Meet the Intern: Sara Kernan
Here at Dressember, we love to highlight our interns! Our intern network spans across the United States and their collaborative hard work behind the scenes makes the dream work.
Where are you from and what is your favorite thing about your hometown?
I am from Kodiak, Alaska and I am a proud Alaskan no matter where I may live! Growing up in Alaska taught me so much about community, hard work, and having a sense of adventure. There’s also something magical about ocean breeze and fresh mountain air. My favorite things about my town would be the abundance of good coffee shops (we have a ridiculous coffee shop to people ratio), easily accessible trails, and seeing a familiar face wherever you go.
Cool, so what do you do at Dressember?
I am one of the editorial interns. I am over the moon being able to work with the campaign through writing, a huge passion of mine!
How did you come to hear about Dressember?
The first time I heard about Dressember was during my freshman year of college at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. One of the girls on my floor and I were both studying with hopes of working to be advocates for victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking after college. My friend introduced me to the project and challenged me to join her. Knowing I’d be home in Alaska for most of the month I was a little unnerved, but took the plunge, and here we are now!
We're so glad you did! So here's what we want to know: You have unlimited money and 24 hours to spend it, where do you go?
If given 24 hours with an unlimited amount of money, I’d make a mad dash to the nearest airport and buy whatever standby plane ticket to whatever destination sounded good in that moment. That sort of spontaneous purchase is on my bucket list!
How fun. Now we want to know, have you had any spontaneous or crazy adventures in a dress?
I think the craziest thing I have done in a dress was sunrise photos on a mountain and going on a carnival ride in my wedding dress! I married my love a little over a year ago and we did 3 a.m. sunrise photos on a mountain with me in my big white dress and three inch heels. After the ceremony, we spontaneously decided to visit the annual carnival that was in town and so, in our wedding best we went on a carnival ride with our bridal party in tow. The craziest thing I look forward to doing in a dress this Dressember season however is wood cutting!
Climbing a mountain in 3 inch heels sounds pretty impressive. What's been your latest adventure?
My latest adventure was my trip to Idaho to visit my friend who was getting married. I had a full week to help her get last minute details together and to explore her little town a bit. Her family has a ministry that is all things outdoors and we had the opportunity to go rafting one day! We went down some pretty incredible rapids and I’m pretty sure I had a smile plastered to my face the whole time.
Sounds like you've lived quite an adventurous life. Can you tell us about a women who has inspired you?
Not to sound cliché, but my mom is probably one of the strongest people I have ever met. She has a passion for teaching and works to combine technology to help students that otherwise wouldn’t graduate or live in remote parts of Alaska. Her dedication to her family, her work, her friends, and her faith is a type of energy I aspire to have in all things I am in. Growing up, she always said the phrase, “You can do hard things, Sara.” This has stuck with me through many trials and I hope to pass it on to my kids some day.
How did you first find out about Trafficking?
I became aware about human trafficking and sex trafficking during my time serving in Key Club. Key Club is an international volunteer organization for high school students sponsored by Kiwanis Club. I was serving as the District Editor for the Pacific Northwest and attending a conference. We got lunch with this couple that was involved in Kiwanis as well. They started sharing about the work they do enabling people to anonymously report suspicious activity that could lead to rescues. All I could think about was the age of my sister, twelve years young, and how many girls that are trafficked by that age. And the reality is, those children are somebody’s child, daughter, son, sister, brother, you name it! As they talked, something in my heart just knew that I would dedicate my life to advocacy and contributing to positive change in some way. I am finishing my degree in Ministry Leadership with an emphasis on women and I am hoping to start working full time in an area of this field of social work in the near future!
Thanks for sharing with us. We have to ask -- what Dressember dress is your favorite this year?
You will probably see me sporting the Sierra in pumpkin spice! My favorite color is orange and while I don’t normally wear that color, this pumpkin spice is the perfect amount of warmth in color without being overbearing. I can already see the scarf I will pair with it! And also, can we talk about the pockets? This is one happy Dressember intern.
We're big fans of pockets here at Dressember. Being from Alaska, what kind of tips might you have for our Northerners who are expecting a chilly December?
The word that comes to mind when I think of my Dressember is cold. My Dressember experience has been in Chicago, Alaska, and then a very cold office space in California. There are many days where I felt uncomfortable and as an Alaska girl, fashion is not my best skill. But take courage if the cold or the concept of a dress day after day intimidates you because I feel that this makes your form of advocacy even more noticeable. People know I don’t often wear dresses every day and when they comment on that, I get to share with them the amazing work of Dressember and the realities of trafficking. People notice when you’re wearing a dress in sub-zero and that’s the foot in the door to sharing about this work!
"Take courage if the cold or the concept of a dress day after day intimidates you because I feel that this makes your form of advocacy even more noticeable."
That's great advice! Is there anything in life that really excites you right now?
The biggest thing on my mind right now is my senior year and I am proud to say that I am graduating debt free! I have monthly payments to my school that are pretty steep, but the satisfaction of knowing I won’t be strapped down by any college debt is a huge blessing to me. Between the help of my family and my husband and I working, graduating in May will not only be a huge accomplishment I had personally, but will be a financial relief! Now just to survive until graduation…
Thanks to Sara for sharing her Dressember advice with us, and for using her writing skills to contribute to the Dressember blog. Registration is now open for the 2017 campaign. It's not too early to form your team and start fundraising! In fact, we've already raised over $1500 to fund life saving rescue and rehabilitation for trafficked victims!
About the Author
Sara Kernan is a proud Alaskan that now calls Southern California home (while trying not to melt in the summer). She is finishing her undergrad program this year and looks forward to this opportunity with Dressember to be an advocate of social justice on a different level. Sara can usually be found either drinking coffee or finding a new hiking trail with her husband and going on new adventures.