Friday, March 8, 2019

My name is Sophie, I am a freshman in high school and from February 25th to March 8th, I had the opportunity to intern at The Barker Adoption Foundation. I first heard about this organization through family friends who had adopted through the foundation, and later from a teacher of mine who has adopted once and is in waiting to adopt another child.  As I learned about the organization, I realized how prevalent of an impact Barker has had in the DMV with adoption. I did not know much about adoption as a whole and viewed this as an opportunity to learn more.  Since I began interning at The Barker Adoption Foundation, I learned a lot about myself and the company that I interned for. The Barker Adoption Foundation is a nonprofit organization with around 18 employees who are all women. The office is a very friendly, collaborative space filled with dedicated women. One example of this is how people work together in teams, depending on the work they do. This allows women around the office to be connected with each other and support Barker’s mission.

Throughout my internship, I shadowed and helped out many different people in different teams. I would summarize my experience as an intern as unique, interesting, and diverse. Unique, because 99% of the time, teens my age do not get the opportunity to work for an adoption foundation. Interesting, because I learned so much about a topic that I did not know about. Finally, diverse, because I worked on many things over the course of two weeks. The programs that employees work in are each different. However, they are similar in the sense that they all require balance. As an intern, I did a lot of work with tasks that were not the most important or fun, but they needed to get done for the company to function smoothly. The employees at my internship manage and balance their time in a way that allows them to set aside portions of time to work on tasks that may not always be on their radar. My host mentioned that once a week she reserves a block of time for filing. She works with the families on their paperwork and is dedicated to guiding them through the long process of home studies. Filing is an important part of that and is not difficult, however, it is labor and time intensive. A huge thing I learned is to pay attention to time management and be smart with delegating time to different tasks.

Interning with Barker was an experience that was extremely valuable because of the connections and experience that I gained. I could see myself working at a company like the Barker Adoption Foundation because of the way the company functions and the way that everyone works together. This ultimately leads to positive outcomes for the families who are adopting and the company as well.

Sophie Schweitzer
Barker Moments