Criminal Justice Studies internship highlight: Jessica Levy

Jessica Levy, a criminal justice studies minor, worked to prevent sexual assault and violence against women with Empower the Girls.

Many criminal justice studies students opt to pursue internships that provide exposure to professions in the field, including careers in law enforcement, the legal system, crime data analysis, clinical settings and more. This feature highlights the internships of criminal justice studies minors.

Criminal Justice Studies minor Jessica Levy worked at Empower the Girls, a self-defense company dedicated to eradicating violence against women. Her internship was advised by Rena Zito, assistant professor in sociology.

About her experience, Levy says:

“This past summer I worked at Empower the Girls, a self-defense company dedicated to preventing sexual assault and violence against young women.  Empower the Girls provides resources in addition to classes, programs and information sessions to create awareness, empower a strong fighting spirit in young women, teach self-defense skills, and create a safety plan in the case of unavoidable situations.

“Working for Empower the Girls has really inspired me to further take measures to protect myself and to protect other young women. Throughout my experience at my internship I have learned valuable skills from Ellen Van Olden, the founder of Empower the Girls.

Not only does my internship relate to my Elon criminal justice studies classes, but has helped me further understand the concepts, ideas, and criminal justice itself. The motto of empower the girls is ‘Be educated, be prepared, and be empowered,’ a motto I believe I now embody.  This internship has further motivated me further to pursue a career with the FBI in the near future!.”

Are you a criminal justice studies minor hoping to pursue an internship in a related field? Contact Debby Wall, director of internships at or (336) 278-6538.

Are you a criminal justice studies minor who would like to have your recent or ongoing criminal justice studies-related internship highlighted in this feature? Contact Rena Zito, coordinator of the Criminal Justice Studies program, at