‘Tis the season to spot cars with various college and university parking passes appearing in the Wegmans parking lot. On top of great weather and long days, May means we get to see our long-lost college-age community members back in town for the summer.
I love bumping into young adults that were kids starring in high school musicals or running student council meetings a couple of years ago. Yes, please tell me all about your Macroeconomics course or the book you recently read about medical ethics. I am here for your new insights about the makeup of the Supreme Court during desegregation. Tragic freshman roommate story to share? Let me grab an iced tea and find a seat.
When I am very lucky, one of these talented young students makes their way to the Community Foundation to spend the summer learning about philanthropy. We show them the ropes, like how to process donations and acknowledgment letters and the key components of grant evaluations. But once they have a sense of how this foundation runs, we send them out into the community to learn why.
Our summer intern spends days and weeks conducting site visits to area nonprofits, sometimes with one of us and then, importantly, on their own. There is no better way to become a Community Foundation “insider” than to go see our grant making in action. But as much as this experience is valuable to the intern, it is even more important to us and our future work.
Interns see the world through fresh eyes. They can spot problems that have faded into the scenery or see possibilities where seasoned professionals might just see headaches. They are still close enough to the programming, such as library story hours, to bring a sense of how it feels to be the one sitting on the carpet square versus the person reading aloud.
Our 2018 intern just completed her orientation and starts officially on Monday, June 4. I can already tell the next ten weeks will fly by as we learn from each other, so I plan to savor the small moments as they occur. I’m so excited for the conversations and revelations to come during the beautiful weather and long days before all those cars are packed and pointed toward campus in August.