Elon University linebacker CJ Ford is spending his summer juggling football, a personal life and an internship. Each morning, he wakes up at 5 a.m. for practice before heading to Greensboro for his internship with the United States Marshal Service. On some days, he has practice again when the work day concludes.
“Traveling and the long hours would be the most difficult part, but it is really rewarding when I get to do my internship,” Ford said. “It's all worth it.”
The United States Marshal Service provides for the security, health and safety of government witnesses, and Ford is shadowing individuals currently working in the field.
“I was actually able to go on a warrant apprehension for an individual that was fleeing from our criminal justice system,” Ford said. “I went along as they apprehended that subject.”
Ford said experiences like these give him a first hand account of what happens in law enforcement at the federal level, a career path he hopes to pursue following graduation.
“For me personally, you have to be very motivated to do whatever internship you end up doing,” Ford said.
Similar to Ford, Evonna McGill is also completing a summer internship, where she said the skills learned are transferable from the workplace to the basketball court.
McGill will be the only fifth-year player on the Elon women’s basketball team for the 2022-23 season, and she said her summer internship is preparing her to be a mentor for younger teammates.
“Being in this position, I am in a mentorship and leadership role,” McGill said.
McGill, a psychology major, is spending her summer with Primary Care Solutions working with and aiding young women. The organization, located in Charlotte, provides a number of services to adolescents and adults, including staffing for group homes for young women and girls.
In this role, McGill ensures the women take their medicine and brings them to do leisure activities such as swimming or going to the movies. She said she has a great amount of empathy for these young women, a trait she can use on the court.
Following graduation, McGill said she hopes to work directly with student-athletes on their mental health, eventually opening her own athletic mental health care business.
“The placement allows me to give back to the community,” McGill said. “I am learning to be a mentor outside the system looking in. I have learned a number of interpersonal and social skills — how to be a good leader and mentor.”