. I hope to use my knowledge and experience as an inspiration to keep learning about issues and social change. I would love to do some kind of consistent meeting throughout the year with other interns from the program so we can grow from and motivate each other. It would be awesome to create some sort of awareness event to do each semester, similar to the “Whispers from the Streets” that CCSJ helped put on last year.

Shayna Bartow – Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States National Advocacy Office

Senior      Justice & Society, Spanish Minor
Washington, D.C.


The Jesuit Conference advocates on domestic and international issues of social concern before government bodies and corporate entities. Issue areas currently include: immigration reform, Central American migration, forced displacement and human rights in Central America, criminal justice reform, juvenile justice, and economic justice.
The responsibilities of student interns may include
• Assisting with the development of research and resources on various advocacy issues;
• Researching areas related to emerging human rights issues within the Jesuit worldwide network;
• Assisting with policy briefs, reports and developing outreach materials;
• Assisting with advocacy by undertaking legal research on corporations and policy issues that are foci of our shareholder advocacy;
• Assisting in the development of advocacy materials particularly on issues concerning immigration, border militarization, domestic poverty, U.S. Policy and human rights in Central America, and juvenile/criminal justice reform.
Shayna will be working as an Undergraduate Intern June 8 to August 3. She will be working full time hours. Shayna is one of three interns at this location. (One is a Jesuit scholastic and the other will be a senior at Boston College).

Quotes from Shayna:
As a junior who is getting ready to graduate in the fall, I have reached a point where I am very critically discerning my vocation, and the career I wish to pursue once I graduate. Having been greatly involved with the CCSJ, I have been able to learn a great deal about the social justice issues that our nation is currently dealing with. My learning, however, has not stopped there. Through social analysis, reflection, legislative visits, and advocacy I have gained further knowledge about advocacy and policies that are working to combat these injustices. Although I have grown a lot, I believe direct involvement through an internship will allow me to gain priceless experience that will only help me to further discern my future. Along with that, I am very eager to start using all of the things I have learned to become a more active advocate for change here in Nebraska. A faith and justice internship will give me both the mentors and hands-on opportunities I need to become and stronger and more skilled advocate for change.

Erin Odom – Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

Junior     Business: Human Resources/Pre-Law, Women’s Studies Minor
Washington, D.C.

erin odom

Erin will be one of four summer interns this year with the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach (CCAO). Erin will research and advocate on Human Rights issues in Pakistan, Burma, and North Korea. Part of the internship this year is a one week experience at the Columban Border Mission in El Paso, TX. This internship focuses on connecting advocacy with the work of Columban Missionaries around the world. Students will contribute to the CCAO blog once every two weeks, these will be posted on Facebook. The CCAO interns will also connect with other Catholic organizations in D.C. to socialize and learn what other Catholic groups are doing in DC (Maryknoll, Sisters of Mercy, NETWORK, Franciscans, Jesuit, Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Africa Faith & Justice Network).

Quotes from Erin:
The thing that interests me the most about the Faith Justice Internship Program is that it provides students with amazing ways to bring our Ignatian values and Creighton educations to important real-life issues that need people, especially young people with lots of passion, to lobby for them. Making a real difference with the amazing opportunities that have been provided to me is what I hope to do for the rest of my life, and this program is an amazing opportunity to begin this by lobbying for those without voices themselves.

My faith life is my foundation. Faith is what drives my entire personal mission, which is to do good through service. Whenever I get discouraged or upset, I use my personal spiritual life to guide me through the tough times. I also use my faith community to do service, as evidenced by the Cortina Community. From using Catholic Charities resources to find service sites to praying in solidarity with those that are oppressed in the world, faith is a great way to become connected to others in our world community. My attitude towards service I got from my mother and father, who demonstrated to me how important it was not only as a Catholic, but also as someone who lives in a global community to do service. They would always tell me “to whom much is given, much is expected,” and that is the guiding principle I use throughout my service life as well as my life in general.
I hope to share my experience with those in the Ignatian Advocacy Groups, as well as with the Cortina Community. I also hope to bring this knowledge to the business school through encouraging strong, ethical business practices that address larger issues than just the American consumer. I believe that business is a hugely powerful force that when led by moral people, can enact hugely positive change, and I hope that through the knowledge I will gain, I can help people enact this change.


