EMMAUS is a Christ-centered organization that aims to see the end of commercial sexual exploitation for all people. Our mission is to support male survivors’ restorative journey out of the sex trade into lives of purpose and wholeness, prevent vulnerable males from entering the sex trade, and to equip organizations worldwide to work with male survivors. A 2016 Department of Justice study indicated that 36% of youth involved in the sex trade are male, yet resources dedicated to serving male-identified victims in the the anti-trafficking movement are scarce, representing <2% of organizations nationally. 

EMMAUS has co-developed innovative OUTREACH technology to find victims online, which year-to-date has identified over 147,000 potential victims of all genders in the U.S. The youth we engage on street outreach and on the dark web are able to journey out of exploitation at our trauma-informed SURVIVOR SUPPORT CENTER where they're able to build life skills, and receive counseling and support to achieve their goals. Lastly, our team and leads PREVENTION training to intercept vulnerable youth and the providers with which youth interact to help them identify and prevent exploitation. 


Chicago, IL

Internship #1 Description 

Software Engineering Intern (can be done remotely): EMMAUS is developing software to reach the 36-48% of sex trafficking victims who identify as male, and the 75% of whom are selling sex on the dark web. Our need is to accelerate python programming of the web-scrapers required to collect contact information for potential victims of sex trafficking off 10 target websites. 

This intern will use Python to continue building our web-crawlers, which allow us to contact potential victims who are likely to be sex-trafficked online. Currently, we're crawling 13 sites, and the intern will help us expand our crawlers to other sites. The anticipated benefit to EMMAUS is that we will be able to find more victims. 

Assignment Summary: The Freedom Signal Engineering Intern will join a software development team that is working on building out and improving web-scrapers, with a focus on finding male-identified victims of sex trafficking. Under the mentorship of EMMAUS, the intern will be responsible for writing, testing, and improving software for 1-2 websites on which male-identified individuals are sold. While elicit imagery is blocked from view, elicit language is used on many ads. 

Intern Benefit: 

  • Hands-on python programming experience 
  • Social impact of building innovative technology that allows outreach to potential victims online 
  • Interaction with EMMAUS's Community Outreach & Engagement team to gain feedback on how the crawlers are working, what can be improved, etc. 
  • Exposure to and mentorship from high-level, tenured programming professionals, executive leadership, and board members 

Internship #2 Description

Community Outreach & Engagement Intern (must be done in person): EMMAUS’s clientele over the past 30 years has predominately been male-identified individuals with a median age of 34, yet over 75% of our clients were first sex-trafficked between 11-15 years old. Our focus has shifted to finding and connecting with these young victims, and our need is to conduct market research on this target demographic and to pilot survivor-centric advertising and marketing campaign(s) focused on reaching them and increasing the number of survivors accessing help through our Survivor Support Center services. 

This intern will be tasked with identifying the types of messaging our target clientele will respond to in order to access our services. Through doing grassroots, on-the-ground market research, focus groups, and surveys, the intern will also have a unique opportunity to develop and deploy advertising and marketing campaign(s) with the goal of reaching potential victims throughout Chicago. The net benefit to EMMAUS is that we will better understand and communicate with our target market so that more survivors will come forward and receive help out of exploitation. 

Assignment Summary: The Community Outreach & Engagement team is focused entirely on finding victims all across Chicago – online and on the streets. The Outreach Marketing/Advertising Intern would join this team and work collaboratively with our Managing Director of Marketing & Partnerships and our Managing Director of Programs to (a) conduct market research through focus groups, surveys, and interviews with our target demographic, and to (b) launch/pilot advertising and marketing campaigns focused on reaching potential victims and offering them help via our Survivor Support Center. 

Intern Benefit: 

  • Hands-on data analysis skill-building 
  • Hands-on market research and engagement via various potential research strategies: interviews, focus groups, surveys, canvassing Chicago neighborhoods, etc. 
  • Gets to launch an advertising/marketing campaign 
  • Gets to create recommendations to EMMAUS Executive Team and Board of Directors 
  • Gets to interact with survivors of human trafficking 
  • Interaction with the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force on which 20+ anti-trafficking agencies sit and coordinate strategy. 
# of weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Public Transportation Housing  Format
10 Flexible  9:00am  5:00pm Yes No In person

Housing Information

EMMAUS is located in the Fulton Market neighborhood of Chicago, one block away from the Morgan "El" Green Line stop within 5 minutes of the Loop. This allows candidates to live anywhere in the City. The cost of a monthly CTA pass is $105 and EMMAUS will fund the entirety of the cost throughout the duration of the internship. We can also help coordinate housing if the candidate is unable to find good options. Generally, Craigslist is still one of the best ways to find short-term rentals.

Internship Qualifications

Software engineering intern:

  • Python programming experience, demonstrated experience writing/troubleshooting code 
  • Experience building web-crawlers is preferred but not necessary 
  • Strong problem-solving / analytical skills

Community & engagement intern:

  • Knowledge of market research strategies 
  • Demonstrated project management skills 
  • Excellent communication skills 
  • Background using Canva, Adobe, or other creative platforms is helpful 

Writing Sample Required


Special Requirements

  • Background Check
  • Drug Screening
  • Vaccinations (including Covid-19)