The nonprofit world has taken a big hit during the spread of COVID-19. Since many nonprofits–especially the arts–rely heavily on in-person experiences and group gatherings, organizations have been forced to adapt to a new virtual reality. This past summer, some of Trinity’s Arts, Letters, and Enterprise (ALE) interns increased the range of their organization’s offerings by helping them move into the digital sphere.
Madeline Smith ’21, disABILITYsa
Madeline Smith is a senior from Saint Charles, Illinois. She participated in a virtual internship through Trinity’s ALE program as a development and communications intern at disABILITYsa in San Antonio. disABILITYsa implements strategies to promote the inclusion of disabled individuals.
Madeline was excited to gain experience in developing social media content, fundraising, marketing, and website maintenance. A history major with an anthropology minor, Madeline plans to go into the museum field post-graduation. This internship, she says, will give her valuable insight into her future career.
“disABILITYsa implements many strategies to promote inclusion of disabled individuals, and I hope to employ these tactics to increase diversity within the museum industry,” Madeline says.
“I have been able to speak with so many amazing individuals and gained a personal appreciation for the mission of disABILITYsa and the important work they do in the San Antonio community,” Madeline continues. “I feel that the work I do is valuable and important.”
Alden Eckman ’22, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center
This summer, Alden Eckman held a remote internship at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. She helped plan and promote community programming for the Esperanza, including virtual film screenings and panel discussions. She also worked on improving their social media pages. “These platforms are their main outreach methods right now, so they need to be accessible to the Esperanza community,” Alden says.
Alden wanted this internship to gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of a nonprofit organization and learn more about the history of social justice in San Antonio. “This summer will involve a lot of adaptability,” she said at the start of the internship. “But I know that if anybody can forge strong community bonds from a remote setting, it will be the Esperanza.”
Raf Brenner ’21, Magik Theatre
A theatre and English major, Raf Brenner from Houston, Texas, spent her summer working with San Antonio’s Magik Theatre and their remote Camp Showbiz: E-cademy, which is an online summer theater camp. Her original work switched from administrative tasks to helping the courses run smoothly online, and she even served as a teaching assistant for their Hamilton class. "Assisting with teaching remotely has also been very rewarding because I feel like we're able to provide the students with fun and impactful learning during a time when it's tough to work in person,” Raf says.
Devan Karp ’22 and Sarah Thompson ’21, San Antonio Symphony
Devan Karp and Sarah Thompson both returned to the San Antonio Symphony (SAS) for repeat internships.
Devan is a rising junior from Kingwood, Texas, and he was a marketing intern. Continuing from his spring internship with SAS, Devan has been learning to create content, manage social media platforms, take a dive into web design, community outreach, and other administrative duties assigned.
Devan is majoring in communication and double minoring in communication management and political science. “I hope to gain the ability to effectively communicate on behalf of this wonderful organization, learn to manage social media content, create relationships with employees and business partners in the community, and use these skills to make myself a better reporter,” he said.
Sarah Thompson is from Houston, Texas, and she has spent her second summer with Trinity's ALE program. She is a development intern at theDe San Antonio Symphony, which happens to be her third time with the organization.
In the office, Sarah assisted with gift records, fulfilling acknowledgment letters, and developing language and statistical information for reports. Since her shift to online, she helps execute stewardship activities from home, editing operation reports and acknowledgment letters, and independently researching the nonprofit sector, and the response to COVID-19. "WFM is becoming prevalent, and being able to communicate and function productively is essential,” she says. “I want to observe how nonprofits and the symphony deal with the crisis as we face uncertainty ahead of us."
Olivia Wehrung ’22, YOSA
This summer Olivia Wehrung interned remotely with the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio. As a development intern, she has had the opportunity to gain a breadth of experience in grant writing and research, marketing, content creation, and social media planning.
At Trinity, Olivia is majoring in choral music education and minoring in teaching and plans to become a high school choir director. “Though a high school choir program and a nonprofit youth orchestra are not similar from an outside perspective, their missions are practically identical,” Olivia explains. “I am learning a lot about what a successful music program looks like on the administrative side, and I hope to be able to successfully apply the skills I gain from this internship to my career as a choir director.”