For the past five months, I have been working as an intern for Nonprofits First. Nonprofits First’s mission to “strengthen the nonprofit sector by maximizing their capacity to deliver services through accreditation, leadership development, education, and management support services.” Prior to this internship, I did not have real work experience working in an office setting. Sure, I had internships but I never worked for a nonprofit in an administrative role. I am a recent graduate from Connecticut College and I majored in Government. Before this internship, I went to Israel to teach English for five months in Be’er Sheva, a city south of Jerusalem. I learned how to branch out my comfort zone and I connected with many Israelis who are still my good friends today. I also became a role model for many Israeli children and helped them believe in their ability to learn a foreign language. When I returned, I was searching for a job that would help me in my transition to graduate school. I will be studying Public Administration with international management focus. I believed that after my interview at Nonprofits First, that this job would teach me the inner workings of a nonprofit. Through several projects, I found out that this was true.
One of my favorite projects that I worked on was Great Give. Even though this was a 24 hour event, a lot of planning went into making it a success. Great Give is a day for local charities to raise money for their causes through online giving. This year, 400 charities signed up and I helped to vet every single one of them. I was given the task of data entry and making sure each charity had the correct EIN, charity registration number and Florida Department of Agriculture certificate to solicit funds. This required a lot of detective work as well as a lot of commitment and concentration in order to make sure that all these organizations could participate in this big day. In addition, this event could not have happened without United Way of Palm Beach County, United Way of Martin County, and Achieve. Together, we raised over two million dollars for local charities in Palm Beach County. Nonprofits First and United Way provided education and training on how to have a successful fundraising campaign while Achieve created the website and handled all the technology. This day wouldn’t not have been success without the use of teamwork to pull this great event together.
For this event, I was given the responsibility to interview different charities and ask why they decided to participate in the Great Give. This task allowed me to branch out my comfort zone and put on a hat of a reporter. One nonprofit that caught my eye was Talented Teen Club. Talented Teen Club helps young teenage girls improve their self-esteem by participating in the Miss Beautiful Pageant. The Miss Beautiful Pageant helps young girls create a positive self-image of themselves. Shaun Ho-Hing King, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, explained to me how she supports girls who have hopes and dreams of going off to college. Through this program, she helps instill confidence in these girls to fulfill their dreams. At the end of this day, I created content that helped promote many nonprofits and increase their visibility online through social media.
Furthermore, I had the privilege of interviewing Kasha, Director of Program Performance, who works for the Children’s Services Council. Children’s Services Council is one of the founders of Nonprofits First. One of the most important items that I took away from this meeting is that this government entity works with other children’s organization to make sure that children and mothers are having a healthy birth and great education in Palm Beach County. This organization helps gives funding for programs to help children stay on track and ultimately graduate from high school.
In addition to carrying out many fundraising events I realized that the best part of my job was working with my boss Charlotte Gill. Mrs. Gill, Director of Funding and Business Development, takes a deep insight and passion in her job. Every day I watched her give her heart and soul to helping others. I hope someday, that I can follow in her footsteps and fill shoes as big as hers. No matter how busy her day is, she always found time to sit down and chat with me about my own dreams and passion. She has given me advice that I should not doubt myself and to keep fighting and never give up on my dreams.
As I go off to graduate school at American University to receive a Master’s in Public Administration, I find myself wanting to reach high for the sky and not give up on my dream to live and research abroad. I want to learn about how different governments and education systems work. To this day, I have a dream of going back to Israel to find out how to help them improve their education system. Their education system is lacking the means to teach children English to improve their standard of living in a thriving society. I know that through my work as a teacher, I found a way to connect to children and motivate them to learn English. With my internship at Nonprofits First, I learned a lot of administrative skills. These administrative skills will help me in any government or nonprofit job in the future. I hope that someday I can use these skills to research how government systems can improve their education to help children receive a better education.