NEW YORK -- This summer I interned at the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation (SAH), a domestic violence education and prevention nonprofit, in New York City. Joe Torre is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, most known for his managerial career with the Yankees in the 1990s and 2000s, and is currently the Chief Baseball Officer for Major League Baseball.
Mr. Torre grew up in a violent household where his dad abused his mother, and he was very much affected by the reality of his upbringing far beyond his childhood years. In 2002, he and his wife Ali started Safe At Home to implement safe rooms in public schools around the country for children who are victims of violence in their homes, schools, and communities to give these students a safe space to go to for education, counseling, and coping.
I have been involved in various aspects of the Foundation's day-to-day operation as an intern. I maintained their social media presence, did extensive research on national domestic violence resources for SAH's Minor League Baseball Campaign, created reports and conducted analytics on data the Foundation has amassed from its counselors and staff. In addition, I designed sponsorship packages for annual events such as the 2017 SAH New York City Gala, worked with the SAH team to develop new designs and layouts for the SAH website re-launch and wrote content ranging from scripts for Mr. Torre to pieces to revamp the way we brand ourselves externally, and so much more.
I think the most unique and wonderful aspect of my job this summer was its utter lack of stagnancy. I had assignments from different people in the office on an almost daily basis. I found myself walking to Park Ave, getting credentialed, ascending in an elevator ride that unveiled Major League Baseball's headquarters before me, and then helping produce a shoot with Mr. Torre alongside a professional production team, in the room where the Major League Baseball owners' meetings take place and that was week one!
The most helpful and enlightening aspect of my summer stemmed from the fact that I was readily embraced and welcomed into a small, close-knit, and experienced team. I was afforded the opportunity to not just sit in on meetings with the likes of the Executive Director of the Foundation, Associate Executive Director, or Vice President of Development - I was granted a seat at the table right along with them. I was asked to share my opinions, suggestions, ideas, concerns, and then I would be asked to make those suggestions a reality, I would see my opinions implemented or taken into account. Being able to not only observe, but be an actor in such environments helped me gain tremendous insight into the presence one needs to maintain in the workplace and the importance of listening, being perceptive, being aware of what others are expecting from you. So this summer was a multifaceted experience for me in that way. I learned from the tasks themselves and I learned equally important skills from the environments in which I was asked to undergo those very tasks.
More broadly, Safe At Home has given me perspective into a way in which different communities intersect one another. As a rising senior at Williams, figuring out what lies ahead for me is often a difficult process to navigate. I have an absolute passion for sports and I always have and I imagine I always will. But I also care deeply about helping people, hopefully helping make a difference in a more profound way. Often I have wondered if generating that change or contributing towards making that true impact is possible from certain industries, especially ones that students are likely to enter straight from undergrad.
This summer has helped me come to believe that pursuing a personal passion and helping other people around me are not necessarily mutually exclusive concepts. No matter what industry or profession an individual enters, there is always opportunity within that field to make change, or to use exposure within that field to leverage helping others both within and outside of it. And seeing that concept come to fruition from within the professional sports world, a world that I am highly interested in, was especially inspiring.
|(L. to R): Ali Torre, Joe Torre
and Maddy Abrahams
I was also able to participate in the Foundation's annual Celebrity Golf and Tennis Classic at Sleepy Hollow (NY) Country Club in late July. At the event I helped with press coverage for the Foundation, I scripted and directed an interview between Joe and Ali Torre, and I was also given the opportunity to play in the tournament. The tournament field included notable figures such as Jorge Posada, Tony La Russa, Tino Martinez, Jimmy Leyland, Ari Fleischer, Willie Randolph, Rob Manfred, and many more. It was an incredible event that I was so fortunate to be a part of, and my group, an all-female fivesome, took home second place!
My internship ends today (August 11) and the rest of August is set aside for rest, spending time with my parents, and gearing up and preparing for my final year of being a collegiate golfer. Being a member of the Williams Women's Golf Team for four years has been a defining aspect of my life thus far.
Combining the already mentally taxing game of golf with the responsibility of being a good teammate, and now captain, while balancing Williams academics is a definite challenge. But it has also been an utter privilege in every sense. I have debatably learned just as much from being a member of the golf team as I have from being a student in the classroom. In the latter I learn about the outside world, in the former I learn about myself, and in conjunction, I come to gain a sense of understanding of who I am within a larger context.
Being on the golf team makes it easier to verbalize just why I love sports so much, because it is bigger than the game, it is about the connections that are made within that realm: the teammates that endure along with you, the professional athletes you feel so invested in, your friends who share your passion for the same team, the city that stands behind one franchise together. It reduces down to people feeling a part of something larger, feeling an inexplicable togetherness. That is what the golf team at Williams has provided me, a program in which I will be a part of far beyond my graduation date. While I have thoroughly enjoyed my summer in New York, I am very much looking forward to getting back on campus for one more year of unlimited Taconic golf, long Sawyer nights, and everything in between!
Maddy Abrahams hails from Los Angeles, Calif. Along with being a captain of the Eph women's golf team Abrahams will continue writing Eph men's ice hockey game stories for a third year.