Marisa Adam ’07
“Sometimes what seems like the end is only a new beginning.”
“In a few weeks, Call Me Intern will premiere in New York City at the Workers Unite Film Festival. Nine years ago, if you told me I’d be a main subject of a documentary on intern labor rights, I wouldn’t have believed you. In hindsight, looking back on my years at KPS, I couldn’t see it any other way.
“Unpaid interns have no protection under federal laws nor under most state and local laws from discrimination based on sex, race, religion, and other protected statuses. After circumstances I encountered during an internship at a reelection campaign headquarters, I felt I couldn’t pursue a career in politics as I’d intended, but my experience there inspired me to activism and changed the path of my life. Upon reflection, I know those events were really a new beginning to a different life and mindset.
“Call Me Intern addresses serious problems, among them human and civil rights. Although an internship can be a great way to learn about a career, there are potential ethical and other conflicts when the position is unpaid. I’m using my story to fight for intern labor rights in conjunction with human and civil rights. Nine years ago, I didn’t foresee the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, and now I understand that my story reflects the social and political climate of our country. And KPS gave me the tools to share it.
“At KPS, the encouragement I received from my teachers, the Diversity Council, the Black Cultural Association, and schoolmates instilled in me the courage to speak up for equality. And my English and history teachers made me realize that putting your demands to the world in writing is another strategy to stand up for what you believe in. The principles I learned at KPS are guiding me to continue to tell my story and to achieve my goals as an entrepreneur in the fields of arts and environmental protection.
“There are numerous channels to make an impact on the lives of others. Not being afraid to tell your story is one of them. Now I’m following another course to influence people and the world around me.”