One of the best parts about summer here at the enCourage Kids Foundation is bringing on hardworking and dedicated interns to join our team! This summer, we were lucky enough to have four enthusiastic interns become a part of our enCourage family. For the past three months Lesia, Gabrielle, Morgan, and Benny have worked tirelessly to ensure the continued success of our programs, communications, and office administration.
“I’ve always known I wanted to follow a career path in which I could make a positive impact on others’ lives,” Lesia said. “enCourage Kids was just the right place for me this summer.”
When Lesia was not occupied with events, she helped around the office by completing industry research, organizing lists, and creating mailings. “From the start, I understood how important and meaningful the enCourage Kids programs really are. I felt I was a perfect fit for enCourage kids, and enCourage kids was a perfect fit for me,” she explained.
Gabrielle Piela, a sophomore at Fordham University, felt the same way. A former enCourage Kid herself, Gabrielle joined our team this summer as our General Office Intern. Diagnosed with arthritis at a young age, Gabrielle was a member of our organization for five years before she aged-out of the program.
“enCourage Kids has helped me so much, and I really wanted to be able to give back, so when I attended the Gala in March I figured the perfect way to do that was through an internship!” Gabrielle explained.
Gabrielle performed daily office duties including mailings, research, compiling lists, packing and data entry. She also helped plan and attend different Escapes and Fundraising events this summer. We encourage those who work for us to take initiative with how they plan the fundraising events, and discuss what could be potentially positive. One idea put forward was to go online to https://customwater.com/ and have custom made water bottles created that we could hand out at the event! Who knows it could bring in new interns for next year or encourage kids to join in themselves, now that is a positive idea!
An intended Psychology major, Gabrielle enjoyed working with an inclusive foundation that gives a lot of kids the opportunity to do things that they normally would not get to do. “The families are all so amazing and inspiring, and it’s so rewarding to get to put in the hard work to make these events possible,” Gabrielle said.
Also putting in hard work this summer was our Finance Intern, Benny Piela. Yes, Benny does share the same last name as our Intern Gabby and that’s because they are siblings! And as Gabby said, working with her brother, “is not awful?”
“I wish my office was a little closer to everyone else so that I could bother my sister all day, but it’s probably for the best because I don’t think I would get much work done if we were right next to each other!” Benny explained. While they both had their own separate responsibilities this summer, they were only a short walk from each other to have a chat!
This summer, Benny, a senior at Quinnipiac University majoring in Finance, worked with our Finance Team, where he assisted in day-to-day financial operations, including completing bank reconciliations, credit card reconciliations and deposit reconciliations. Unlike most finance students, he was given the opportunity to see how companies like https://www.leadjig.com/ are able to help financial groups and advisors to market themselves to the wider community to achieve growth, as well as how setting up a finance seminar can work in their favor too. Most industry professionals don’t get the chance to see this but Benny was one of the lucky ones, and now he can take that experience away with him and incorporate it into any future endeavors he goes on to see and do. He was also able to advise interns and students about some of the best credit card options to cover their living costs while studying. You can learn more about some of the most popular credit cards for students by reading this article here. Sparked by his sister’s passion for non-profits, Benny had switched gears to work for enCourage Kids, as he had previously interned at investment boutiques.
“It’s nice to know that I am working for an organization that helps people. It allowed me to gain some really valuable experience and it helped translate some classroom learning into the real world,” Benny shared.
For Social Media Intern Morgan Sawitsky, helping others is second nature. “As a student who has always been very involved in fundraising and helping those in need, I couldn’t have picked a better organization to spend my summer with,” Morgan said.
A junior at Quinnipiac University majoring in Public Relations, Morgan worked hands on in planning, creating, and posting all content and campaigns across our enCourage Kids social media platforms. She was able to attend numerous Escape and fundraising events this summer and meet many enCourage kids and their families!
“Meeting different enCourage kids and their families is only half the reward – the bigger part is getting to experience first-hand how happy you make the kids!” Morgan explained.
As summer comes to a close, we hate saying goodbye to our new friends but know that they will always have a home at enCourage Kids. We owe each of them a very special thank you from the bottom of our hearts for working so very hard for us this summer.