Intern Harper Matthews

My name is Harper Matthews and I am a senior at Pepperdine University studying psychology and ethnic studies.

I began interning with Step Up in October 2011, after volunteering with the organization at the 3rd annual College Connections Conference at Pepperdine. Never having heard about Step Up before this event, I was taken aback by how awesome the organization is and everything it is doing for teen girls and professional women. I knew I had to get involved!

Two weeks later I started interning for Alissa, Step Up’s national marketing and communications director. My time here at Step Up has been wonderful. I would have never thought that I would have the opportunity to attend luxurious events, like “Stepping Up in the City” or meet amazing Step Up members such as Tatyana Ali or Stacy Arnell. I never imagined writing press releases for newspapers on the east coast, or working in an environment where my love for twitter, Facebook, and blogging could be put to good use.

As an intern, I have been able to use so many facets of my college experience here in the office. Late nights writing endless research papers have made researching bloggers on women’s issues or local newspapers painless. Hours of talking at sorority recruitment events, during my time as a Gamma Phi Beta, makes striking up conversations with guests while running the media center at events effortless. Even learning the ins-and-outs of the office environment while working for Pepperdine’s Admission Office, has aided in my ability to navigate a computer system that is being shared by the Step Up team in all three states.  Needless to say, being an over-committed, under-rested college student totally pays off when you find the internship of your dreams.


My favorite part of being a Step Up intern has been my work on Step Up’s ‘1000 Girls by 2013’ campaign. SUWN is hoping to welcome 1000 fabulous women to the Luminary Circle of membership by 2013. By accomplishing this, Step Up will be able to serve 1000 teen girls in the Step Up teen program. My first assignment as a SUWN intern was the job of introducing the world to the heart of Step Up, our teens. I have read stories of sorrow, hope, and success written by Step Up teens from Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, all of which have made me even more proud of giving my time and support to organization that builds confident, college bound, and career ready skills in these exceptional young women.

After reading these stories, I get the opportunity to introduce them to you, the Step Up supporters. We have a teen of the week that is published to the Step Up website and a Facebook page dedicated to the 1000 Campaign. I handle the Facebook page, and every two weeks, I introduce three new Step Up teens. Readers can hear from our teens about changes they want to see in their communities, qualities they cherish in others, individuals they admire, and challenges they have overcome. This page also allows readers to meet outstanding Luminary Circle members, stay up to date with the progress we are making in reaching our goal, and an opportunity to connect with us throughout poll question.  Check it out!

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