A Postcard From: Manal Hussain ’20

Name: Manal Hussain
Class Year: 2020
Major: International Studies
Hometown: Flemington, N.J.

Internship Placement:  Nationalities Service Center (NSC)
Job Title: Family Strengthening Program (FSP) Intern
Location: Philadelphia


This summer I interned at the Nationalities Service Center in the Family Strengthening Program and Health Access Team under the Health and Wellness department. I applied for this internship through Bryn Mawr’s Summer of Service (SOS) Program (check it out, it’s a good deal!) after hearing about past SOS students’ experiences at NSC. NSC is a nonprofit organization which provides direct services to immigrant and refugees. The FSP program is a part of a Randomized Control Trial funded by the U.S Department of Health and Wellness Office of Family Assistance. NSC is collaborating with the U.S Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) for this program. FSP provides participants with case management and a series of workshops which teach skills in relationship enhancement, conflict and stress management, and financial management. A few of my tasks and projects included:

  • Case manage Spanish speaking clients
  • Assist clients in scheduling appointments, completing research surveys and needs assessments.
  • Create new and improved FSP referral forms, brochures, and workshop PowerPoints
  • Interpret Spanish
  • Escort clients to doctor’s appointments
  • Assist in completing client health forms

My Experience:

This summer has been unexpectedly insightful and rewarding, leading to one of the best experiences I have had. Besides working in center city, at NSC I found myself in the perfectly fast-paced environment surrounded by incredible people. From my supervisor to my fellow interns to my favorite clients, everyone pushed me to not only perform to the best of my abilities but also to become a better version of myself. Everyone at the organization is there for one purpose: to help and better the lives of immigrants and refugees. Immigrants and refugees are one of the most important populations in America and they deserve an equal chance to opportunity and to achieve self-sufficiency. Seeing and interacting with passionate coworkers and dedicated clients is what made me look forward to coming in every day.

 A Cool Event:

  • Helped volunteer at NSC’s World Refugee Day event at City Hall!

Main Takeaways:

  • For someone who tries to keep in touch with the world news specifically about refugee conflicts, I figured out pretty quickly that I know nothing. At NSC, I met clients who
    • are from countries I never even knew had an ongoing conflict,
    • spoke languages U.S interpretation and language lines don’t provide access to and
    •  belong to a growing community that exists in Philly.

Not only did I realize Philly is home to immigrants/refugees from all around the world not just from the few countries U.S media manages to mention but also that those who know this are usually the ones who are working to help them. It was a much-needed reality check.

  • Nonprofit work deserves more recognition and definitely a lot more money
  • Immigrant and refugee narratives are crucial in bettering global health and healthcare in America
  • My perspective of struggle and resilience have evolved.
  • I have rekindled a passion and motivation to pursue a career that serves humanity; what could honestly be more important?

Hussain intern group photo Internship office Hussain and Nationalities Service Center sign