Jessica Strickland and Stefani Aleksandrova join the ranks of interns who infuse our nonprofit with energy and ideas before tackling global challenges.
They spearhead communications with News Decoder’s global community. They manage relations with student leaders at our partner schools. They track our work on a climate change project funded by the European Union. They pitch in where needed to make sure we live up to our aspirations.
They are our interns.
News Decoder’s current trainees, Jessica Strickland and Stefani Aleksandrova, join the ranks of young people who have helped propel our nonprofit forward over the past seven years before setting out to change the world.
They have gone on to write for international publications; work for a U.S. congressional committee; study at prestigious universities including Yale, Johns Hopkins and Georgetown; present their academic work at a conference at Harvard; become a full-stack developer and teach at a leading botanical garden.
While honing their own skills, News Decoder’s interns infuse our organization with the energy and ideas of the younger generation.
‘News Decoder is a unique NGO.’
What attracted Strickland, our Program and Communications intern, and Aleksandrova, who is managing our EU-funded climate change project, to News Decoder?
“What attracted me to this role is the opportunity to give students access to valuable life skills, influential people and hands-on experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Strickland, a Canadian national who is studying for a master’s degree in Global Communications at The American University of Paris (AUP).
“News Decoder is a unique NGO with a special mission and a global purpose that aims to narrow the great media literacy and journalistic skills gap in today’s world,” said Aleksandrova, a Bulgarian national studying for a master’s degree in International Governance and Diplomacy at Sciences Po Paris.
Strickland, who succeeded fellow AUP student Nicole DiSante, is responsible for News Decoder’s periodic newsletters to schools and followers, and manages relations with the Student Ambassadors from our 23 partner institutions in 17 countries. Our social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn — are in her hands.
Aleksandrova is holding down a new position as project manager for the “Writing’s on the Wall” project, funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ and carried out in association with the European School of Brussels II. You’ll be reading more about the project, which over the next year will help students combat climate change through journalism, activism and art.
Developing global citizenship skills in students
Looking ahead to her six months with News Decoder, Strickland said she wants to strengthen her international collaboration skills.
Aleksandrova said: “My goal is to absorb as much as possible from News Decoder’s experts on how to develop internationally-recognized global citizenship competencies in students and thus expand their global horizons, especially within the context of climate change.”
A recipient of academic awards for her undergraduate studies at the University of Bath, Aleksandrova spent a year investigating the practice of early marriage among the Bulgarian Thracian Kalajdzi Roma and the rights of Roma girls and women in Bulgaria. Her work led to a study that was published in the peer-reviewed journal TOR.
A lover of animals, Strickland has volunteered at an Elephant Orphanage in South Africa, where she helped develop enrichment activities for the pachyderms.
“Unlike wild elephants, they can’t migrate or move off the property, so it was a way to push their brains to think of solutions,” Strickland said. “One challenge was wrapping their favourite treats in leaves and hanging the bundles up high, and they’d have to work out how to get them down.”
(Nelson Graves is the founder of News Decoder.)