Intern Spotlight: Irene Thornton

The Moton Museum is excited to welcome Irene Thornton as our Education & Outreach intern for the fall 2020 semester. Irene is local to Farmville having graduated from Fuqua School in 2019 and is actively involved with such activities as 4-H. Irene is a student at Christopher Newport University majoring in Political Science with a double minor in Spanish and Leadership Studies. Irene has a deep interest in wanting to learn more about the work of nonprofit organizations and helping to promote dialogue regarding Prince Edward County’s civil rights history. She has previously interned for Ashley Sterling PLLC and various political campaigns across the Commonwealth.

  1. Where do you attend school, what’s your major?
    I attend Christopher Newport University. I am majoring in political science with a double minor in Spanish and leadership studies.
  2. How did you first come to learn about the Moton Story? 
    I first learned about the Moton story in fifth grade at Prince Edward County Middle school. Some women who had been directly affected kindly shared their story with us and how it dramatically shaped the rest of their lives even through the present day.
  3. What interested you in working with the Moton Museum? 
    I was interested in working with the Moton Museum because I saw it as a chance to connect with one of the fundamental histories of my hometown on a deeper level and help younger generations make the same connection and find our own appreciations for the sacrifices made.
  4. What has the first week on the job been like thus far?
    My first week on the job has been very exciting so far. I’ve spent a lot of time learning more about the life of Barbra Johns and other aspects of the Moton Story. With a few different tasks lined up, I always have something interesting to focus on.
  5. Of the projects you have been assigned thus far, anything that stands out as exciting?
    An exciting task so far has been translating the museum brochure into Spanish — it has allowed me to utilize one of my areas of study, and it’s exciting to know that the Moton story will soon be more accessible to those in our community who speak a different language.
  6. What are your future and how do you hope Moton will impact that work? 
    After college, I hope to attend law school to specialize in discrimination and employment law and work for the American Civil Liberties Union or another non-profit to help those who have been negatively affected by discrimination to achieve justice and equality. I hope that my work with Moton will give me a better understanding of what it’s like to undergo such burdens and fight such battles so that I can use my privilege to better serve those still fighting and pushing for equality.

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