The Fresh Air Fund
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Allison Slate

Major: Political Science, Education and Public Policy
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Hawley, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

When I was younger my family hosted a Fresh Air Child. So I wanted to see if there was a way I could help the organization that helped change the lives of the people in my family and the child we hosted from New York City. I just looked on their website to see if they offered internship opportunities; however, they also posted information on Idealist, which is a great resource for people interested in nonprofit work.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The job was 9-5 Monday through Friday with occasional overtime and travel. I worked with a small group of interns to coordinate transportation for the children who would not be taking the bus provided by The Fresh Air Fund (the traditional travel method). We organized spreadsheets, information packets, medical information and anything else that was necessary to ensure the children's safety. I also had the opportunity to escort children on the buses occasionally. I loved this because I got to talk to the children benefiting from the experience and I got to see new places. My favorite trip was overnight in Portland, Maine. I took the bus with another intern up to Maine, explored the city, and took a plane back the next day.

This experience impacted me academically by helping me realize the information in the classes I'm using I can actually apply to the future.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically by helping me realize the information in the classes I'm using I can actually apply to the future. All of the children who participated had to qualify for the program based on income. It enhanced and applied the information I learned about poverty, social programs, and the education system. It's one thing to read a case study about gentrifying areas of the city such as Harlem or Chelsea, but to see it in action and talk to people who are impacted by it enhanced what I learned in the classroom.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I'm not entirely sure what I want to do in the future. However, when I started college I said I would never do non profit work. I loved it this summer. It opened a whole new set of doors for me. Working in a non profit was gratifying, I saw the changes I helped implement. It gave me hope for the future. This fall I have an internship at Senator Casey's Bellefonte Office so I am gaining experience working for a federal office and I am enjoying it. However, I would like to try working in the corporate world for a little while. Eventually, I will probably end up at a nonprofit again.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely, the staff I spent a lot of time with was young and loved to interact with the interns. The environment was not scary and asking questions was encouraged. Upper level management was very accomplished and enjoyed meeting with interns to talk about their career goals. It was a fun, positive, learning experience.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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