In late January, I sat down with Carrie, the Director of Civic Engagement of an Ann Arbor non-profit organization, Casa Latina. Knowing little about the organization previously, I was surprised initially to learn the organization was operating under such tight financial conditions. Casa Latina operates with two staff members and does not host or manage a large volunteers base. The non-profit does not have 501(c)(3) status, nor has it applied, and essentially has just one source of funding. Effectively, I was about to being an internship with an organization that was very much still in development.
I learned through my internship what a small organization can do without significant funding, volunteers, and staff. Although the actually programing is minimal, the progress towards one day providing essential programing is great. Casa Latina is in the community, communicating with residents and organizations, and making their name relevant. The simple passion that the staff and board members appear to have is inspiring for the social entrepreneur in myself.
My future plans will be undoubtable impacted by this internship. In general, I became more knowledgeable about using WordPress, blogging, and SEO. Specifically, I believe I will use my skills in my full-time that I will start in June. I am going to be working as a Legal Assistant for an immigration law office in the metro Detroit area. Part of my responsibilities will be administrative, involving a new marketing campaign for the law firm to reach more clientele. I feel that I can take my experiences communicating to a largely immigrant audience to this new experience, using my foundation in communications as a place to build upon my acquired skills.
My internship this semester was largely a learn-by-doing experience, and I was fortunate that Casa Latina accepted my help even though I would be learning along the way. I hope to stay involved with them even after the semester ends, and will offer to continue assisting with the website at least for the next few weeks.