To end this year, I wanted to share with you the story of one of the thousands of students the Secular Student Alliance empowers every day with your support. Tori Rehr, one of our 2013 summer interns, volunteered to tell you the impact the SSA has had on her campus and her life.
My name is Tori Rehr and I had the pleasure of working at the Secular Student Alliance as a summer intern. When I’m not moonlighting as a newcomer to the secular movement, I’m a senior studying Psychology at Juniata College in Pennsylvania, which has been my home for the better part of four years. But only recently have I started to make my small campus a welcoming place for secular students.
My exposure to the SSA prior to my internship was minimal. I fully de-converted to atheism about two years ago and started searching for a community that could replace the one I’d lost in my church. There was no existing group on my campus and I felt entirely alone—until I stumbled across the SSA and was drawn to its mission of building secular student communities. I immediately joined up as free student member, and was so excited by the possibility of doing a summer internship! I applied to be the Resource Development summer intern in 2013 and was offered the job a few weeks later.
My previous jobs in resource development boiled down to persuading group leaders that cooperation was much more exciting than in-meeting shouting matches. However, the SSA gave me a more dynamic opportunity by building off an existing database of excellent resources to fill in and expand on areas where groups seemed to be faltering. I learned how to write basic code and present information in a way that would be appealing to worried students, all the while gaining valuable experience about working in a non-profit.