In May of 2015, Carson graduated from NIU with a major in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement and a minor in Dance Performance. As a senior, Carson participated in the Internship Program where he served with the Kishwaukee College Foundation. During his internship, Carson gained experience specific to donor stewardship and event planning, performed research regarding online giving trends, and prepared materials for the foundation’s annual giving appeal.
Q: What was the biggest benefit and/or the best part of your internship experience?
Carson: My internship with the Kishwaukee College Foundation granted me the opportunity to work and learn alongside some of the sector’s most passionate and dedicated professionals. I was able to foster relationships, gain real life experience, as well as understand the in-depth role that a foundation plays in a higher education institution’s strategic plan.
Q: In your opinion, why should students pursue internship opportunities?
Carson: This internship specifically opened my eyes to all of the facets one could pursue within the nonprofit sector. Working with the folks at the Kishwaukee College Foundation gave me insight as to how a smaller organization can support students, faculty, staff, and donors. The internship experience, all together, was extremely positive. I was able to receive mentorship and advice as I prepared to graduate and I still use that experiential learning process in my professional life to this day.
Q: What are you up to now?
Carson: I am currently serving as Community Program Coordinator with Camp Fire Central Puget Sound in Seattle, Washington. I have been with the organization since August 2016. A large part of my job involves working with and establishing community partners to bring Camp Fire programming to youth. I work closely with the Camp Fire School Year Youth Program, Teen Leadership programs, after school programs and the various community outreach projects that go on throughout the Puget Sound service area. Camp Fire resonates deeply with me as its mission and values celebrate the inclusion and acceptance of all. I have had the pleasure of working on a Spanish immersion early childhood education program as well as working with East African refugees in a housing complex. Camp Fire fosters creativity and relationship building as well as ignites a spark within our youth to embrace and accept themselves.
Q: Please share any additional comments you would like to share about your internship experience.
Carson: My internship was truly the icing on top of a delicious cake. My time at NIU was a whirlwind of an adventure and looking back, I am so lucky to have been part of such a wonderful internship program. The generosity of those who have made this program possible has truly resonated within me. I cannot wait for one day to be able to give back so generously, like those that have given to me. Thank you.