In this series, the Summer 2016 interns reflect upon their experience working with CIC.
As a Chicago Innocence Center intern, I have learned the incredible importance of detail. Over and over again I have seen how one small piece of information, which can been hidden anywhere from a tiny footnote of a court document to the subtleties of an interviewee’s body language, can completely change one’s perspective. Through my experience as an intern, I learned not to rush through any aspect of the work that we do, because even if we may not see it instantly, the truth surrounds in many ways. My time at the CIC has taught me that in the pursuit of justice (or anything of importance, for that matter), there is value in all forms of information, including the most minor details.
Of the countless professional and interpersonal skills that I learned from my time at the CIC, the most important thing that I discovered as an intern/investigative journalist is the importance of empathy. At the CIC, empathy is expected in all interactions. Soon after I joined the team, I learned that in order to truly connect with someone, either as a journalist or simply as a person, you must be able to understand what that individual is feeling. Practicing empathy both in professional and interpersonal capacities at the CIC has taught that there is truly no substitute for compassion. In the pursuit of justice, the relationship between empathy and truth must ever be discounted.
I would like to thank my all of my wonderful fellow interns, Pamela Cytrynbaum, David Protess and all of the extraordinarily brave exonerees who I have met. You all inspire me over and over again each day and remind me that justice is always worth fighting for.