My Time as Minerva Intern, Grad Student, and New Mom—reflections from a Busy Fall

Rachel, who is visibly pregnant in this photo, stands in front of a calm lake, smiling.

By Rachel Yang—


We are so thankful for Rachel’s persistence and sharp reporter instincts that she brought to the Minerva team this fall. We aren’t sure how she managed to be a new mom, University of Oregon grad student, and Minerva intern, but we are glad she did. If you want to learn more about Rachel, check out the Q&A we did with her when she joined the team


2020 has ignited a surge of activism and, thankfully, my internship at Minerva Strategies allowed me to reconnect with my inner activist.


In Portland, Oregon, where I am based, demonstrations against racial inequity and police brutality have continued for months. I vividly recall watching the news to see what was going on as people took to the streets demanding change. Watching journalists in the field conducting interviews, my postpartum, hormone-disheveled self wondered if I made the right decision stepping away from the newsroom.


While journalists are committed to uncovering truth, the Minerva goddesses I worked with showed me that there are other ways we can use language to make a difference in the world.


During my time as an intern, I saw how people demonstrate solidarity shift, from physical to virtual and hybrid actions. I experienced this first-hand with our friends at the Ballard Food Bank and Evergreen Treatment Services.


Although the pandemic is affecting many nonprofit services, these wonderful Minerva clients continue to make sure people experiencing homelessness and financial insecurity are supported, including drive-through food banks, an outdoor vet clinic, pop-up tents to help people register to vote, and on-site medical care. Their actions have helped thousands.


As communicators, we too had to roll with the punches. In the past months, I learned new tools and adapted strategies to push for change. With our support, Minerva clients moved their events, fundraisers, and information sharing sessions online.


From learning about the impact of COVID-19 on oppressed communities to adjusting language and narratives to be more equitable, the past three months have been meaningful. Despite juggling work, grad school, and a newborn, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity. I worked alongside some of the strongest, most passionate women I know, who guided me and helped me build skills I can take with me to my next endeavor.


None of us know what the future will bring, and it can be difficult to express gratitude and joy in these moments, but I am grateful that Minerva underscored the importance of holding tightly to my values and raising my voice for what is right.


We couldn’t leave out baby Lucas, Rachel’s newborn, and sidekick for the duration of the internship!


About The Author

Minerva Strategies

Minerva Strategies

The Minerva team has decades of experience working with nonprofits, foundations, and values-driven companies. Minerva also partners with experts—trusted designers, web developers, global communications professionals, and others—who share our excitement for creating positive social change. Through these partnerships, we can build a team that is tailored to your needs. Learn more about who we are or what we do.