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Our Intern Connection: A Leadership Experience with Community Connections

Connect For More is proud to be growing an internship partnership with the University of South Florida. This continues to be an important mission moment for us – continuing to connect rising leaders with the needs, passions, and purpose of the nonprofit business sector. What follows below is one intern’s unique perspective on their CFM team experience during the spring of 2020. Unlike other internship experiences, the highlighted professional below was part of our team for more than one semester. If you’d like to read more about her, please read her first CFM blog post here. Her internship was graciously supported by Allegany Franciscan Ministries in partnership with Wimauma Community Development Corporation 

As my internship with Connect For More, and more directly Wimauma Community Development Corporation comes to a close I cannot help but feel grateful for such a meaningful experience. I was able to not only to conduct research but witness citizen participation in action, combine my interest to complete a final project of my choosing and witness emergency collaboration in the midst of a global pandemic. Among those amazing opportunities were also some valuable lessons. The most important of which: adaptability.

Adaptability was an ongoing theme from the very beginning. I was not selected for the position I had applied and interviewed for but was told my expertise would be best suited elsewhere. I had never heard of Wimauma until I was presented the opportunity to work with their CDC. I had no experience addressing the concerns of a rural community but with the help of Liz and Laura, I pushed beyond myself.

I adjusted my work schedule and became a platinum-rated Uber user to attend community meetings, and learn about the resident’s vision for Wimauma. More adjustments were needed as I took on another internship alongside my job. Every moment of the workday was filled and I had to make what I considered a difficult decision. I had to choose myself and quit my job – though I am pliable but everybody has a breaking point, and I had found mine. A new semester brought new challenges as my course work became more extensive and in the middle of all of it, everything just stopped. COVID-19 created another shift and I was once again forced to adapt.

This experience reminded me of the difficulties that come along with change and emphasized that difficult can also mean rewarding. I showed myself that I can hit the ground running but more importantly that I know when to take a step back. I have gained some life-changing experiences and have had the pleasure of adding so many amazing individuals to my support system. And since I have so much to be grateful for I wanted to end with a thank you. Thank you to the Connect for More team, Wimauma CDC for teaching me, supporting me, and challenging me.

About the Author: Dominique Boyer is a graduate student in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of South Florida. She was born and raised in Detroit, MI but considers Tampa her second home. She earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with concentrations in Political Science and Africana Studies from USF. Dominique is equipped with a wide range of unique experiences from being a sister of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. to facilitating diversity training for USF staff and students. Her time at USF and her experiences as a young professional emphasis her dedication to servicing and supporting communities in need. Upon graduation, Dominique plans to utilize her skills to create comprehensive solutions for combat complex community problems.

Are you or someone you know interested in being part of our Intern Connection? Looking to working in an open environment with people that care about your personal & professional success? Contact laura@connectformore.com to submit your resume and interest letter for our upcoming Fall and Spring Internships. We’re always looking for motivated students (graduate level preferred) interested in learning more about the non-profit business sector, philanthropy, organizational leadership and small business growth/management.

Seeking to enhance your own personal and professional development? Join us for our upcoming Education Connection opportunities that include workshops, free online resources and meaningful connections to experts.

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