October 26, 2015
More than 2,000 miles away from her hometown of Reading, Pa., Manouchka Paulemont is working in San Jose, Costa Rica, to help the victims of sex trafficking restart their lives.
A rising senior at Susquehanna, Paulemont applied to a summer internship through International Studies Abroad (ISA), an organization that provides students with quality global learning experiences. Upon her internship acceptance, ISA found Paulemont a work placement at Fundación Rahab, a nonprofit rehabilitation organization for individuals and families linked to the sex trade.
Fundación Rahab offers a comprehensive care program that includes a job training initiative.
"I love being able to talk with the victims of sex trafficking and be a part of them starting over and doing something positive with their lives that they never thought possible," says Paulemont.
At her job, Paulemont is putting the breadth of her liberal arts education to the test. She says that Susquehanna's central curriculum prepared her to tackle a multitude of tasks that are not always related to her major field of study.
"I just finished helping write a grant to the U.S. Embassy for one million dollars," she says. "I also help teach an English class and teach some of the women who have finished their vocational training about business. And I am helping them write a business plan to start their own company."
That work is good preparation for Paulemont's own postgraduate plans. As a global management major with a Spanish minor, she dreams of being able to start her own business internationally, focusing specifically on the Latin American region.
Paulemont advises other students to take a chance on internship possibilities. "Don't be afraid to accept a position that isn't directly related to your major because you never know what you may end up doing or who you will end up helping," she says.