Youth Interns stand with Patricia Oliver, co-founder of Change The Ref. Oliver's son was killed in the Parkland, Florida school shooting in 2018.

Our 2023 Summer Youth Internship was a fast, but inspiring eight weeks. 

These interns showed creativity, drive, passion, and a deep understanding of the toll gun violence takes on our communities and families. Here are just a few of the things they did in such a short amount of time:

  • Learned about the legislative process, root causes of gun violence, grassroots advocacy strategies, and policy-based solutions that prevent gun violence
  • Protested politicians’ lack of action against gun violence
  • Participated in two gun violence prevention rallies, with interns serving as featured speakers
  • Designed gun violence prevention posters for rallies and protests
  • Recruited advocates and educated people about gun violence at various events around Milwaukee
  • Met with leaders from local governments and nonprofit organizations to discuss grassroots strategies for change and collaborate on projects
  • Created a “Rocks Make Waves” social media campaign using the hashtag #WaveEdFund (Watch their video, where they explain how it works!)
  • Began discussions leading to WAVE Educational Fund’s new Youth Advisory Council, a year-round opportunity for teens to help lead our work to reduce gun violence.
Rocks Make WAVEs Project

Once again, our interns collaborated with a variety of other organizations in their work. We deeply appreciate the time and expertise of all these partners who helped make the internship both meaningful and successful.

For More information about our youth programs, Contact Darrell Lofton at

See highlights from other years here