Welcome to SQA, Jacob. First of all, it is understandable that a low-wage intern would want to find a higher-wage job. It is certainly possible to make a decent living as a manual tester. You said you are looking for a new job but are having trouble getting calls back. When I graduated from college, I had no idea what was important in a resume. If you have any doubts about the quality of your resume, you might try asking someone you respect to review it for you. (If the way you wrote your question is indicative of how your wrote your resume, you might have trouble getting HR people to take you seriously.)
QA automation is the intersection of two skill sets: testing and programming. Testing can be boring at times, but to be good at QA automation, you need to be good at both skills. If you want to program but don't want to test, you may find that QA automation is not for you. (And if your real interest is to use QA automation as a stepping stone into development, read this.)
I think the best way to get started in automation is to automate your QA setup tasks. Almost any testing job involves setup tasks that are repetitive, time consuming, and/or error-prone. Writing some code to make those tasks faster and/or consistently correct will save you time, and may even save time for your co-workers. (For example, the automation might install software for you, or create test data, or configure files a certain way.) An advantage of this kind of automation is that its benefits are measurable. If you do something that is measurably beneficial, your manager will be more willing to let you spend more of your time that way. And measurable successes are great things to put on your resume.