THE BETSY CODDINGTON LEGACY PROJECT
Betsy Coddington was the Executive Director of Resolutions Northwest from 1994 through 2015. After dedicating over twenty years to the organization, she created a fund to support youth with internship opportunities at RNW. Youth have been her passion from the beginning.
“Our youth internships will give youth an opportunity to lead, learn new skills in a supportive work environment, and give back to their community. It will be a win-win-win for youth, for RNW, and for our community.” – Betsy Coddington
The best ideas are most often from those that are impacted, so to support youth leadership and innovation we offer resources to a youth driven project. It might be a youth organized event, documentary, or whatever else youth might come up with.
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE CO-TRAINER
Our Restorative justice training program is robust – serving teachers, administrators, and parents across Oregon and Washington. This summer we wanted to expand the perspectives offered in the training by adding the voice of those most impacted by school push-out and the school to prison pipeline: youth. The summer interns met with head trainers to plan the agenda for each training and share ideas and feedback during training debrief. They had the opportunity to sharpen their presentation and communication skills, plus gain valuable work culture experience.
Interns at RNW aren’t filing papers or making copies. Youth get experience developing ways to support fellow youth in the community. Many of our budding youth leaders are unable to access opportunities like internships because they have obligations to earn money to help with family and childcare. The ability to offer youth internship stipends greatly increases their access and entry into an opportunity that supports personal and professional development. Simultaneously, completion of the internships helps improve confidence in continuing to pursue job opportunities which can help them actualize their great potential.
RNW Goals for the Youth Internship:
- Expose youth to different possible career paths in the nonprofit sector and around restorative justice, conflict resolution, equity & inclusion, and facilitation.
- Provide opportunities for youth to build a resume in areas such as: project management, project completion, developing and facilitating a training agenda; facilitation, development of program and training materials.
- Support youth to develop basic job skills: showing up on time, filling out a timesheet, managing time and priorities, etc.
When asked how the internship will serve you in the future, one intern responded:
“This experience was honestly transformative for me. Not only was this a really great first office space/job experience for me but I adopted a way of looking at the world that I will probably always carry with me. I feel like I have a better understanding of how as humans we all impact each other so much, and how to make that impact as positive as possible. I can see myself using restorative practices in the future. Practices like circles and relationships building exercises, but also things like checking in with people I notice that look upset or really taking into account what’s going on in other people’s life before I judging them, etc.” – Youth Intern
Projects vary based on the intern’s skills and passions, and the needs of the organization. In 2017, our two youth interns worked on developing a Spring Youth Conference on Restorative Justice. The Youth Interns work collaboratively with a Planning Committee comprised of 2-3 RNW staff members, 2 youth interns, and other community partners. Some of the tasks include:
- Finding a date and location
- Securing a keynote speaker
- Creatively thinking of youth-centered ways to build the agenda for the day
- Marketing & Outreach plan and materials
In the past, projects have included:
- Writing curriculum for our school-based restorative justice circles
- Conducting a portion of our Restorative Justice in schools training for school staff, teachers and administrators
- Working with the Youth Action Committee to engage youth in creating change in their community
- Creating videos to capture youth voices around making things right in our community
- Creating training materials for youth and adult trainings
- Providing testimony and/or make presentations to city and county officials on what youth in Portland need or on the impact of restorative justice
- Writing articles for our quarterly newsletter or monthly updates
- Facilitating small group discussions
- Providing support at large group meetings and forums
- Gathering survey data on facilitation needs from neighborhood associations
- Participating in professional development training opportunities
Applications currently closed. Check back spring 2018!
- Skills in conflict resolution, facilitation, public speaking, written communication
- Meaningful mentor relationships with adults doing restorative justice, conflict resolution, facilitation & social and racial justice
- Understanding of the nonprofit world and types of jobs available
- Opportunity to build a resume
All youth ages 16-21 are eligible. Priority will be given to youth applicants who:
- Have been or currently are members of the Youth Action Team
- Demonstrate personal commitment to restorative practices and leadership
- Have short and/or long term goals that align with the Restorative Justice philosophy
Generally, June thru August, and potentially into October. Exact dates and schedule will be determined by the youth intern and mentor(s).
Interns will have a space at the RNW offices on NE 25th and Broadway. Depending on the scope of the project, the work may be carried out in our offices or in the community.