A Summer at CHILD USA

Chen Wang, Master of Science in Social Policy & Data Analytics, 2024

I am a second-year student at SP2, studying social policy & data analytics, with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nottingham. This summer, I interned at CHILD USA in the social science department, an experience that has been really rewarding and memorable for me. This role aligned with my aspiration to become an analyst, allowing me to apply the skillsets and knowledge I gained from my coursework. 

CHILD USA is a fast-growing organization that strives to create a world where children are shielded from abuse, where survivors find justice, and where every child’s potential is nurtured. Throughout my internship, I have actively engaged in writing white papers on child sexual abuse (CSA) and preparing documents for clients including lawyers and international NGO leaders. This hands-on involvement enhanced my understanding and proficiency in legal reform, including the Statute of Limitations, the New York Child Victim Act; as well as various forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, sexual abuse/ trafficking.  

One of my initial tasks involved writing the literature on the economic cost of Child Sexual Abuse in different countries and summarizing each cost category. After earning approval from the managers, I took the initiative to self-learn Tableau for data visualization tools. Using Tableau, I created compelling visualization of the geological distribution and cost distribution in the U.S., surpassing the visual impression and readability of traditional EXCEL charts. 

One of my proudest accomplishments was gathering and meticulously analyzing survey data from victims in New York. Although this survey data was not suitable for academic studies such as multiple regression and machine learning. Thus, I leveraged Python Plotly to explore this dataset and provided descriptive plots using Python Plotly. Within one week, I grasped the package within one week and tailored the format to match our company’s style. I also preprocessed the datasets manually. Through extensive efforts, I optimized over 30 interactive plots, rendering the data more accessible and impactful. For the text data, I created a word cloud to highlight the feelings and experiences of child victims (removing personally identifying information). These visualizations not only painted a vivid picture of the victims’ experiences but also fortified our advocacy efforts by making the data accessible to a broader audience. It was a testament to the power of data visualization in conveying the urgency of our mission. 

Additionally, the office environment is really encouraging and inclusive. Despite being the only Asian team member, I was treated with the utmost professionalism. My manager attempted to align my career aspirations with the assignments he assigned. He granted me autonomy and creative freedom to complete a special topic study, akin to my coursework at UPenn. My office culture further enriched my experience through bi-weekly lunchtime learning sessions covering topics from legal, social science, and marketing and a memorable outing to a baseball game where I enjoyed the camaraderie and shared enthusiasm of fellow sports fans. 

My time as a Social Science Fellow at CHILD USA has been nothing short of transformative. I extend my gratitude to GAPSA for the summer funding that supported my experience in CHILD USA.  It has illuminated the pressing need for change, underscored the importance of robust research, and emphasized the power of advocacy. 

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 GAPSA Summer Internship Funding Program that is coordinated by Penn Career Services. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

By Career Services
Career Services