Graduate Degree: Northeastern University
Undergraduate Degree:Boston College
Area of Interest:Criminal Justice Issues
Mentors:Renee Landers, Suffolk University Law School and James Barrett, Wrentham Police Department
Agency:Mayor's Office, City of Boston and Women's Commission
Supervisor:Megan Costello, Commissioner, City of Boston's Women's Commission
Project Description:Rebecca’s summer fellowship was at the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. The office promotes equal rights and opportunities for women and girls in the city of Boston. Specifically, Rebecca worked on projects involving sexual exploitation (i.e. sex trafficking and prostitution) in the city. Rebecca’s primary summer project was an examination of how the hotel industry in the city of Boston comes into contact with victims of sexual exploitation. The goal was to gain a better understanding of the scope of sexual exploitation in the city and develop a plan for training hotel employees to recognize and respond to sexual exploitation in their workplaces. This work included collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including staff from the Mayor’s office, the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit, and a local non-profit. In addition, Rebecca conducted focus groups with law enforcement, hotel security and management personnel, and survivors of sexual exploitation. The final project consisted of a report to Mayor Walsh with concrete recommendations for how the city can work to end sexual exploitation in Boston hotels.
This fellowship had a profound impact on me both professionally and personally. Although I have worked in state government in the past, this was my first experience in local government. I found that working for the city provided the opportunity to really see how changes in policy directly impact the citizens of Boston. In addition, having a placement that was dedicated to issues that impact women was inspiring and empowering. As my summer fellowship came to a conclusion, I realized that not only did I gain a network of colleagues in the city, but I also gained greater confidence in my ability to be a female leader in my field.