Meena Wilwerding

Major: Human Development and Family Studies
Minor/option/emphasis: Human Development and Family Studies
Company/Organization: ACCESS
Company/Organization website:
Destination: Ames, Iowa
Timeframe: Spring 2022
Advisor/Coordinator Email: hswebaid


At ACCESS, I serve as a Direct Victim Services Counselor/Advocate. In this position, I work directly with victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. I am also able to engage in interactions related to housing crisis'. My main responsibility is to answer the SA and DV Hotlines. When individuals call, I do intake of their information and am there to listen overall. I often provide these callers with our resources and talk to them if they want to. In general, my main responsibility in this internship is to be an advocate for these individuals, and provide them with the help they deserve.


My greatest accomplishment during my internship with ACCESS would have to be gaining more education and practice within this field of work. Before going into my position, I knew a fair amount about what I would be working with and the community of people I'd be serving, but I was able to learn so much more. I also gained practice with working directly with victims and other advocates. Overall, I believe this was my greatest accomplishment because now I feel a little more prepared to continue my education and career in this type of work.

Learning experience

One main lesson I learned from interning with ACCESS is to always ask for help when you need it. I find doing this difficult at times because I usually feel like a bother or inconvenience. However, learning trial and error is not always the best decision to make when you are in a work setting as fragile as the one I was in. I had to learn this the hard way but was able to take away that help is available for a reason, and it should be used when necessary.

What advice would you give?

My advice to future students doing my internship or major in general, would be to always have an open mind and be open to changes or challenges you may endure. This is important in order to find which area of work you feel is the best for you and that you could thrive in. Also, things happen and people change, so just be sure to expect some changes or failures even. Overall, find something you are genuinely interested in, or passionate about because it will make learning and working for your future goal a much better experience.

Career Connections