This fall Central Salvationist Stephanie Marinelli, 22, embarks on a year-long internship with The Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission (ISJC) in New York City. It’s an amazing opportunity to work closely with the small tight-knit international team which is “The Salvation Army’s strategic voice to advocate for human dignity and social justice with the world’s poor and oppressed. ”One or two positions are offered each year and are filled only if candidates are qualified and the right fit; they receive room and board and a stipend.
After graduating from Loyola University with a degree in International Business, Stephanie has been working in the fast-paced sales department of a global corporation in the aviation industry. While grateful to gain solid business experience and sharpen her skills, she hasn’t allowed herself to get too comfortable in her job. Instead, she’s been on the lookout for new opportunities that meld with her Christian calling to make the world a more just place. “When I saw the internship posted, I felt like that was my cue from God,” she said.
Growing up in a family deeply rooted in The Salvation Army, Stephanie has been blessed to travel and experience the world and has been encouraged to serve others from a young age. A plethora of Army experiences have informed her faith, most notably a summer mission trip to Haiti in 2016. The poverty, hunger and disease moved her and, though still in college, Stephanie found herself brainstorming how to create a business model that could help.
“I have become passionate about using my business mind for ethical purposes,” she explained. “I believe that we can further God’s Kingdom by contributing our talents for the greater good.”
In January her passion for social justice was honed as Stephanie renovated the Bacolod Corps and officers’ quarters in the Philippines as part of a territorial global mission team. During this time a simple but serendipitous conversation with a young woman caused her to reevaluate her personal spending. “What if I lived off what I needed and gave the rest to God?” she pondered, thinking more seriously about the Soldier’s Covenant to support her corps and the Army’s worldwide ministry with her finances as much as possible. She surmised, “Even to make little changes in our habits, it is possible to have a profound impact.”
This year while at the ISJC, whether conducting research to tackle a large issue or sampling the variety of food NYC has to offer, Stephanie expects God to take her faith—and mind—to a new level. It’s a huge opportunity and the next step in the right direction.