Opportunities to Grow

As a first-year undergraduate student, I was given the opportunity to apply for a work-study job. I searched through NC State’s list of work-study job openings, feeling overwhelmed and unqualified for everything I saw. Among the positions was the Communication Assistant for the Philanthropy Journal. The application deadline had already passed for the position, but after checking out the website I just knew I had to get my foot in the door with PJ. I emailed Sandra Cyr, we set up an interview, and the rest is history.
I have worked for the Philanthropy Journal for 2 years now and what a ride it has been. Coming into this position, I knew very little about working with nonprofits or how to share their stories. I was told that I’d be responsible for the social media aspect of PJ, and the only experience I’d had with social media was posting selfies on Instagram or song lyrics that related to my dramatic teenage life on Twitter and Facebook #embarrassing. Now, I am confident in my ability to professionally share nonprofit news and stories through our website and social media outlets. My colleagues have been so kind and encouraging throughout my time here and I owe all of my success to them. Seriously, they’ve taught me everything I know and have allowed me many opportunities to grow in a variety of ways.
My duties as the Communications Assistant include running our social media sites, interviewing organizations to conduct feature articles, and creating news bits. It can sometimes be tedious work, but I get giddy when I see that the Philanthropy Journal has a notification or when I see great photos from nonprofit organizations that want to be highlighted in our News Bits. The first time Sandy asked me if I wanted to interview an organization and create an article, I hesitantly agreed. Now, I am so excited when I’m asked to do so, because it’s an opportunity for me to connect with people who are doing great things and I get to be a part of sharing their story with others.
One of my favorite feature articles was Sharing Opportunity, which highlight Edina ABC. As a future educator, I was moved to hear about this organization’s origins and how students desired the best education possible. The program’s model for success came from it’s partnership between the Edina community and the students in the program. Hearing how successful students who have completed the program are was just the cherry on top of this story.
As an undergraduate student in the English Secondary Education Department, I am able to use skills that I’ve learned throughout my courses at NC State in my workplace. I am constantly improving on qualities that will help me academically and professionally as I read and write nonprofit news and articles at the Philanthropy Journal. The skills I am learning now are exactly the things that I will be teaching students in a few short years.
I’d like to encourage you to donate to the Philanthropy Journal. It is because of support for the Journal that work study students, like Krystin, Jack, and I, are able to be involved in sharing these great works that are happening in the nonprofit sector. Without your support, nonprofit organizations may not be spotlighted otherwise. Please consider donating to PJ so that stories can continue to be told and so that PJ can be a free resource to all.
Thank you,
Haily Jones
Communication Assistant

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