Each spring, we have an intern from Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, CT, who spends the last 3 weeks of her senior year learning about the ins and outs of our organization and helping us get through a particularly busy time in the office. We were very lucky to have been matched with Emma Curtin this year. Read on to hear all about it in her own words...
When choosing where to intern for the last three weeks of my senior year I knew I wanted to do something meaningful. A lot of my friends chose internships because they were easy and they didn’t have to do any work, but when I saw Experience Camps on the list, I knew this was the internship that I wanted. After reading and watching the testimonials of some of the campers on my first day, I knew I had made the right choice. I experienced a loss of my own at the young age of 11, so the idea of being able to help kids similar to myself through their grieving process was very compelling. Experience Camps' purpose of connecting kids with other kids who “get it” really spoke to me. I know what it is like to feel isolated in a certain way, even among your closest friends, because they simply just cannot understand what it is that you are going through. Working for this organization gave me a huge sense of pride knowing that I was playing a role in these kids’ healing.
Along with the reward of helping grieving children, I learned a lot of fundraising and administrative skills that I know will be beneficial in my future career endeavors. When I started on May 15th, Experience Camps had just wrapped up two huge fundraisers in Miami and New York. I spent a lot of time sending emails and thank you letters to donors and bidders in order to ensure that they stay connected with the organization, a skill that I know will be useful to me no matter where my career takes me. One of the most useful skills that I learned was how to communicate professionally. When I was in my high school classes, even though it was my senior year, I wasn’t treated as a professional adult, but rather a student who still needs things done for her. While interning at Experience Camps I had the opportunity to email with donors, board members, and guardians of campers, all of whom I had to communicate with very professionally. Being a fairly shy eighteen year old, this was very nerve racking at first, however, by the end of my time I was much more confident in my communication skills and I will keep that confidence with me throughout my entire life.
Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better internship experience. I learned valuable administrative and fundraising skills and boosted my confidence along the way. Most importantly, I know that through interning at Experience Camps I changed the lives of children in my own little way. Although I was not working directly with the campers, I knew that every email or thank you note that I sent helped them, and that is what made it all worth it.
I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to help kids like me overcome their losses. It has definitely changed my own life for the better and also helped me to honor the life of my beautiful sister.