Alexandra Robbins-Jackson ’18 says she has two passions in life: the law and advocating for children. But she was unsure how to make these interests work together until she walked into the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education looking for an internship.
“I had no idea where to start,” she says. “I told Brandi Ferrara, the director of the Salisbury Center, that I was interested in child advocacy and the law, and she recommended that I apply to CASA Rochester.”
CASA of Rochester/Monroe County, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that trains and supervises volunteers to advocate for children who have been abused or neglected. CASA volunteers visit homes, schools and other locations that impact the children’s lives to ensure that they are being cared for, educated and protected.
Impressed with her resume and cover letter, CASA staff created a new internship position for Robbins-Jackson, who shadowed the organization’s volunteers during the summer. “Not only did Alex do a great job for them, but she pioneered a new internship opportunity that we will hopefully be filling with another HWS student next summer,” says Ferrara.
As an intern, Robbins-Jackson witnessed the work of employees from Child Protective Services, the Department of Human Services, Catholic Family Services and a family court judge, in addition to going to court with CASA volunteers. The experience solidified her dual interests in law and children, she says, and gave her a keen appreciation for the work volunteers perform to effect positive change.
Robbins-Jackson plans to stay connected with CASA and become a fully-trained volunteer after she graduates. Her career goals include a gap year to gain more experience in the field, followed by law school.
“My dream job,” she says, “is one where I can be involved in making policy in the area of mental health or children’s lives.”