Photo: Nonprofit Internship Program United Way Charlotte County

Embracing Innovation: United Way of Charlotte County's Experience with a Remote Intern

Posted on July 05, 2024 by Kristen Szych, United Way of Charlotte County

Editor's Note: Through a collaboration with the Indiana University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, The Patterson Foundation's Nonprofit Internship Program connects students at the school with opportunities at nonprofits in the Suncoast region. A successful internship results in students gaining priceless experience and insight into nonprofit work, while a nonprofit gains valuable completed projects from students educated at the world's first school of philanthropy. The Patterson Foundation aspires to strengthen students and regional nonprofits through the Nonprofit Internship Program to build a stronger philanthropic sector and society.

At United Way of Charlotte County (UWCC), our mission is to mobilize the caring power of communities to improve lives and advance the common good. As we strive to address critical needs in education, financial stability, and health, we continuously seek innovative ways to enhance our impact. This past year, we had the pleasure of welcoming a remote intern, Rea (La’Kanyere Harrison-Patton), whose contributions have profoundly influenced our work and expanded our horizons.
Lakanyere HarrisonRea joined our team at a time when remote work was not just a necessity but a new frontier for collaboration and community engagement. Despite the physical distance, Rea's enthusiasm and commitment to our mission were immediately evident. From the outset, she seamlessly integrated into our team, bringing fresh perspectives and a wealth of skills that significantly advanced our initiatives. Throughout her internship, Rea's impact was felt far beyond her immediate tasks. Her virtual presence in meetings, brainstorming sessions, Giving Challenge projects, data analysis, and collaborative projects brought a sense of vitality and innovation. Her proactive approach and adaptability were inspiring, demonstrating that meaningful contributions are not limited by physical proximity.
The culmination of Rea's internship was her visit to Charlotte County. Witnessing the impact of her work firsthand and meeting the people she had helped from afar was a powerful experience for both Rea and our team. Her visit underscored the importance of human connection in community work and reinforced the value of her contributions. Rea's internship with UWCC was a resounding success. Her dedication, creativity, and positive energy left a lasting impact on our organization. The experience has shown us that remote internships can be as impactful and enriching as traditional ones, paving the way for future opportunities to harness the power of remote collaboration in our mission to improve lives and build a stronger community.

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