Social Impact Internships: Rudiba Laiba (’25)
Hi! I’m Rudiba, a sophomore majoring in Biology (course 7). This IAP, I interned with LAAL NYC. I learned how to analyze data, bookkeep, create surveys to measure impact and create impact and developed a curriculum.
LAAL NYC is a non profit that works with Bengali women in NYC. This resonates deeply with me as a Bengali woman who grew up in NYC and had a first hand experience in seeing the impact organizations like LAAL NYC can have. When my mom, a Bengali woman, immigrated to the US, she was able to learn English, learn how to drive, apply for citizenship etc through the support of non-profit organizations and the neighborhood Bengali community. LAAL NYC combines both of these to specialize in improving the living standards and to empower Bengali women. I loved how LAAL NYC collects data on what the Bengali women community want and need guidance and on. Based on that, they create classes, workshops, support groups etc.
They have classes to educate women on voting rights, labor rights etc- topics I remember my mom was very confused on. They also foster a community for healthy habits such as yoga, nutrition etc. I worked on creating surveys to see what topics the community would like more coverage on and it was very rewarding to use my childhood upbringing to be able to relate to the community on a personal level and understand the nuances and social stigmas that can cause lack of coverage of certain topics. I loved how they approached sex education and was able to specialize the courses to break myths in the bengali community.
I was also able to see the struggle of Bengali women to enter the workforce both due to personal impression of not having capabilities and due to not having the privilege or connections to do so. I was able to understand power and privilege deeply through the internship by reflecting my upbringing to the one of my mom through working with LAAL NYC. I was able to realize, despite my Mom being extremely competent, a language barrier can prevent her from accessing jobs as well as a cultural barrier where women are typically housewives. My proficiency in English, opportunities I got, encouragement I got from parents and lack of cultural stigma has helped me be where I am today. I haven’t ever really considered power and privilege that played into my success. I instead always thought I was lucky and generally grateful for all of my experience. This internship helped open me up to a new mindset and changed my perspective.