Meet the 2019-2020 UTO Intern: Isabelle Watkins

The UTO Board gratefully and joyfully welcomes Isabelle Watkins as the fourth UTO intern. We have learned from each of the young women who have joined us as interns, and we anticipate the exchange of learning and mentoring with Isabelle. Sherri Dietrich, UTO Board president, shared: “She will bring the energy and enthusiasm of youth to the Board and to her work with Jasmine Road, along with her knowledge of psychology from her college studies, and help us to approach our work from a broader perspective. It has been a joy and a privilege for UTO to work with our interns, to share our knowledge and perspectives with them, and to watch them grow further into young adulthood. We are truly excited about getting to know Isabelle and working together to spread gratitude throughout the world.”

Isabelle is a recent graduate of Furman University and spent last summer interning with Jasmine Road, our host site for this coming year. Isabelle, who is from Shreveport, Louisiana, will join the UTO Board and staff in New Orleans for Raising Grateful Voices before officially beginning her internship on July 1 at Jasmine Road, which is a UTO Grant site and a Thistle Farms affiliate located in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. Beth Messick, Jasmine Road’s executive director, said: “We are beyond thrilled to have Isabelle Watkins as our UTO intern this upcoming year. She has already proven to be a valuable member of the Jasmine Road family, and our residents love spending time with her! She will be a great addition to our Jasmine Road team, and we are so grateful to UTO for making this possible for us. Our partnership with UTO allows us to have much-needed program support, as we are working to expand our reach and to help more women who are in such dire need of services. We are so thankful for this support!”

Isabelle will spend some of her time supporting the work of UTO over the next year while doing intentional discernment and mentoring. Isabelle shared, “I am incredibly excited to work with UTO because I can already tell that it is a community full of support, love, encouragement, and gratitude. I am looking forward to being part of an organization that has such a positive impact on communities around the entire world, and I cannot wait to be part of such a dynamic team. From a young age, I have always been dedicated to finding justice and giving love to every human, especially in terms of slavery and trafficking. I am passionate about Jasmine Road’s mission and model and hope to serve Jasmine Road in a way that will bring love and healing to victims of human trafficking.”

Isabelle is deeply interested in built environments and is hoping to spend some of her time this year exploring what that might mean for her. We’ve told her that many of you have benefited from a UTO Grant site to either build or rebuild your space to function better, so we hope you’ll reach out and invite her to come visit and learn about the work you are doing. Isabelle will participate in the UTO Pilgrimage to Spain, attend UTO meetings and events, complete the Thistle Farms training, and offer support to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women team. Isabelle studied abroad in South Africa and loves learning (especially history), card games, and perhaps most important for all UTO interns, coffee. Welcome to the team Isabelle, we are grateful for you!