Facilitating tough conversations and educational movie screenings are right in Oriana Mayorga’s wheelhouse. As a second-year MDiv student, she works with Connect NYC to promote gender justice across all five boroughs of New York City. Mayorga is also a winner of Odyssey Impact’s fellowship, meaning her passions combined in her field education placement, despite COVID-19 and the insecurity of 2020. A focus on healing and justice, especially as it relates to intimate violence, is what matters to Mayorga as an emerging faith leader.
However, 2020 has had some impact on the internship field at large. For starters, the physical office of Mayorga’s internship was closed, for various reasons, meaning it has been all virtual and remote work this year.
“While being remote has made it slightly more difficult to create deep, meaningful relationships with my colleagues, I’ve been able to create that with my supervisor,” said Mayorga. Her supervisor also happens to be an alumna of Union Theological Seminary, so there’s also a shared understanding of how the field education process works.
With support from her supervisor, Mayorga helps with Connect NYC’s two main focuses: the training institute, and the Community Empowerment Program. The organization’s main goal is to “transform the culture of violence and to build the capacity of communities to respond to the complex needs of survivors and their families,” according to the Connect NYC website.
And when it comes to discerning which field education placement is the right one, Mayorga recommends reviewing your application essay because “there’s a grain of truth in it that you should follow,” she said. She felt confident she’d be able to find something she could see herself working on for a year.
She also recommends making sure you’d be able to connect with your supervisor, as they will be the person you spend the most time talking to and working with. Additionally, the field education class through Union provided more connection and support than she previously anticipated.
“There’s a camaraderie there that I didn’t expect,” she said, “and it’s worth taking seriously.”