Helping My Community Through CIP

I am a mother of four adult children and grandmother of three beautiful little girls. Their future is the reason I applied to the 9to5 Community Internship Program (CIP). Throughout my entire life I have been seen as a friend who will do anything to help my fellow sisters live, love, and laugh. I often find this entails watching their children so they can work or engage in self-care. I believe that a boost of self-esteem or a good laugh is a valuable piece of shifting the dynamics of a day.

I met 9to5 organizer Shannan Reaze, and we discussed Ban the Box, and the work 9to5 was doing to empower women in the community. I feel very passionate about the Ban the Box issue and asked her if there was anything I could do to help. Shortly after, I found myself participating in different efforts to spread awareness about this campaign. I have canvassed in the community, made phone calls and even traveled to Washington D.C.

The Community Internship Program has taught me skills that I need in order to help my community. These skills include, but are not limited to, organizing, lobbying, effective communication when speaking to issues, and knowing my rights. These skills will help me advocate for my sisters in the community, but will also affect my future endeavors. I will always stand up for people, because I truly believe every human being has the right to life, love, laughter, and the pursuit of happiness.

Dee-Dee Lay
2015 Community Intern

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