Meet the Intern: James Murphy

I am currently a junior at Ithaca College in the United States of America. I major in journalism with a minor in music. I am here in London as part of a study abroad program offered by my school, where students from Ithaca College can study at the “London Center” in South Kensington for a semester. Students take between four and six classes, all of which not only serve to educate, but also to experience the city of London.

In my time as an intern here at the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, I’ve gotten the opportunity to work at the Wednesday youth club sessions at the Moorlands Community Centre and the Friday football sessions at the Ferndale Community Sports Centre. I’ve also gotten to travel to the office in Manchester several times, where I’ve had the privilege of experiencing greater England.

My work has included write ups of events, mostly the #GoGirl mental health workshops in Manchester. Through them, I’ve been able to incorporate the journalistic skills I’ve learned back in the states and apply them to my work here. I’ve also been able to do this through the various case studies on participants by gathering visual content and asking questions. I have also made various contributions to the foundation’s Twitter and Instagram pages wether it be covering the Friday football session or summarizing a workshop. However, this internship has also encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone through various proposals in order to help RFF reach its goals.

Over these past several months, I’ve learned the importance of youth development. No matter where you’re from or what you do, it’s important for young people to be given the opportunities to help figure out their goals and be given the tools to help reach those goals. I’ve also learned the importance of tackling mental health. As someone who has seen people close to him struggle with this, I understand the importance of understanding the subject and knowing how to talk about it in a way that helps everyone. Most of all, I’ve learned a lot about the culture in England and the UK. Whether it be picking up slang or learning new customs, it’s exposed me to new horizons and expanded my mindset in a way that’s hard to put into words.

I’d like to thank Rhiannon Watts along with all those at the Rio Ferdinand Foundation that have made my time here in the UK something memorable.