Today is Antara’s last day as the Justice Projects Intern at IARS. Here is what Antara had to say about her time at IARS:

As a young person interested in progressive policy work, IARS presented obvious appeal to me. I have long held a passion for public and social policy, and hope to have a career in the field once I graduate. Finding a think tank that is unapologetically dedicated to equality and inclusivity proved difficult – IARS, however, stood out as an organisation that championed justice and community-led solutions to social issues.

At IARS I focused largely on current Justice projects, assisting with some Equalities programmes as well. I partook in the evaluation of the Epsilon project, offering a young person’s perspective on the training programmes that took place in the UK and around Europe. The Epsilon project does fantastic work and is committed to supporting LGBTQ+ migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. I thoroughly enjoyed contributing to this project: being asked to evaluate and comment on this work really put into perspective the role young people can have on policy.

Much of my work on Justice Projects revolved around restorative justice, a crucial component to IARS’ vision of a fairer society. IARS presented me with the chance to speak at the Annual Conference and deliver a presentation on the role of restorative justice in domestic violence cases. It is opportunities such as these that render IARS a unique place to intern or volunteer; interns are given real responsibilities and can engage with projects on a professional level. Not only does an internship at IARS involve young people in high-level policy discourse that we are ordinarily excluded from, but it also provides us with practical skills with which young people can build a career in policy research.

In just six weeks here, I have learnt so much, sharpened my research skills, and been exposed to some fascinating people and their incredible work. The IARS office is, in and of itself, a microcosm of the society it strives to establish: inclusive, welcoming, and supportive. Within just a few days, I felt like part of the IARS team. For students or young people seeking an internship where they can actually hold a stake, participate in projects, and widen their skillset, I would strongly recommend considering working with IARS International Institute. A massive thank you to everyone at the office for taking me in and making my experience here so wonderful – I will remember this internship for a long time to come.

We are truly grateful for Antara’s hard work and contributions at IARS, and we would like to wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours! Thank you Antara!