Kendall Matsumoto

Maryland, USA


Kendall joined the VACorps Program between January and April 2024 where she participated in a double law internship placement at an NGO that specializes in land advocacy and an NGO advocating for refugee rights. Kendall holds a B.S. with Honors in Earth Systems and a B.A. in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University.  In 2024 she will matriculate at Harvard Law School as a JD candidate.

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VAC did a superb job of making me feel supported, safe, and taken care as I explored the beautiful Cape Town and all of its rich culture. Their staff were warm, responsive, and experts at making you feel at home while away from home.

During my first internship placement I worked primarily on a research deliverable for a land advocacy organization, that wedded international literatures and the South African context around farm worker evictions. I learned a ton about insecure land tenure and land dispossession issues across the world, and I am proud of the product.

During my second placement at a refugee advocacy center, I really enjoyed assisting on legal matters — and in particular getting to see South African courts in session. I developed greater confidence working on legal matters and materials, and affirmed my interest in going into the legal profession. I really appreciated my supervisors willingness to connect me with meaningful opportunities and get me involved in his work.

I was was so grateful for the internship placement, and my ability to contribute meaningfully to the organization’s work. I was involved in field work that made my time in Cape Town immensely enriching and eye-opening. VAC ensured that this placement was smooth and respectful.