Are you preparing to take the ultimate endeavor of interning? Internships are a guiding experience preparing students for the real world, giving he or she the skills, experience, practice, and above all else the insight into what you want to do with your life.
UTSA alumni student and sociology major, Rawan Arar has had an extraordinary journey to get to where she is today. Her incredible journey began here at UTSA and she has single-handedly shown that anything is possible and that the world is full of opportunities, you just need self-initiative.
Arar was in search of an exciting internship experience. She applied to the Archer Fellowship which offers students from all over UT campuses the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. to intern and take classes.
Students applying for the Archer Fellowship can travel free of charge to go to D.C. and take on any internship they desire. For arar, she had her sights set on law.
“Through the law we can create social justice,” Arar states.
Arar interned for the administrative assistant office of a Supreme Court Justice, working 40 hours per week doing everything that wasn’t case related.
Due to sensitive issues, Arar cannot comment on her experience working alongside the Supreme Court Justice, but she can divulge what she has gained from this internship experience and where it has ultimately taken her.
The Archer Fellowship is three things: an internship, a fellowship, and a scholarship. For this scholarship, Arar was required to take classes about public policy, social justice, human rights, and communications. Through the fellowship, Arar lived in a house with fellow UT interns in D.C.- all expenses paid.
Following her Archer Fellowship intern experience, working with a Supreme Court Justice, Arar applied for the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship through Rotary International, sponsored by the Alamo Heights Rotary Club.
“The Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship is a world peace scholarship,” Arar says. This scholarship pays for all flight and living expenses for students that qualify.
Through the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship one gets to choose where they want to go-anywhere in the world. Given this opportunity, Arar chose to move to Jordan in the Middle East to speak to refugees, do volunteer work, and to film a documentary on the Westernization of women in Jordan. She was interested in peace and international relations in the Middle East with the US.
With the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, Rawan will be moving back to Jordan as a good will ambassador doing volunteer work in refugee camps. Arar will be filming a second documentary there regarding refugee immigration, that of which Jordan has the most (immigrants) in the world.
“The Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship supports you so you have enough time and money to do community service and learn about the culture of where you want to go,” Arar says.
When she returns to Jordan, she will be talking to them about the United States, providing refugees with the knowledge of American culture and will come home to the US to talk to Americans about Jordan.
Arar’s interest in doing good will work in Jordan stemmed from her internship in D.C.. Talking about her experience interning, Arar said, “It was definitely inspirational. It’s an internationally integrated city [D.C.] I found out I wanted to get involved in international peace.”
From her internship, Arar benefited from working around so many people that were so accomplished and learned from them how to promote justice. The internship gave her a whole new outlook on life. She now has a dedication for promoting justice and human rights.
Much of her inspiration comes from Dr. Marian Aitches who works in the UTSA History Department. Aitches teaches American and women’s studies.
“Dr. Aitches taught me about civil rights movements, woman’s rights, and issues facing the US. She’s really amazing,” Arar states.
Arar’s ambitions grew with the insight Dr. Aitches gave her about justice in the world. Arar says, “I always had this feeling to make this world a better place and never knew I could do it for a career.”
Today Arar is going for her master’s degree in women’s gender studies and plans on going to law school. “I want to promote social justice,” Arar said.
Arar currently teaches at Round Rock High School once a week, teaching women’s rights, discrimination, and capitol punishment for a human rights class. She interacts with students by having them write out scripts about human rights and putting on performances.
Arar has come a long way from her days here at UTSA. She is living proof that dreams can come true.
From attending UTSA, Arar was inspired by her human rights professor and she went on to relocate to D.C. through the Archer Fellowship. In D.C., Arar, a sociology major, took on an internship in law and realized her true calling. From there she applied for the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, a world peace award, which took her to the refugee camps of Jordan where she filmed a documentary on women’s rights and volunteered to promote good will. Now she is going for her masters and preparing for law school after she makes her second trip to Jordan to film her next documentary.
Internships can open so many doors for students. The Archer Fellowship is a great program for those wanting to intern in D.C., which Arar describes as a culturally integrated city. Rotary International has different clubs located throughout the world. Students can apply for scholarships through their local chapter of the rotary club if they intend to promote world peace and it will take them anywhere in the world they wish to go.
Arar’s journey is a true account of what can happen if you apply yourself heartily. The sky is the limit!