Safety First Intern

Communications · New York, New York
Department Communications
Employment Type Intern
Minimum Experience Experienced

Title: Communications Intern

Type: Internship

Supervisor: Sasha Simon

Location: New York City – 33rd Street Office

Term: Winter 2020 {February through March, April & May}

Last Day to Apply: Post until filled


About DPA

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the leading organization in the U.S. promoting alternatives to the war on drugs. We envision a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health, and human rights; in which people are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies; and in which the fears, prejudices, and punitive prohibitions of today are no more. 

DPA has more than 50 staff in New York, California, New Mexico, and Washington, DC; an annual operating budget of approximately $12 million, 25,000 dues-paying members and more than 300,000 online subscribers.  It has a solid track record of success at the local, state, and federal levels and consistent visibility in prominent media and policy circles. For more information, please visit our website at

Position Objective

This is a temporary, part-time internship to assist in all programming, communications and research activities related to the Safety First: Real Drug Education for Teens curriculum developed by the Drug Policy Alliance. The Safety First curriculum has been demonstrated to increase high school students’ harm reduction knowledge and behaviors.

 The Safety First Intern will play a pivotal role in supporting the success and sustainability of Safety First: Real Drug Education for Teens since its public release in October 2019.


  • Under the supervision of the Safety First Program Manager, the Safety First Intern will:
  • Develop a landscape of local and national annual drug-related, health-related and youth-related events for Safety First communications and media strategies and provide recommendations
  • Assist with ongoing media outreach around Safety First, including drafting timely pitches and op-eds
  • Collect information from Safety First curriculum users to help improve their experience and DPA’s impact on the field of drug education
  • Coordinate one event for local NYC 6-12th grade educators to learn more about Safety First
  • Brainstorm novel strategies to expand DPA’s parent engagement strategy, including the promotion and distribution of DPA’s Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs booklet for parents
  • Brainstorm creative ways to shift public perception of harm reduction-based drug education and related drug policy issues by assisting in the development of multimedia content to support the curriculum (e.g. videos, podcasts and infographics)
  • Brainstorm creative ways to introduce and educate the Santa Fe Public Schools community about the benefits of a harm reduction approach to drug education

 Mandatory Qualifications

  • Must be currently enrolled in an accredited academic program with a concentration in the behavioral sciences, education, community health, adolescent health, education policy, drug policy, criminal justice and eligible to receive credit for the internship.
  • Preferred Qualifications:
  • In graduate school -- Masters or PhD across the social sciences
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Experience working with teens and young people; experience working on youth development, community development, and community education initiatives
  • Experience and interest in education, curriculum development, health education, adolescent health, public health, drug policy, drug research, criminal justice, youth development and/or harm reduction
  • Experience and interest in media communications, including podcasts, social media, infographics, etc.
  • Bilingual in Spanish a plus
  • Certified in human subjects protection or willing to complete certification training

 Time Commitment

20 hours per week starting in the first week of February through March, April, and May.


The internship is unpaid; local commuter benefits may be available.


Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled.

Application Process

Please submit your application with a cover letter, resume contact information for at least two professional references.

No phone calls, please. We will only contact candidates who are under consideration.

The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship status, sex, age, marital status, disability, personal appearance, family responsibility, political affiliation, or any other status protected by applicable law. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring people who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.


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  • Location
    New York, New York
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