Empowering Disadvantaged Young Women

Meet one of our Interns

Miki Aristorenas
My name is Miki Aristorenas, I’m originally from Medfield, Massachusetts and my family hails from the Philippines. I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in foreign affairs with a minor in economics. Following my undergraduate studies, I worked in low-income-at-risk schools in Washington DC. This blend of experience in education and international relations led me to pursue an Ed.M. in International Education Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

I chose to do an internship for OMID because of my interest in girls’ access to education. In 2011 while doing some work in rural South Africa I came across a school where girls missed one week of every month during the school year due to the lack of private restrooms with flushing toilets not accommodating for their menstruation periods. That experience combined with the courses I’m taking here at HGSE have sculpted a passion for the betterment of girls’ access to education especially in areas where sexual violence against school-aged students plays a significant role.

Because of the work OMID does for girls who have experienced trauma, I was drawn to the internship focused on Trauma-Informed Individual Education Programs (IEPs). It was an incredibly flexible internship with hours that were compatible with a heavy workload especially this first semester of graduate school. It was also an invaluable learning experience for me as someone who has researched more the why and the consequences of sexual violence on girls’ education instead of working with the intersection of how education can be altered or personalized to cater to girls who have experienced the trauma – trauma informed IEPs. Through the internship I constructed an adult reader-friendly newsletter on trauma informed IEPs as well as a complementing IEP template illustrating the role of the various educators and members of the community in engaging with youth who have recently endured traumatic experiences and optimizing their next steps moving forward.