Gwen McElhattan – Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

Junior      Social Work, Justice & Peace Studies Minor
Washington, D.C.


Gwen will also be working with the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach in Washington D.C. She will be one of four summer interns this year. Gwen will research and advocate Environmental Justice: protecting the environment, including climate change adaptation funding, sustainable living, access to clean water, use of renewable energy, reduction of carbon emissions, and rejection of GMOs. Part of the internship this year is a one week experience at the Columban Border Mission in El Paso, TX.

Quotes from Gwen:
Especially this year since I started working at the CCSJ, I am inspired to work with and for justice. The CCSJ helped me fully realize what career path I truly wanted. With this, I knew that this summer I wanted to continue furthering myself in the professional field of service and justice by applying for an internship position. I know that working with an internship program in the summer will help me learn new professional skills, new insights, and further aid me by giving me the chance to experience justice work in a new realm. The CCSJ has taught me who I am, and while I am away from it I know that an internship will be the best possible plan for me to better myself through the (non-violent) fight against injustice.
I have faith in humanity and faith in the power of rightness. We are beings that should not be focused on hostility, racism, sexism, or judgments, unless we are focused on fixing them. I have lived my whole life brought up in a family and schooling that has taught me the importance of a spiritual life. My faith and my spirituality continue to push me as my want for a just and peaceful world. I am dedicated in the way that I know the answers to our problems are through those who work for service, justice, and peace. I am committed to spending the rest of my life doing this, and I truly believe that this internship is the next big step in my life.
Everything I learned from my internships would help me when I come back to Creighton. I would spread my knowledge through my work at the CCSJ and the trips I will go on.


Ed Nuñez Sophomore and Bridget Carter Junior will be attending the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s University Leaders Summit

Ed Nunez    BridgetCarter

If you are interested, please apply by January 2016 for the following summer. Those students selected by CCSJ staff will be eligible for CCSJ funding. A separate application and interview will be required for agency placement. For selected students up to $2,000 stipend with transportation to and from assignment covered.

These internships have their own specific applications which will have to be completed and sent to the respective organization following interviews and acceptance by the CCSJ. These internships receive a limited stipend and may require some personal costs or fundraising. Applying to more than one internship is permitted. Preference will be given to students able to serve on the CCSJ Ignatian Advocacy Team next year.

If you would like to apply for one of these internships, please contact Kelly Tadeo Orbik  

Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach:

Spend the summer learning how to advocate and organize for social change through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching in the Nation’s Capital. Each advocacy intern will follow a JPIC issue, learn how that issue affects the people and environment in countries where Columban missionaries serve, and how to respond! This is a unique opportunity to build a strong faith community of peers for reflection and action throughout the summer.

The internship is eight weeks. Our new office is right across from Catholic University and is within walking distance to communal housing for the interns at the Franciscan Mission Service house. Housing and a small stipend of $400/per month is provided as well as a travel stipend to off-site meetings and events. Students cover their own travel to D.C. Learn more and apply here.

Interfaith Worker Justice:

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) is a network of people of faith that calls upon religious values in order to educate, organize, and mobilize the religious community in the United States on issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits, and conditions for workers, and give voice to workers, especially workers in low-wage jobs.  As an intern, you’ll be placed at local unions, interfaith committees or workers’ centers across the country, where the responsibilities may include outreach to the religious community on labor issues to involve them in local and national campaigns, and organizing workers who want a voice in their jobs.  IWJ has affiliate networks in 17 cities throughout the US and requests can be made to IWJ in regards to placement.  You could choose to live at home if your near a worker center or be sent to another city.

To read about students’ past experiences with these summer internships, please go here.

Bread for the World:

Work in Omaha with the Bread for the World regional affiliate. This will include working with congregations on education, leadership formation and legislative visits.

Omaha Together One Community (OTOC):

Work in Omaha with the local IAF Affiliate working with congregational/broad-based community organizing. This summer the Community Action Teams that can use help and support include Mental Health, Medicaid Expansion, Immigration, and  Sustainability. Summer training in Omaha or California are possible. Students will work with OTOC leadership to use their skills in areas of training, accompaniment, and individual meetings. Office work and social media work is needed, but not the majority of this work. Reflection and check-in meetings with local leaders will help with reflection.