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We are so lucky to have such great interns working for The Avery Center! Marissa, who has been volunteering her time and interning with us for almost a year wrote about her experience. We hope you enjoy:

Hi everyone! My name is Marissa Siemers and I’m a Senior Sociology and Criminal Justice student at the University of Northern Colorado. I have been an intern with The Avery Center since May of 2020 and it is truly one of the greatest opportunities I’ve ever had! I’ve been able to have hands-on experience with survivors and survivor support, and I’ve seen first-hand how the work that the co-founders, Megan and Angie, do benefits the community and beyond. I’ve been lucky enough to work both on the service side and the research side of The Avery Center, and being able to expand my skills/experience while also simultaneously serving my community is something that is invaluable to me. 

Earlier this summer, I helped Megan and the director of services, Danae, with a clothing drive, where we coordinated with a subdivision in Timnath, Colorado in which the residents left out gently used clothing, furniture, luggage, etc. We went through the neighborhood and picked it all up. These items were to help benefit The Avery Center in that some of the items were sold in the boutique at Sparrow’s Landing, sold as a part of a fundraiser, or given to survivors directly. It was incredibly rewarding to branch out from the research bubble I had been in since May and work with survivors and work with members from the community. The drive was very successful, and I look forward to working with The Avery Center on future endeavors. 

Recently, I was in charge of bringing a viewing of “Maggie”, a short film surrounding the conversation of sex trafficking written and directed by a Larimer County Sherriff’s Office Lieutenant/film-maker on the side, to University of Northern Colorado campus and seeing the participation from the community and the outpour of support really opened my eyes to how much people are willing to learn.  We hosted a discussion panel after the film with two members from the cast, Ben Hess (the writer), and Jess, a survivor and the service coordinator for The Avery Center, and hearing the questions from the audience was something that I will never forget, because it showed me that students and community members want to learn and they want to be informed. 

Working with The Avery Center has really provided invaluable knowledge and experience that I will forever utilize and be thankful for. I look forward to the rest of my internship and to expanding my skillset and my social and professional connections throughout the coming months.

More about Marissa:

Originally from Grand Junction, Colorado, Marissa Siemers, has lived in Greeley for almost five years. She has a double major in Criminal Justice and Sociology and will graduate this May! When she graduates, she hopes to work in victim services in the Northern Colorado area. She is an active member of  sorority on campus so when she is not working with The Avery Center or with her sorority, her favorite thing to do in her downtime is snuggle up with a good book or a good television show, She's recently been into the super spooky show on Netflix, “The Haunting of Bly Manor”.

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