I first became involved with Impact on Education in 2012 when my Uncle Blake asked my family if we would be interested in sorting school supplies into backpacks for Crayons to Calculators. During my high school career I stayed involved with Crayons to Calculators and pursued a variety of other volunteer opportunities and extracurricular activities that led me to the University of Denver where I have been studying Psychology and Sociology for the past several years.
My next opportunity to become involved with Impact on Education was as a third year college student, sitting in my parents basement at the start of a global pandemic. I learned about their volunteer events and fundraising committee and after attending initial meetings I had no doubt that I wanted to be more involved with the organization.
The importance of the right team
When I applied for an Impact on Education internship, I expected to have similar experiences as my peers: they learned a lot at their respective internships but they were not valued as team members or colleagues. After starting my communications internship in January 2020, I quickly realized this would not be the case.
My input was not just tolerated but requested and valued. This was one of my biggest takeaways from the internship: how effective and productive an organization and team can be under the right leadership and supportive, constructive environment.
I’m incredibly grateful for these experiences which, above all, taught me that my drive and goal in life is to utilize and reallocate resources towards populations, communities, and individuals who most need them.Kate Snedeker
While my expectations about the internship were accurate, it was significantly more challenging than I had expected. The team and I quickly learned which areas I excelled and which areas I struggled more, such as social media and communications. The team was responsive and receptive, so I began working more with our Development Director, Darcy.
What I learned working at Impact on Education
I switched my focus to the Impact Awards where I got to truly stretch my wings. I was responsible for coordinating the partnerships with the local businesses who graciously partnered with Impact on Education in order to thank our education community. This particular experience taught me how well I do in the community, engaging with this type of outreach.
We decided to extend my spring internship through the summer so I could help with the annual gala, Together We Climb. As my work transitioned to the gala I had an opportunity to stretch my community outreach wings again in an effort to prepare for our silent auction. This gave me the chance to be creative in considering the items our community may like to bid on in the auction while working with other companies and businesses to procure them. True to Darcy’s sage advice, it really never did hurt to ask.
Aside from the community outreach, I was able to work with our Communications Director, Catherine to get better and more familiar with the programs involved with communications and social media. I feel so much more confident in both working with the programs Cat taught me and wading through work challenges that may not come so easily to me.
What’s next for me
I’m incredibly grateful for these experiences which, above all, taught me that my drive and goal in life is to utilize and reallocate resources towards populations, communities, and individuals who most need them. I am looking forward to graduating from the University of Denver this November and turning towards a career as a social worker.