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A Farewell to Intern Lilly Wright!

I first got involved with Pass the Torch for Women Foundation back in 2017 when I joined the Project Grow program. As a junior at Indiana University (go Hoosiers!), I was still very unsure of what I wanted to do with my career. Project Grow provided me with the tools and support necessary to do some much needed introspection and consider how I could build a fulfilling career for myself. Inspired by Project Grow’s impact, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do after graduation, but I knew that I wanted to give back to my community.

The IU 21st Century Scholars 2017-2018 Project Grow Cohort.

At the beginning of my senior year, I accepted a position at PTTFW as the Communications Lead Apprentice. I will never forget how excited I was when I found out that I had been offered the position! My junior year had been the most challenging year yet, and there were a lot of obstacles that I had to overcome if I was going to finish strong. I felt like this internship allowed me to have a voice, and I took (and continue to take) pride in the content that I have produced during my internship. I launched my own campaign centered around gratitude and wrote blogs in the hopes of empowering even just one person. However, I feel like the best part of my internship experience was that I got to be a part of the Foundation’s story, all while learning from the amazing women here at the Foundation.

Getting to meet the 2018 recipient of the Carla Perinne Perry Scholarship Award, Lois Brown, at the Ignite the Torch Awards Reception.

PTTFW has been an integral part of my growth as a student, intern, professional, and especially as a person. If there is one thing I learned from my Project Grow cohort, it is that struggle is inevitable, but strength is a choice. I will never forget the time I met with my academic advisor and told her that I was having a hard time finishing my degree. She told me that the number one reason that students drop out of college is because they are the first in their family to pursue a degree full-time. I could not believe it! Seeing all of the other women in my cohort that were also first generation students was a huge wake up call. I realized that my struggle did not define me, it fueled me. Following what was easily the most challenging semester of my college career, I managed to make the Executive Dean’s List twice during my senior year, hold down two part-time jobs, publish three poems in local literary magazines, and accept an offer to join the 2019 Indianapolis Teach for America Corps! I am grateful for the impact that the Foundation has had on me, and I am looking forward to allowing that impact to reverberate through my experience as a teacher, in which I will take the lessons I have learned along the way and “pass the torch” to my students.

My last day as an intern!

My internship has come to an end, but my involvement with the Foundation lives on. I am looking forward to staying engaged with PTTFW as a Developing Professional! As for future communications, stay tuned for some great content from the team’s newest intern, Julia Bluhm.